WASHINGTON, D.C. –
Former FGCU baseball star Casey Coleman
hurled an efficient 6.1 innings and helped his own cause with an RBI single to help the Chicago Cubs cruise to a 9-1 win at Washington on Monday night in the first game since legendary skipper Lou Piniella retired.
Coleman out-dueled 1997 World Series MVP Livan Hernandez, who was roughed up for seven runs on 10 hits over 4.1 innings for the Nationals. A career .318 hitter during his three seasons at FGCU, Coleman drilled his first career big league hit passed a drawn-in infield in the fifth inning off of Hernandez. The RBI single scored Xavier Nady from third and knocked Hernandez out of the game.
Coleman retired 17 of 18 batters from the end of the first inning through the end of the fifth, including 10 straight at one point, to even his record at 1-1 and give interim manager Mike Quade his first career win. The righty threw 62 of his 103 pitches for strikes, striking out three while giving up just three hits and two walks. Coleman lowered his ERA from 7.82 to 5.68 by retiring the side in order in the second, third and fifth innings.
The appearance was the sixth of Coleman’s major league career since being called-up to the Cubs on August 2. He was the first former FGCU Eagle to make the major leagues and is now the first to pick up a win.
The Coleman family is the first to have three generations of pitchers reach the major leagues. Coleman’s father, Joe, played from 1965-79, making the 1972 All-Star Game as a member of the Detroit Tigers. Coleman’s grandfather, Joe, was named an All-Star in 1948, highlighting his 10-year career (1942-55). Casey and his father, Joe, will also become the eighth father-son combination to have played for the Cubs but the first father-son pitching combination to appear for the team. Joe was a member of the Cubs’ organization in 1976.
Before being promoted, Coleman was 10-7 with Triple-A Iowa this season over 117.1 innings worked, with 59 strikeouts and a Pacific Coast League-leading two complete games. Coleman’s 10 wins were tied for fourth in the Pacific Coast League when he was called-up.
Coleman was an integral part of the 2008 FGCU club that posted a 38-15 record and won the Atlantic Sun regular season title in the program’s first season in Division I. Over his three seasons, Coleman went 16-6 on the mound with 171 strikeouts, helping lead the Eagles to a 119-49 record over that span. Coleman was also a force at the plate while splitting time at second base, shortstop and third base. Coleman batted .318 with 98 runs scored, 156 hits, 26 doubles, nine triples, eight home runs and 97 RBI. Coleman selected in the 15th round of the 2008 MLB Draft by the Cubs.