|Updated: 10/19/2012 10:00 am
||Published: 10/19/2012 9:58 am
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Former Razorback Drew Smyly and the Detroit Tigers have advanced to the World Series after defeating Oakland in five games in the American League Division Series and sweeping the New York Yankees in the AL Championship Series.
Smyly's appearance in the World Series marks the sixth-consecutive year a former Razorback will be playing in the Fall Classic. Eric Hinske played in the World Series in 2007 (Red Sox), 2008 (Rays) and 2009 (Yankees), Craig Gentry made it to the World Series in 2010 (Rangers) and 2011 (Rangers) and Cliff Lee played in the World Series in 2009 (Phillies) and 2010 (Rangers).
Smyly made two scoreless appearances during the ALCS. The left hander picked up the win in game one of the series at Yankee Stadium, shutting down the Yankees’ offense in extra innings. Smyly tossed two innings and struck out two en route to becoming the first rookie to ever win an extra-inning postseason game at Yankee Stadium as a visiting pitcher.
Smyly also came out of the bullpen in game four of the series on Thursday. He was brought in with two outs, runners on first and third and Yankee slugger Alex Rodriguez at the plate. Smyly got Rodriguez to fly out to center field to end the threat and keep the Tigers in front. Detroit went on to win the game, 8-1, and clinch a spot in the World Series.
The success in the ALCS was a continuation of the stellar rookie season that Smyly has enjoyed. He finished the regular season with a 4-3 record and a 3.99 ERA in 23 appearances, including 18 starts.
Smyly and the Tigers open the 2012 World Series on Wednesday, October 24, against the winner of the National League Championship Series between the St. Louis Cardinals and the San Francisco Giants. All World Series games will be televised on FOX.