On September 14th, former University of the Cumberlands (UC) pitcher Michael Fiers (Hollywood, FL) became the first pitcher that had played for Head Coach Brad Shelton to make it to the highest level of professional baseball.
Mike’s dream of being in the pro’s became a reality when he made his Major League Baseball debut when he entered the game vs. the Colorado Rockies pitching a scoreless 9th inning giving up 2 hits, 1 walk and striking out 2.
“I’m very happy for Mike; he was such a hard worker, a great teammate and a leader for our pitching staff while he was here,” proclaimed Head Baseball Coach Brad Shelton.
Mike joined the Patriots baseball team for the 2007 season appearing in 10 games with a 7-2 record and a 3.68 ERA in 63.2 innings of work. He helped the Patriots finish the season with a 35-19 overall record.
Going into his senior year, Mike was being looked upon to be the ace and leader of the pitching staff. “After a great summer, where he was named Pitcher of the Year in the New York Collegiate League, Mike was primed for a great senior season,” exclaimed Coach Shelton.
On his way back to UC from Christmas break, a car accident forced Mike to sit out for the whole season. That year the Patriots went on to win the Mid-South Conference (MSC) with an overall 43-16 (17-2 MSC) record being ranked as high as #5 in the country and earning the overall number one seed going into regional play. Mike was not forgotten that year though as the Patriots dedicated their season to him and left his jersey hanging in the locker-room as a remembrance while their teammate and friend was at home rehabilitating.
“Mike would have been our number one that year,” said Shelton. “Although it was one of the best seasons in our programs history, I really believe that team could have made it to the World Series with Mike.”
In 2009 Mike returned to the diamond, but decided to transfer to Nova Southeastern so he could stay close to home. During his senior year Mike was able to help the Sharks to a 37-19 record going 10-3 with a 2.65 ERA in 108.2 innings while striking out 145.
That same year in the MLB Draft Mike was selected by the Milwaukee Brewers in the 22nd round. Before his call-up, Mike was in the Pacific Coast League playing for the Brewers AAA affiliate Nashville Sounds. In 10 starts he was 8-0 with a 1.11 ERA in 64.2 innings of work and 69 strikeouts.
“After all he has been through; no one deserves this more than Mike Fiers,” said Shelton. “I look forward to following his big league career. I’m a Milwaukee Brewers fan now.”
The Patriots open the 2012 season on Friday February 3rd as they travel to Georgia to take on Reinhardt University.