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Gerrit Cole Strikes Out Six In Altoona Debut

Top Pirates prospect Gerrit Cole made his Class AA debut for the Altoona Curve Wednesday night and was impressive, striking out six batters and walking none in five innings en route to a 9-4 victory.

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Cole got his first Class AA strikeout with one out in a 1-2-3 first inning by whiffing Chris Herrmann. He sat down the first nine batters he faced before allowing a double to Aaron Hicks, who led off the fourth inning. Chris Colabello singled Hicks home. Cole also allowed a run on a single by Hicks the next inning.

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The Pirates probably hope that Cole can breeze through Class AA, be with Class AAA Indianapolis at the beginning of 2013, and be in the majors later that year. That's a very reasonable timetable for a college pitcher taken with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2011 MLB Draft.

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For more on the Pirates, check out Bucs Dugout.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.