Alumni Magazine

SPR-SUM 2018

The alumni magazine for Franklin Pierce University.

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Page 19 of 47

W elcome to the Show, Kid. For Kevin McGowan ' 1 4 , it was straight into the fi re in his major-league debut Aug. 22, 2017. As the 6-foot-5-inch right-hander entered from the bullpen in right-center fi eld at Citi Field, home of the New York Mets, he came on to face a situation which was far from rosy. Already trailing by fi ve, with two outs in the top of the fi h, McGowan entered to face a fi ve-time All-Star and current National League MVP candidate Paul Goldschmidt, fi rst baseman for the Arizona Diamondbacks. In his own words, McGowan's only goals for his initial batter faced in the big leagues were to "just compete against this guy" and to "go up there and battle." His emotions were, admittedly, striking a number of diff erent notes. "I was obviously nervous, but I think I was more excited than anything ," said McGowan, when we chatted with him before the Mets' series in the nation's capital, against the fi rst-place Washington Nationals Aug. 25–27, 2017. "It's obviously something you dream about since you're in Little League, so I really wanted to enjoy it instead of just shutting off my emotions." en, his own catcher, Kevin Plawecki, did little to help manage those nerves out of the gate. " e worst part was, I was like 'First big league pitch, here we go!,'" continued McGowan. "And then [Plawecki] put down slider. I was like, 'No way, my fi rst big league pitch is going to be a slider that I bounce 55 feet.'" Of course, the last thing a pitcher making his MLB debut wants to do is start shaking off his catcher, so McGowan went with what his former minor league teammate had off ered and threw the slider. "Somehow, it was a strike," McGowan recounted, with a laugh. His big league career was underway. McGowan, who calls Franklin Pierce "still like my favorite place ever," keeps some connections back to Rindge. He is active on Twitter (@kevinmcgowanjr) and can regularly be found tweeting in support of his alma mater during the college season. Even his walk-out song has a Raven connection. McGowan, formerly an FPU press box favorite due in part to his musical taste, currently enters from the bullpen to strains of Eddie Money's "Take Me Home Tonight." He chose the song to honor former men's ice hockey player Doug Usseglio, who was a freshman during McGowan's fi nal season in a Raven uniform, and who passed away in March 2016. "A er he passed away last year, they had a ceremony for him at FPU," where they played the song , said McGowan. "So, I decided to use that to show some love to Dougie." A er dropping the slider over the inside corner for strike one to Goldschmidt, McGowan missed outside twice to fall behind in the RAVENS ROUNDUP BY MATT JANIK Kevin McGowan ' 1 4 Plays for the Mets MAJOR LEAGUE NEW YORK METS (THIS PAGE, INSET); ROBIN HARPER (THIS PAGE AND FACING) 18 PIERCE SPRING / SUMMER 2018

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