CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- As far as former Hurricane High School baseball star Alex Wilson is concerned, it's no big deal to be the second Major Leaguer born in Saudi Arabia.
In fact, he's in much the same situation of Major League Baseball's first Saudi-born player - Craig Stansberry.
Stansberry lived in Saudi Arabia for about a month.
"I've been asked about it about 100 times over the last four days," said the 26-year-old Wilson, who was promoted from Class AAA Pawtucket to the Boston Red Sox on April 10 and made his Major League debut a day later. "They ask, why am I from Saudi Arabia and do I remember it? No, I don't remember it. Dad was working in the oil and gas industry and that I happened to come along over there."
These are good times for the former Daily Mail Putnam County Player of the Year, who has played at two colleges, had Tommy John surgery and spent four years in the minor league system of the Red Sox.
Wilson made his Majors debut last Thursday against the Baltimore Orioles.
The circumstances were anticlimactic at best for the baseball fan, but nerve-wracking, to say the least, for the 6-foot right-hander.
The Red Sox trailed 3-2 in the top of the ninth and Wilson was called from the bullpen to keep the deficit at one to give his team a chance for a comeback in the bottom of the inning.
"The first batter I was definitely nervous," said Wilson, who walked Manny Machado on five pitches. "I couldn't find the zone really. Salty (catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia) came out and just said, 'Let's go, lock it in.' As soon as he turned around and walked back, (Dustin) Pedroia came over and said, 'Have fun, just have fun.' I took a deep breath and got back to what I do."
Four pitches later, Nick Markakis ground into a double play and Wilson finished the inning by striking out Adam Jones swinging on three pitches.
"It was nice to go out there and have a nice clean inning and take a step in the right direction," he said. "I wanted to get the first-game jitters out of the way and be a good, consistent arm for the team."
He was a long way from this dream six years ago.
Wilson's good, consistent arm broke down in 2007 following Tommy John surgery. He was miserable, but maintained the focus that he has had for much of his teenage life and beyond - to make it to the Majors.
He threw 138 pitches as a freshman at Winthrop University. He was 6-4 with a 2.51 ERA in 111 1/3 innings as a sophomore before a bone chip was discovered in his elbow during play in the Cape Cod League.