Hero Cat -- the feline who fought off a ferocious dog to protect a child -- is gettin' called up to the minors ... and will THROW OUT the first pitch at a minor league baseball game next week ... TMZ Sports has learned.
The Bakersfield Blaze -- the Class A affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds -- has reached out to the cat's people hoping to get Tara (that's her name) to make the ceremonial first pitch at a game next week.
A rep for the team tells us ... the owner of the cat ACCEPTED THE OFFER ... and Tara (along with the boy she saved) will take the mound to throw out the first pitch on May 20th.
Unclear who will actually throw the ball (hopefully the cat!!) ... but we'll be sure to post the footage as soon as it goes down.