PITTSBURGH - COLLEGE STATION, Texas – Former Texas A&M pitcher Michael Wacha earned the victory for the St. Louis Cardinals in a 2-1 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates in National League Division Series play at PNC Park on Monday afternoon.
It marked the first-ever post-season win by a former Texas A&M pitcher.
In front of a stadium-record crowd in Pittsburgh, Wacha took a no-hitter into the eighth inning. According to Elias Sports Bureau, it was the longest no-hit bid by a rookie in postseason history. The previous long was by Jeff Tesreau of the New York Giants against the Boston Red Sox in Game One of the 1912 World Series. Tesreau went 5.1 hitless innings before eventually losing 4-3.
The rookie allowed just one hit, a solo home run to Pedro Alvarez with one out in the eighth inning. Wacha yielded just two walks while striking out nine over 7.1 innings.
The last pitching appearance by a former A&M player was by Kelly Wunsch who appeared in three games out of the bullpen for the Chicago White Sox against the Seattle Mariners in the 2000 American League Division Series.
Wacha was the first Aggie to start a postseason game since Mark Thurmond took the mound for the San Diego Padres in Game Five of the 1984 World Series against the Detroit Tigers.
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.
The Cardinals win evened the best-of-five series at 2-2 with the deciding game to be played in St. Louis on Wednesday.
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