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Wacha Named NLCS Most Valuable Player

October 19, 2013
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Courtesy: Texas A&M Athletics
(photo: Texas A&M Athletics)

COLLEGE STATION, Texas – Continuing his prolific rookie campaign, former Texas A&M pitcher Michael Wacha was named the National League Championship Series MVP following the St. Louis Cardinals’ series-clinching 9-0 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday evening.

In the NLCS, Wacha twice faced Cy Young Award front-runner Clayton Kershaw and came out with victories in both contests, including a 1-0 win in Game Two and the 9-0 victory in Game Six.

For the NLCS, the right-hander pitched 13.2 shutout innings. He allowed just seven hits and two walks while striking out 13 in the two triumphs.

It marked just the fifth time a rookie captured a postseason MVP award. He joined the Dodgers’ Larry Sherry (1959 World Series), the Baltimore Orioles’ Mike Boddicker (1983 ALCS) and the Florida Marlins’ Livan Hernandez (1997 NLCS and 1997 World Series) in accomplishing the feat.

In Game Two, Wacha worked 6.2 scoreless innings, scattering five hits and one walk while striking out eight in the 1-0 win.

On Friday, Wacha pitched 7.0 shutout frames, allowing just two runs and one walk while striking out five. At the plate, Wacha also scored a run and drove in a run in the 9-0 win.

In the National League Division Series, Wacha earned a road victory in a 2-1 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates to stave off elimination in Game Four. He carried a no-hitter into the eighth inning and earned the win, allowing one run on one hit and two walks while striking out nine over 7.1 innings.

The Texarkana, Texas native appeared in 15 games, including nine starts, during the regular-season. He went 4-1 with a 2.78 ERA and 65 strikeouts in 64.2 innings.

Wacha joined Tim Wakefield (1982 – NLCS) and Tim Belcher (1988 – NLCS) as the only rookies to win two starts in a League Championship Series.

The win on Sunday sent the Cardinals to their 19th World Series where they will face either the Boston Red Sox or Detroit Tigers starting on Tuesday.

On May 30, Wacha became the 56th former A&M player to reach the major leagues when he faced the Kansas City Royals at Busch Stadium. The right-hander was a first-round selection for the Cardinals with the 19th overall pick in the 2012 MLB First-Year Player Draft.

In his three-year Aggie career, the 6-foot-6 hurler posted a 27-7 record with a 2.40 ERA and 336 strikeouts, the fourth most all-time at Texas A&M. His 27 victories are tied for seventh all-time with Aggie legend Casey Fossum.

Wacha went 9-1 with a 2.06 ERA and 116 strikeouts in 113.1 innings for the Aggies as a junior in 2012. He was named All-America Second Team by Baseball America and Collegiate Baseball and Third Team by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association.

In 2011, he helped guide the Aggies to the College World Series, registering a 9-4 record with a 2.29 ERA and 123 strikeouts in 129.2 innings. Wacha garnered Baseball America All-America Third Team recognition for his work.

As a freshman, Wacha was 9-2 with a 2.90 ERA, one save and 97 strikeouts in 105.2 innings.

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