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Entering this season, Trent Fennell said he had hoped he might find himself pitching for the Colorado Rockies’ Single-A minor league affiliate, the Asheville Tourists. Instead, he was sent to the Rockies’ Class A-Short Season squad, the Boise Hawks, to start off the year.
But the Barton College and Triton High alumnus didn’t hang his head. Instead, he continued to work hard and make the most of his opportunities. It’s his first season as a full-time reliever, and in his four appearances with Boise, he posted a 3.24 ERA and an impressive 14.0 strikeouts per nine innings.
That performance seemed good enough to turn a few heads in the Rockies’ organization, as Fennell was called up to pitch for the Triple-A Albuquerque Isotopes on June 29.
Fennell pitched a 1-2-3 inning with two strikeouts in relief June 27 against the Eugene Emeralds, and was warming up to come in again on Friday, June 28, when the Boise pitching coach came out to shut him down.
“I didn’t know what was going on,” Fennell said. “But he told me it wasn’t a bad thing.”
They called him into the office after the game to let him know that he’d be brought up, though they weren’t sure where. Fennell figured he’d might get the call to come back to his home state and pitch for the Tourists. Instead, he jumped three classifications up to Albuquerque.
“I was definitely surprised,” Fennell said. “But I was also really excited. Not a lot of guys get the chance to pitch at the Triple-A level, so I was definitely thankful for the opportunity.”
Fennell made his debut with the Isotopes on July 1 in Sacramento, California, against the River Cats. He came in with two outs in the fourth inning. He closed out the frame and tossed a scoreless fifth with a strikeout, and was credited with the win.
Fennell was happy to have his family in Sacramento to see him pitch.
“They were in Boise when I got the call up,” Fennell said. “My girlfriend’s dad works in the airline industry, so luckily we were able to get them a flight out to Sacramento. I’m really glad that they were able to be there for such a big moment. I wouldn’t be here without all of their love and support over the years.”
Fennell was told the assignment would only be temporary, and that he’d likely be sent back down to Boise, which he was the next day, July 2. However, his stay in Boise didn’t last long either as Fennell was promoted again, this time to the Rockies’ Advanced-A California League affiliate, the Lancaster JetHawks. Lancaster is located in northern Los Angeles County.
In his only appearance for the JetHawks, Fennell worked three shutout innings in relief in Lancaster’s 4-2 win over Inland Empire on Monday night. He gave up one hit, walked none and struck out five.