Kolten Wong performed close to flawlessly in his professional baseball debut today, helping the Quad Cities River Bandits to an 8-3 win over visiting Cedar Rapids in Davenport, Iowa.
He went 2-for-2 with two RBIs and a run, and fielded his second-base position without an error. The only blemish was when he was caught stealing in the third inning.
"It was everything I could ever dream of," Wong said afterward. "It was an experience I can take with me for the rest of my life."
Wong, batting third, drove in teammate Ronny Gil from third base with a fly to center, giving Quad Cities a 1-0 lead in the first inning.
His second time up, in the third inning, Wong got his first hit as a pro, a single with two out and none on. He was then caught stealing.
Wong brought home another run in the fifth, as he was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded. That scored the first of three runs in the inning, giving the River Bandits a 5-1 lead.
After turning a double play in the top of the seventh with the bases loaded and one out, Wong singled sharply to right in the bottom of the inning and later scored on a ground out, upping the QC lead to 7-1.
Wong, who just completed his third year as a star at the University of Hawaii, was picked 22nd in the draft by the St. Louis Cardinals earlier this month and signed a contract with a $1.3 million bonus Sunday.
Wong, 20, is from Hilo and is a graduate of Kamehameha-Hawaii.