Sox Intern Makes Memorable Appearance
Each intern for the Butler BlueSox gets the chance to fill many roles throughout the summer, whether it is
selling tickets, helping fans find their seats, or working the scoreboard. But on Sunday night Nate Sphon found himself in
a place none of them ever have before: on the pitcher's mound.
After arriving at the ballpark early in the day to complete his internship duties, Nate capped the night by
throwing the final two innings of Monday's game against the Lorain Ironmen.
"We knew early on that Nate had a baseball background, which is part of the reason we were excited to have
him as an intern," said BlueSox general manager Matt Cunningham. "When I heard [BlueSox manager Anthony Rebyanski] needed
a pitcher I told him about Nate."
With the season waning, Butler has, like most teams, been lacking arms and Cunningham, who oversees the interns
and front office staff more than the players, saw potential in the junior from Point Park University, who had a 2.89 ERA
over 53 innings this season.
"We had him come in and throw a bullpen, and we like what we saw," said Rebyanski. "We only have one lefty
in the bullpen now, so [Nate] will compliment him well."
"Coming to the games every day [as an intern], I thought it would be a cool experience to pitch here," said
Sphon. He was part of a strong rotation a Point Park, which finished 40-18 this spring. Before attending Point Park, he graduated
from Greensburg-Salem High School where he was a pitcher and started at quarterback.
"I've played with a lot of these guys before, so I was comfortable with the atmosphere," said Sphon, "I knew
that I could get the call at any time."
His number was called in the eighth inning on Monday.
After allowing a leadoff single, he induced a 4-3 double play on the next pitch. He struck out Lorain's first
baseman Lou Peterlin to end the inning. He got two quick flyouts in the ninth, walked Tyler Bires on a full count and allowed
a single to Nate Langhals that scored the speedy Bires, who was in motion on the pitch. He got another groundout to second
base to end the frame.
Even with the Sox already trailing by five, he was upset about allowing the run.
"He did well, you can't base much on [allowing that run] in just one outing," said Rebyanski, "He will help
us in the bullpen and with this last stretch we're going to need everyone to get wins."
Even after being added to the roster, Cunningham complimented his dedication, "Nate has continued to uphold
his responsibilities as an intern by coming in during afternoon shifts."
Regardless of his role, Sphon is already looking towards Tuesday, when he will again help the front office
again before making his way to the bullpen to prepare for the game. "I'm here to help the team make the post-season," he said.
The BlueSox succumed to the Ironmen, 6-2. The loss snapped their 11-game win streak, which tied an all-time
Prospect League record. The two teams will play again at the KAP on Tuesday at 6:35pm.