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Life in the Big Leagues

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Evan Marshall with the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2014. (All photos by Jennifer Stewart/Arizonan Diamondbacks)

June 13, 2014
By Kelly McHugh

Now a month into his big league career, Major League Baseball has been everything Evan Marshall dreamed of - and a little more.

After getting drafted in the fourth round of the 2011 MLB Draft by the Arizona Diamondbacks, the former Wildcat pitcher spent three years in the minor leagues before getting called up for his MLB debut with the Diamondbacks on May 6, 2014.

"It's the best; I have absolutely nothing bad to say about it," said Marshall on the phone from his hotel in Denver, Colorado, last week. "It's what I've looked forward to for so long. I've worked so hard to get here that just being here feels surreal. The stadiums are huge, the crowds are loud, they feed you great food and you get to pitch on a big league diamonds - that's pretty awesome."

During the past month, he has played in 14 games for the Diamondbacks and, in his 15 innings pitched, has a 1.80 ERA with 16 strikeouts. 

"It's a lot of fun. You're playing in stadiums and seeing landmarks that you've only seen on TV before," continued Marshall. "It's like being a tourist but you put a uniform on and play at night. I started in Milwaukee, went to Chicago, all places I'd never been. St. Louis, never been there, New York City, that was pretty cool, we got to see time Times Square."

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Marshall laughed. The only thing he didn't like about New York City was how crowded it was, but, nevertheless, his team left the Big Apple with a two-game sweep over the Mets. 

During his three years at K-State the Sunnyvale, California, native registered a 3.55 ERA in 85 career appearances. In 2011, his junior season, he had a 1.62 ERA and 55 strikeouts in 30 games, helping K-State to its third consecutive NCAA Regional Tournament. An All-Big 12 Second Team selection in 2010, Marshall is second in school history in career appearances.

"My time at K-State was incredible," Marshall said. "The philosophy the program has about hard work is what got my career started. I went from throwing in the mid 80s to throwing in the mid 90s just from growing up and from how hard we worked out. That's directly what I looked back at as to why I got drafted where I did.

"The time at K-State was more about building, getting stronger, and then the time in pro ball is more about refining, fine tuning your craft because you've already built up all the strength that you need."

It was 10 a.m. (MT) during Marshall's conversation with K-State Sports Extra, and, as he lounged in his Denver hotel room, he explained he didn't have to leave for Coors Field until later that afternoon. The Diamondbacks were about to take on the Colorado Rockies for the third game of the series and were coming off of back-to-back wins in Mile High City. 

"Today it would be awesome if we could go out and get a win," he said. "Colorado plays pretty good at home, but right now, we're seeming to do pretty hot ourselves. It all starts with our starter doing well, and the bullpen has just really been pitching great lately. The timely hitting from our hitters has really been coming around too, so if we swept Colorado today that would be awesome."

Around 1 p.m., that afternoon, Marshall explained he would dress in his suit and tie, the bellhop would pick up his bags and he would join his team bussing to the evening's game where Diamondbacks wound up beating the Rockies, 12-7.  Then, directly after the game, the team headed to the airport to return to Phoenix for a series against the Braves beginning the following evening at their home stadium. 

"That's the one thing that's different about the big leagues," said Marshall, "the cross country flight after a night game. Then you have to get home and get some sleep, wake up and do it again. It can be taxing; but it's nothing to complain about."

While the former Wildcat is now living his dream and traveling the United States playing the game he loves, he said he still runs into K-Staters every now and then, and that is something that is really special to him. 

"I'm still a member of the Wildcat Nation. Everywhere I go I'll see people with K-State stuff on and that's always a conversation starter for me," Marshall concluded. "I made a lot of great friends at K-State, and I absolutely love Manhattan. I'd like to come back and visit this offseason."

 

We hope you enjoy K-State Sports Extra. We would like to hear your comments and any story ideas for future emails, so fire them our way. Contact Kelly McHugh or K-State Assistant AD for Communications Kenny Lannou.