Less than a week after Jarren Duran made his MLB debut for the Boston Red Sox, one of Duran’s college teammates from Long Beach State got his call to the big leagues. Right-handed pitcher Darren McCaughan joined the Seattle Mariners on Wednesday and is scheduled to make his big league debut during their game in Colorado.
McCaughan pitched three seasons for the Dirtbags (2015-17) and is now the 53rd Long Beach State alum to make it to the major leagues. A local product out of Los Alamitos High School, McCaughan posted a terrific 2.31 ERA over his three-year college career, a mark that placed him fifth in school history. He started 36 games to rank ninth on the program’s all-time list, posting an impressive 23-5 record on the hill. His 23 wins are tied for fifth-most for a Dirtbags pitcher.
McCaughan was a two-time All-American after his sophomore and junior seasons, and was also named the Big West Pitcher of the Year in each of those years. He became just the third Dirtbags pitcher ever and first since Jered Weaver to win multiple Big West Pitcher of the Year awards.
In the summer after his sophomore season, McCaughan was named to the Team USA Collegiate National Team (CNT), becoming the 12th LBSU player to compete for that team. Redshirt freshman Devereaux Harrison recently became the 13th Dirtbags player to earn a spot on the CNT.
McCaughan is also a part of some special history for Long Beach State Baseball. As a freshman reliever, he recorded the final six outs to finish off a combined no-hitter with teammate Chris Mathewson against Wichita State on March 1, 2015. That remains the only no-hitter in Dirtbags history, though McCaughan would throw a one-hit shutout later in his career against San Jose State.
After leading the Dirtbags to consecutive NCAA Regional appearances in 2016-17, McCaughan was selected by the Mariners in the 12th round of the 2017 MLB Draft. In four minor league seasons, McCaughan has a 3.90 ERA across 64 starts. This year, McCaughan has primarily pitched with Seattle’s Triple-A affiliate in Tacoma, posting a 3.97 ERA across 10 starts, striking out 46 while issuing 13 walks in 59.0 innings.
In 2019 while with the Double-A Arkansas Travelers, McCaughan was named the Texas League Pitcher of the Year after sporting a 2.89 ERA in 17 starts.
As McCaughan makes his big league debut on Wednesday against Colorado, there is a friendly face in the opposing dugout. Former Dirtbags teammate Garrett Hampson is currently in his fourth season as a utility man with the Rockies.