SUGAR LAND, Texas The Sugar Land Skeeters have announced today former Major League All-Star and Cypress Falls product Scott Kazmir was in uniform for the Skeeters Saturday night. Kazmir is expected to pitch in Sunday s game against the Bridgeport Bluefish.

Kazmir brings more than eight years of professional Major League Baseball experience to Sugar Land (2004-2011) with all 180 appearances between the Tampa Bay Rays and Los Angeles Angels. The left-handed starting pitcher made his Major League debut with the Rays on August 23, 2004 starting seven games while acquiring a win-loss record of (2-3) and a 5.67 ERA.

Following his rookie season in 2005, Kazmir started the 2006 season opener on April 3 at Baltimore. At 22 years, 2 months and 10 days, Kazmir was the youngest opening day starter since 1986.

He is an explosive arm for us to have on the staff, Manager Gary Gaetti said. We look forward to seeing his stuff in action out on the mound with the track record he brings to the Skeeters to help us in the second half of the season.

The following year in 2007, Kazmir led the American League in strikeouts (239) and games started (34) in what is generally considered to be his best year of his professional career. He set a career high in wins (13) and innings pitched (206.2) all while keeping his ERA at a respectable 3.48.

The Houston-native played in two MLB All-Star games (2006, 2008) representing the Rays both times. In the latter of the two mid-summer classics, Kazmir pitched a scoreless frame in the 15th inning and picked up the win in the longest All-Star game in history.

Halfway through the 2009 season, Kazmir was traded to the Angels where he played through the 2011 season. Kazmir carries with him a career 4.17 ERA with 66 wins, 993 strikeouts and a WHIP of just 1.41 while averaging just over eight strikeouts per nine innings in 179 starts in the majors.

At Cypress Falls High School, Kazmir was a two-sport athlete, through his sophomore year, pitching on the baseball team and starting at quarterback on the JV football team. During one stretch on the prep baseball diamond, Kazmir threw four straight no-hitters. As a senior, he struck out 172 batters in 75 innings and had an ERA of 0.37.

Kazmir was highly recruited in both sports and verbally committed to the home state Texas Longhorns. However, Kazmir was drafted in the first round (15th overall) of the 2002 MLB Draft by the New York Mets and signed on to play professional baseball.

Sunday s game closes out the first half of the season for the Skeeters. Following the All-Star Break, the Skeeters are home for a six-game homestand against the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs on Friday, July 13.

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