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Howard debuts in California League with Modesto

Former Cartersville Hurricanes' and Georgia Southern Eagles' pitcher, Sam Howard, made his California League debut April 8 at Banner Island Ballpark in Stockton, CA as the Modesto Nuts defeated the Stockton Ports, 8-3.

The 6-3 southpaw and third-year pro in the Colorado Rockies' organization threw 81 pitches and lasted 4 and 1/3 innings in a no-decision.

Modesto is the advanced Class-A franchise for Colorado.

Howard faced 21 batters and threw 53 of his 81 pitches for strikes. He allowed a pair of runs on four hits and struck out six. He exited the game with his team leading 4-1. One of his allowed baserunners eventually scored.

Howard, 23, signed with the Colorado Rockies in June of 2014 as the 82nd overall selection following his junior season at Georgia Southern University. He was previously selected by the Cubs in the 48th round of the 2011 draft out of Cartersville High School, but decided to go to college.

In 2015, Howard was 11-9 as a starter for the Asheville Tourists who made the finals of the South Atlantic League. He pitched 134 innings in 25 starts with a 3.43 ERA and 122 strikeouts. Opponents hit .252 against him.

Howard has been slotted as the number two man in the Nuts' starting rotation to begin the year. recently named him the 27th best prospect in the Rockies organization.

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