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Pair of Aggies Help A's to MLB Playoffs

October 04, 2012
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Courtesy: Associated Press
(photo: Associated Press)

COLLEGE STATION, Texas - Former Texas A&M Baseball standouts Cliff Pennington and Brandon Hicks celebrated an American League West title with the Oakland Athletics after their 12-5 dismantling of the Texas Rangers on Wednesday afternoon. The pair helped the A's win their first division crown since 2006.

Pennington appeared in 125 games for the A's, including 90 starts at shortstop and 26 starts at second base. The Corpus Christi native provided a solid glove up the middle, committing just 11 errors while helping turn 70 double plays and post a .983 fielding percentage. Offensively, he registered 50 runs, 18 doubles, two triples, six home runs, 28 RBI and 15 stolen bases in 418 at-bats.

Hicks played in 22 games as an infielder. He started 16 games at shortstop, one at first base and one at second base. He logged eight runs, five doubles, three home runs and seven RBI in 64 at-bats.

Both players are current members of the Athletics' 40-man roster. Oakland will announce its 25-man roster for the best-of-five AL Division Series (ALDS) against the Detroit Tigers on Friday.  The series starts on Saturday with the first two games at Comerica Park. Oakland will host the last three games of the series.

Jason Tyner was the last Aggie to appear in the playoffs, advancing to the ALDS with the 2006 Minnesota Twins.

Pennington and Hicks are looking to join six former Texas A&M players to play in the World Series, including Chuck Knoblauch, Mark Thurmond, Doug Rau, Davey Johnson, Wally Moon and Rip Collins. Three Aggies have won a combined nine World Series titles, including Knoblauch (four), Johnson (three) and Moon (two).

Chuck Knoblauch leads all Aggies with five WS appearances and four titles. He won a crown with the Twins in 1991 and three consecutive championships with the Yankees from 1998-2000. He also lost a World Series with the Yankees in 2001.

Mark Thurmond played for the 1984 edition of the San Diego Padres who lost to the Detroit Tigers in the World Series.

Davey Johnson appeared in four World Series, winning the 1966 edition with the Los Angeles Dodgers and the '70 and '71 titles with the Baltimore Orioles. He lost the '69 World Series as a member of the Orioles.

Wally Moon won world titles with the Dodgers in 1959 and '65.

Doug Rau was on the losing end of the World Series with the Dodgers in 1977 and '78.

Rip Collins was the first Aggie to appear in a World Series, as a member of the 1921 Yankees who lost to the New York Giants.

Two other former Aggies played in the majors in 2012.

Brooks Raley made his MLB debut on Aug. 7, 2012, becoming the 49th former A&M player to reach the big leagues. He went 1-2 in five starts with the Chicago Cubs, fanning 16 in 24.1 innings.

Justin Ruggiano played in 91 games for the Miami Marlins, starting 74 games in the outfield. He hit .313 with 38 runs, 23 doubles, one triple, 13 home runs, 36 RBI and 14 stolen bases in 288 at-bats.

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