Athlete of Week: Faulkner takes fast track to Frisco

pel-faulknerFormer Myrtle Beach Pelicans pitcher Andrew Faulkner had to leave town so quickly that he couldn’t collect his Mammy’s Kitchen Athlete of the Week award. He was honored with a bigger prize – a promotion to Double-A Frisco (TX).

The left-handed Faulkner posted a 10-1 record with a 2.07 ERA before getting the call up to the Texas Rangers’ AA Roughriders. The Aiken native had a whirlwind week after getting the promotion, catching the next flight to Frisco and starting the next day.

“I was working with a catcher I had never pitched to before, but we talked before the game and came up with a good plan,” said Faulkner, who did not earn a decision despite exiting the game with a 6-3 lead after five innings. “Under the circumstances, it was about all I could ask for.”

Perhaps the only person in the ballpark more stressed out that Faulkner was his mother, who drove his truck from South Carolina to Texas to see her son make his Double-A debut.  It turned out to be a special occasion for both of them.

“My first start was her birthday,” Faulkner said. “She drove 14 hours in one day, stayed, and I flew her back home the next day. It was the happiest I’ve ever seen her on her birthday.”

Faulkner is pretty jacked up about the move himself. Although he enjoyed his half-season stay in Myrtle Beach, he is the 12th Pelican to be promoted this year, so he already has a lot of friends and familiar faces in Frisco.

“I knew most of them from spring training but I know even more of them now from playing with them this year in Myrtle Beach,” Faulkner said. “It’s nice to come in, and already know a lot of people.”

It’s his first time away from the East Coast after being based in the South Atlantic and Carolina Leagues. But, if he continues to pitch lights out like he did in Myrtle Beach, Faulkner can get used to moving.

“It’s was always nice when I was in those leagues, where I could  see my friends and family a whole lot more,” he said, “but its an honor and a privilege to be out here.”

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