MIAMI - Former Bulldog great Kevin Mattison made his major league debut Saturday afternoon on national television as he pinch-hit in the bottom of the ninth inning for the Miami Marlins against the New York Mets.
Mattison grounded out to first base against Mets reliever D.J. Carrasco. He hit for catcher Brent Hayes in a 9-3 Marlins loss.
The former Bulldog center-fielder was called up by Miami from New Orleans early Thursday morning and arrived in Miami that afternoon.
Mattison played at UNC Asheville from 2005-08 and set the school's all-time marks for runs (192), triples (23), total bases (423) and steals (57). He is the Big South's all-time leader in triples.
The former Bulldog is known for his blazing speed and also his unique mustaches. He had a handle-bar mustache last year while playing for the Jacksonville Suns that caught a lot of attention. Mattison told Juan Rodriguez of the Palm Beach Sun Sentinel about his unique looks this weekend.
"That's all we were allowed to grow our first year in short-season A ball was a mustache," said Mattison, who's fashioned a handlebar mustache and Fu Manchu at different points. "You couldn't have a goatee until your first full season. I grew the mustache and once a year I go with it. However long it lasts, it lasts."
Entering this season, Mattison was successful on 142 of 179 attempts. At New Orleans, he was caught six times in 11 tries.
"Pitchers obviously know I'm a base stealer now and are more aware of it," Mattison said. "I've been caught sometimes this year, but I've been running in must-run situations...I don't think I'm falling off the chart with my percentage or anything. I've just run into a tough couple of situations when I've run."