Hunter Pence's three-run double breaks open Game 7 in the third inning. (Photo: Kyle Terada, USA TODAY Sports)
Video - Pence's two-run double
Hunter Pence (Mohawks 2002) and the San Francisco Giants are headed to the 2012 Major League Baseball World Series. Monday night, the Giants defeated the St. Louis Cardinals, 9-0, in Game 7 of the National League Championship Series to earn a spot in the World Series against the American League champion Detroit Tigers. The World Series is scheduled to begin on Wednesday, Oct. 24, in San Francisco.
The Giants took control of Monday night’s Game 7 with a five-run surge in the third inning. Hunter Pence was the catalyst of the five-run rally. Pence was the first batter St. Louis reliever Joel Kelly faced in the bottom of the third inning with no outs and the bases loaded. At the time, San Francisco held a 2-0 lead. Pence connected on a double into center field that, along with a St. Louis error, cleared the bases and increased the Giants’ lead to 5-0. Three batters later, Pence scored on a Brandon Crawford fielders’ choice.
The Arlington, Texas, native began the 2012 season as the starting right fielder for the Philadelphia Phillies. He appeared in 101 games for Philadelphia and batted .271 with 17 home runs and 59 RBI. On July 31, Pence was traded to San Francisco in exchange for three prospects. Hunter finished the regular season with 24 home runs and 104 RBI in 160 games.
Ten years ago, Pence was a member of the Schenectady (now Amsterdam) Mohawks. Pence chose to play for the Mohawks despite being selected by the Milwaukee Brewers in the 40th round of the 2002 MLB First-Year Player Draft. He had just finished his first collegiate season at Texarkana J.C. and was slated to play for UT-Arlington in 2003.
The future Major League all-star played in 30 games for the Mohawks. He batted .316 with one home run, 13 RBI, 36 hits and six stolen bases. The 2002 Mohawks finished the 42-game regular season with a league-best 30 victories. Schenectady swept Mohawk Valley in the divisional playoffs but fell just one win short in the league championship series.
Two summers later, Pence was taken by the Houston Astros in the second round (64th overall) of the 2004 MLB First-Year Player Draft. Hunter spent parts of four seasons in the minor leagues before making his Major League debut with the Astros in 2007. Through the first five years of his Major League career, Pence was selected to two All-Star Games (2009, 2011).