CHARLESTON, SC - Columbia reliever Matt Blackham was named the South Atlantic League-BC® Relief Pitcher of the Month for July, SAL President Eric Krupa announced. The Overland Park, Kansas, native did not allow an earned run in 15.0 innings in the month and struck out 23 batters. Blackham allowed just six hits and two walks in his eight appearances.
"Matt has been one of our most consistent pitchers coming out of the bullpen," Fireflies manager Jose Leger said. "He has absolutely dominated hitters this month. He brings so much hard work and determination to the table."
The 24-year-old earned a win on July 13 at home against Greensboro (2 IP, 4 K) and tallied two holds (July 20 and 28). Blackham has been arguably the most reliable reliever for Columbia.
The Mets farm hand has the highest strikeout per nine innings pitched ratio (13.2) in the South Atlantic League. This season, Blackham has struck out 66 hitters in just 45 innings and is 4-2 with a 1.80 ERA (28 games).
Blackham was selected by the Mets out of Middle Tennessee State University in the 29th round of the 2014 MLB First-Year Player Draft. The right-hander missed the entire 2016 season with an injury but has bounced back tremendously this year.
The South Atlantic League-BC® Relief Pitcher of the Month award is sponsored by BC® Powder, the "Preferred Pain Reliever of the South Atlantic League." The award is given to the most outstanding relief pitcher in the league for the prior month.
Blackham and the Fireflies continue their series with the Charleston RiverDogs on Tuesday night at 7:05 p.m. at Joe Riley Park. You can listen to the action on ESPN Columbia 94.9 FM and 1230 AM, ColumbiaFireflies.com and the TuneIn Radio app.
About the Columbia Fireflies
The Columbia Fireflies are the South Atlantic League affiliate of the New York Mets. Winners of Ballpark Digest's Best New Branding and Logo Award in 2016, the Fireflies play games across the southeast and mid-Atlantic regions, including against in-state rivals in Charleston and Greenville. The team partnered with the city of Columbia and Hughes Development to construct Spirit Communications Park, a multi-use outdoor sports and entertainment venue at the center of the BullStreet development. The Columbia Fireflies are owned by Hardball Capital, owners of the Fort Wayne TinCaps of the Midwest League and the Chattanooga Lookouts of the Southern League. For more information, visit ColumbiaFireflies.com, or follow the Fireflies on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
More about BC® Powder
BC® Powder is the "Preferred Pain Reliever of the South Atlantic League". In 1906, Germain Bernard and C.T. Council formulated a new, effective pain reliever at their pharmacy in Durham, NC. BC® Powder fast developed a very loyal customer following of hardworking Americans who needed reprieve from their toughest aches and pains. Over 100 years and millions of family and friends later, BC® Powder is still bringing speedy relief and showing pain who's boss. Whether you've got a headache, back ache or minor arthritis pain, BC® relieves your tough pain at the speed of powder.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.