Former Spartan Matt Branham Makes Professional Debut
SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Former USC Upstate pitcher Matt Branham made his professional debut last night. Branham, a 27th-round draft pick by the San Diego Padres organization, got the start last night for the Class A Short Season Eugene Emeralds of the Northwest League.
In the first inning, the Spartans all-time strikeout leader, retired the first two Tri-City Dust Devils he faced before allowing two runs. After giving up those two runs, Branham was able to get Chandler Laurent to strike out swinging.
In the second inning, Branham again retired the first two batters he faced. Following a single, Branham was able to get a groundout to end the inning. In the bottom of the third, Branham continued his theme of retiring the first two batters he faced. After a single and a passed ball, the Columbia, S.C., native struck out the final batter he would face of the night.
Branham, who was awarded a no-decision in Emeralds' 6-5 loss, faced 14 batters over three innings of work in his debut. He allowed two runs on five hits, while recording two strikeouts and zero walks.