Rivera shines in pro debut for Doubledays
Nats' fourth-round pick throws 2 scoreless innings and fans 4 for Auburn
The son of Sandman made his professional debut on Tuesday night.
That'd be Mariano Rivera, the 21-year-old kin of the Yankees' legend who earned a record 652 saves during his career in pinstripes. The younger Rivera put in two solid innings of work for the Class A Short Season Auburn Doubledays, a Nationals affiliate, in Auburn's 9-5 win. Metallica's "Enter Sandman" blared over the speakers during Rivera's warm up and he retired three hitters in the bottom of the sixth inning to maintain the Doubledays' 5-4 lead. Rivera fanned the first professional hitter he faced, Cole Lankford, and returned to the hill in the bottom of the seventh.
He allowed two singles to start the frame, but State College's rally didn't materialize as Rivera proceeded to strike out three straight Spikes. All four of Rivera's strikeouts were of the swinging variety.
The Nats selected Rivera in the fourth round (No. 134 overall) of the 2015 Draft. He finished a strong three-year career at Iona by posting a 2.65 ERA and 113 strikeouts -- a school record -- during his junior season. Rivera was named the Metro Athletic Conference's pitcher of the year.