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Former Vol Ben Joyce Called Up to Major League Baseball

Ben Joyce
Rocket City Trash Pandas relief pitcher Ben Joyce. Photo via @TrashPandas on Twitter.

Former Tennessee Volunteer Ben Joyce is being called up to Major League Baseball.

According to J.P. Hoornstra of the Los Angeles Daily News, Joyce is being promoted to the Los Angeles Angels from Double-A Rocket City. The Angels are set to take on the Miami Marlins on Sunday.

The 6-foot-5, 225-pound relief pitcher played his high school ball at Farragut High School before starting his career at Walter State Community College. Joyce would eventually make his in-game debut for Tennessee as a redshirt junior during the record-setting 2022 baseball season.

During that season, on May 1, 2022, Joyce recorded the fastest pitch in college baseball history with a 105.5 MPH fastball against the Auburn Tigers in Knoxville.

The move to send Joyce up to the Angels looks to be in response to the organization putting 33-year-old relief pitcher Matt Moore on the 15-day injured list after an oblique strain. That sets up Joyce, the 22-year-old third-round draft selection from Knoxville, as the Angels’ replacement.

More from RTI: Former Tennessee Star Drew Gilbert Promoted Just 21 Games Into Season

During his 27 appearances in the minor leagues in 2022 and 2023, Joyce has a 3.45 ERA, five holds, five saves, and has given up 11 earned runs in 28.2 innings. While Joyce didn’t get off to the greatest start for Rocket City this season, the former Volunteer and Knoxville native has found much more of a groove in the last month or so.

“Joyce has been much sharper over the past month, logging a 3.27 ERA, 1.00 WHIP and 17:6 K:BB in 11 innings over his last nine appearances,” CBS Sports wrote. “He could immediately step into a key setup role in front of closer Carlos Estevez as he matriculates to the big leagues.”

Ben Joyce is now the first player from Tennessee’s record-setting 2022 team to reach Major League Baseball.

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