The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

Former Leopard makes MLB debut

Former Leopard Jake Bloss ’22 throws a pitch against the Baltimore Orioles before exiting in the fourth inning. (Photo courtesy of The Athletic)

Former Leopards pitcher Jake Bloss ’22 made his Major League Baseball debut for the Houston Astros this past Friday night, joining David Bednar ‘17 as the only active Lafayette College alumni in MLB.

Bloss served as the Astros’ starting pitcher and recorded 3.2 innings pitched before exiting due to right shoulder discomfort. Before his exit, Bloss threw 79 pitches, 53 of which were strikes, as part of the Astros’ 14-11 win against the Baltimore Orioles. He allowed two runs and six hits in his 3.2 innings pitched, recording two strikeouts and a 4.91 earned runs average.

“Very cool, obviously,” Bloss told reporters of making his first Major League start. “Got the call two days ago and then was pretty wired. Tough to sleep but very cool.”

Bloss was drafted as a third-round selection by the Astros with the 99th pick in 2023 MLB draft, in which infielder Justin Johnson ‘22 was selected in the tenth round by the Kansas City Royals, joining MLB alongside Bloss as a former Leopard.

Bloss’ entry into the Houston lineup comes during an injury-riddled season for the Astros. Despite having never pitched in Triple-A, the highest level of minor league baseball, Houston called up Bloss to the major league after his performances in High-A and Double-A.

Bloss played for three seasons as a Leopard from 2020 to 2022. In his final season for the Maroon and White, Bloss started 11 games, finished with a 6-3 record and earned First-Team All-Patriot League honors.

The Lafayette alum finished his collegiate playing career at Georgetown University as a graduate student where he racked up more accolades, including First-Team All-Big East and Big East Pitcher of the Year. 

“I am extremely happy for Jake that he has been able to realize his Major League Baseball dream,” former baseball head coach Tim Reilly wrote in an email. “It’s a pretty special thing to not only skip AAA but to start your first game a couple nights after being called up.”

While Bloss missed Saturday’s game against the Orioles after Astros manager Joe Aspada said that Bloss would be placed on the injury list due to his right shoulder discomfort, his continued development as a pitcher could pave the way for future Major League opportunities.

“He didn’t come to us throwing 97mph but he put in the time and the work to turn himself into a special pitcher,” Reilly wrote. “Jake is a very bright kid, he and our pitching coach at the time Ryan Ricci put in a lot of hours developing his talent and maturity as a pitcher.”

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Benjamin White, Assistant Sports Editor

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