The right-hander was a senior at Virginia Tech and lost a pitcher’s duel with Notre Dame’s Sean Fitzgerald. The Irish beat the Hokies 2-1 in an Atlantic Coast Conference baseball game on March 21, 2014.
Markey tossed an eight-inning complete game with six strikeouts and three walks. He yielded six hits and two earned runs in the 107-pitch outing. He pitched eight innings in a 3-0 loss against ND in Cary, N.C., in 2013.
Since being selected by the Chicago Cubs in the 19th round of the 2014 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft, Markey has made 26 appearances — all in relief.
With the South Bend Cubs rotation shaken up by recent multiple roster moves, the Maryland native is slated to make his first professional start Wednesday, July 1, against the Lansing Lugnuts at Four Winds Field.
“I’ve been a starter my whole life,” Markey said of his baseball career prior to the summer of 2014, which had him toeing rubbers for C. Milton Wright High School in Bel Air, Md., Georgia Tech in Atlanta and Santa Fe Community College in Gainesville, Fla., before Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Va.
“(The Cubs) are going to have me start a game until everyone is back on track,” Markey said of the spot assignment. “You just have to do what they tell you and trust in my pitching.
“If I’m going to be a starter or reliever, a specialist, whatever it is, when they call on me I’m going to be ready,” he said.
Markey, who made his South Bend Cubs debut May 17 with four innings of shutout relief at Great Lakes, has known for about a week that he might be called upon to start so he could begin his mental preparation.
The physical part won’t be that much different except he will begin the game and be expected to have a longer mound stint.
“I’m going to stay with my same routine as far as stretching and warming up,” Markey said.
As for his arsenal of pitches, that will situational.
“It depends on what I see in the batters,” Markey said. “If I only need two pitches, I’ll go with that. But if I see they’re catching up with something or something is not working that day, I’ll mix all my pitches in.”
A two-time All-ACC academic team member, Markey majored in business at Virginia Tech with a concentration in entrepreneurship, innovation and technology management.
Markey enjoys coming up with new business models and marketing plans.
“Some of the guys on the team, we decided we’re going to start a business one of these day,” Markey said. “We’ll see where it takes us.”
What does it mean to be a Hokie?
“Hokie is like a family,” Markey said. “You got back there and you are welcomed by everybody, professors and staff and everyone you see.
“Once a Hokie, always a Hokie,” he added.
Many South Bend Cubs have a walk-up song (for batters) or entry song (for pitchers). Since the 23-year-old Markey joined the team more than a month into the season, he does not have one.
If he did, what would it be?
“Probably a Taylor Swift song,” Markey said. “Absolutely.”