By Judy Steffes Special to Published Aug 14, 2008 at 4:58 PM

WEST BEND -- West Bend East High School graduate Ryan Rohlinger made it to the big show last night, starting at third base for the San Francisco Giants.

Rohlinger, 24, went 1 for 4 at the plate with an RBI double in the seventh inning. He also committed with a pair of errors, both overthrows to first base.

"Anything he does from here on out will be an improvement," joked Doug Gonring, who was coach at West Bend East when Rohlinger was a Suns standout from 1999 to 2002.

Gonring shrugged off Rohlinger's throwing errors, saying the young player does better under pressure.

"That was always Ryan; give him too much time to think about the throw and that'll hurt him."

There were about 30 people at Gonring's Kewaskum home, watching Rohlinger make his major league debut.

Family, friends and former coaches all groaned when the network television announcers mispronounced Rohlinger's name.

"He'll have to have a couple of hits and then they'll know his name," said Gonring.

In West Bend, the Rohlinger family gathered at Bender's Sports Bar. Brother Matt Rohlinger said they were with Ryan in Akron, Ohio, when he got the call.

"We traveled to Akron to see his Connecticut Defenders Double-A team play," said Matt. "After the game, we were sitting in the hotel watching the Olympics, Ryan said he was going to bed and a half hour later he walked back in and said ‘Pack your bags I'm leaving for Houston.'"

Rohlinger slept little, and within the next eight hours found his way from the Akron airport on a flight to Houston. His orange and black Giants number 57 uniform with his name on back was waiting for him when he arrived.

The Giants lost to Houston last night, 6-2, and dropped a 7-4 decision this afternoon. Rohlinger went 0 for 4 in the matinee. Gonring expects Rohlinger to remain with the Giants through the rest of the season.

Judy Steffes Special to

Judy is a Milwaukee native who is ever exploring the country. Her favorite mode of travel is her 21-speed, blue Centurion bicycle, which she bought after high school. Judy has worked in the local media for the past 20 years. "I need to do something to support my biking habit."

Judy has an extensive history in radio news, having worked at WISN, WUWM, WTMJ, WKTY in La Crosse and WBKV in West Bend. A strong interest in sports also had Judy reporting for ESPN Radio covering the Packers, Buck, Brewers and Badgers. "One of my first Brewer games at County Stadium the security guy yelled as I walked into the locker room ‘LADY IN THE LOCKER ROOM.’ Now it’s so commonplace. But that story makes me sound really old."

Judy is currently working at WISN-TV in Milwaukee. She is a freelance writer and her pieces have been seen in The Small Business Times and The Business Journal. Her travel journal has appeared in Minnesota Trails Magazine, The Statesman and the West Bend Daily News, to name a few.

Aside from biking, running and being active in her community, Judy is known as someone who is "very, very thrifty." "I get candles for Christmas. My friends call them my space heaters because I normally keep the heat in my house at 40 degrees during the winter. It’s not that I can’t afford to turn up the thermostat, I just hate paying for heat."

Judy said her "conservative attitude" plays a part in her bike tours ... not needing to pay for gas and frequently spending nights camping inside churches. "First of all, it makes me feel safe since I’m traveling alone and second all you’re doing is sleeping, so why pay for that. It’s no wonder I can’t ever get someone to travel with me."

Judy grew up in Whitefish Bay and graduated from Dominican High School and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Judy is the second oldest among seven siblings and spends a lot of her time working as a "park tester" along with her eight nieces and nephews.