CORPUS CHRISTI - Former Islander Matt Holland made his professional baseball debut on Tuesday, playing for the GCL Phillies in an 8-2 win over the GCL Tigers. Holland made it a memorable one, as he played at DH and went 2-for-4 with two runs and an RBI in his first career appearance.
His first time at the plate, he batted with Brian Pointer on third base and one out. The Watkins, Iowa, native laced a line-drive single to center to give the Phillies a 2-0 lead for an RBI base-knock in his first career at-bat. After moving to third on a pair of wild pitches, Holland trotted home on a ground-rule double by Peter Lavin to score the third Phillies run.
After being called out on strikes in the fourth, Holland came up with one on and one out in the sixth, and reached when he beat out an infield single to third for his second hit. He later came home on a Lavin single as the Phillies pushed their lead to 8-2. Holland struck out swinging in the seventh to end his day.
Holland's hits came off of Guido Knudson, a 28th round pick out of UC San Diego, and Endrys Briceno, a projectable prospect signed in 2009 out of Venezuela.
Holland and Todd Simko (Nationals) are both in the Gulf Coast League after being the highest two draft choices in Islanders history. Holland was selected as an All-American by both the American Baseball Coaches Association and Collegiate Baseball Newspaper this year.