Eric Fryer was at a Panera Bread restaurant in Indianapolis with his wife, Allison, and 11-month-old son, Caleb, when he received a phone call with news that would change their lives.

Eric Fryer was at a Panera Bread restaurant in Indianapolis with his wife, Allison, and 11-month-old son, Caleb, when he received a phone call with news that would change their lives.

He was going to the major leagues.

Fryer, a 2004 Reynoldsburg High School graduate, made his debut on June 26 for the Pittsburgh Pirates. Starting at catcher, Fryer batted eighth and went 0-for-3 with a walk in the Pirates' 4-2 loss to the Boston Red Sox at PNC Park in Pittsburgh.

He was called up from Triple-A Indianapolis the previous day and arrived at the ballpark just before a 6-4 win over the Red Sox.

"Honestly, it's been kind of crazy. I just missed getting a flight to Pittsburgh and ended up driving from Indy to Pittsburgh and the game (June 25)," Fryer said. "It was a long day, but exciting. I was in the bullpen during the national anthem and I kind of just looked around and said to myself, 'This is really going on.'"

During the June 26 game, Boston stole two bases on Fryer and he threw out Darnell McDonald at second base. He also was involved in a home-plate collision with David Ortiz in the seventh inning and struck out swinging against closer Jonathan Papelbon in the ninth.

"There was quite a bit of stuff, sort of a trial by fire," Fryer said.

Fryer led Reynoldsburg to district championships in 2003 and 2004 and to a regional title in 2004. As a pitcher, he allowed one run in nine innings of a 2-1, 10-inning loss to Mentor in a Division I state semifinal in 2004. He had a .544 batting average and a .697 on-base percentage in 2004, and was a first-team all-state selection. His wife also is a 2004 Reynoldsburg graduate.

Fryer is the first Reynoldsburg graduate to play in the majors since 1988 graduate Mike Matheny, a catcher from 1994-2006 with the Milwaukee Brewers, Toronto Blue Jays, St. Louis Cardinals and San Francisco Giants. Matheny won gold gloves with the Cardinals in 2000, 2003 and 2004, and with the Giants in 2005.

Dave Starling, who coached the Reynoldsburg baseball team from 1983-2009, attended Fryer's first two games.

"It's pretty amazing. I'm so thrilled for Eric and his family," Starling said. "He just does everything the right way and it's always been that way. He's so deserving of this. When I got the call, the thrill is like hearing about one of your own."

Fryer played at Ohio State for three seasons and batted .322 in 2007, his junior year. He was named second-team All-Big Ten Conference in 2006 and 2007. The Buckeyes played in the NCAA tournament in Fryer's freshman and junior seasons.

The Milwaukee Brewers drafted Fryer in the 10th round of the 2007 draft. In 2009, he was traded to the New York Yankees and then to the Pirates.

Parents Joe and Robin Fryer went to Pittsburgh for their son's debut. Joe Fryer coached his son at many levels over the years, including as an assistant at Reynoldsburg.

"I'm really excited for him. He's worked hard and dreamed about this and it came true for him," Joe Fryer said. "It was special to see him in uniform. I had a tear in my eye. It's a neat thing. I'm as proud as any dad can be of all three sons (Matt and Tim also graduated from Reynoldsburg). They are all good students, people and athletes. With this for Eric, it's his profession and it's just one of those special moments for any parent."

Robin Fryer agreed.

"I'm at a loss for words. All of his hard work over the years has given him this opportunity," she said. "It hasn't sunk in yet."

Eric Fryer, who is 6-foot-2 and 215 pounds, started this season at Double-A Altoona and batted .345 with five home runs and 16 RBI in 37 games. He played 21 games at Indianapolis and batted .262 with two home runs and nine RBI.

He has played catcher, left field and right field this season but Pittsburgh intends to use him at catcher. He is the seventh player the Pirates have used at catcher this season.

Michael McKenry is expected to receive the majority of playing time behind the plate for Pittsburgh - with Fryer as his backup - while Chris Snyder is out with a back injury (60-day disabled list) and Ryan Doumit is out with an ankle injury (15-day DL).

Fryer will try to make the most of the opportunity.

"It's our team philosophy since spring training when (Pirates manager) Clint Hurdle told us to adapt to adversity and move forward," Fryer said. "You've got to step in and fill the shoes, move forward and produce."

Current Reynoldsburg baseball coach Rob Gravatt was the hitting coach during Fryer's junior and senior seasons.

"He taught me more than I taught him," Gravatt said. "I'm excited for him; you don't run into many players like him. His work ethic, leadership, intensity and competitiveness make him almost a perfect player. They all go together to make up Eric Fryer."

Fryer said he's received some good advice with a common theme.

"It's the same game I've always played, there are just more people watching," he said of playing with the Pirates. "People have told me to have fun and enjoy it. It's just like any other team I've played on. The other players are just regular people and we're out there playing the game."