Current Mariners' Reliever Gets Joined in the History Books as College World Series Kicks Off

The College World Series kicked off in Omaha, Nebraska on Friday afternoon with North Carolina taking on Virginia. With the Tar Heels on the field, we got a chance to learn some history about current Seattle Mariners' reliever Trent Thornton.
Seattle Mariners relief pitcher Trent Thornton (46) pitches to the Houston Astros during the seventh inning at T-Mobile Park on May 27.
Seattle Mariners relief pitcher Trent Thornton (46) pitches to the Houston Astros during the seventh inning at T-Mobile Park on May 27. / Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports
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The Men's College World Series kicked off on Friday afternoon in Omaha, Nebraska with the University of North Carolina Tar Heels battling the University of Virginia Cavaliers.

With the Tar Heels back in the College World Series, we got a chance to learn an interesting fact about current Seattle Mariners' reliever Trent Thornton.

Per Pat James on social media:

Jason DeCaro is the fifth @Diamondheels freshman pitcher to start a game in the #MCWS since 1999 and the first to start the opener.

• Jason DeCaro, 2024
• Trent Thornton, 2013
• Kent Emanuel, 2011
• Matt Harvey, 2008
• Alex White, 2007

Yup, Thornton was once an electric pitcher for the Tar Heels, going 22-12 over three seasons in Chapel Hill. He pitched to a 2.82 ERA with the Tar Heels and started 24 total games (73 appearances).

The North Carolina native used his college success to get drafted in the fifth round of the 2015 draft by the Houston Astros. In the majors, he's appeared in games for the Toronto Blue Jays and Mariners, going 11-17 with a 4.41 ERA. With the M's this year, he's 3-1 with a 3.30 ERA. He's become a valuable high-leverage arm for manager Scott Servais.

He's struck out 30 batters in 30 innings.

At the time of this posting, the Tar Heels lead Virgina in the second inning (1-0).

The Mariners will be back in action on Friday night with the first pitch coming at 7:10 p.m. PT. They'll be taking on the Texas Rangers in an American League West showdown.

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Brady Farkas

BRADY FARKAS