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Former Arizona pitcher Kevin Ginkel helps D’Backs return to World Series

Been a long time since a Wildcat has played in the Fall Classic

arizona-wildcats-baseball-kevin-ginkel-diamondbacks-mlb-world-series-kenny-lofton-jt-snow-2023-texas Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

If you don’t have a rooting interest in either of the teams set to play in the World Series, might you consider jumping on the Ginkel Train?

ormer Arizona Wildcats pitcher Kevin Ginkel has played a key role in getting the Arizona Diamondbacks from the last team into the playoffs to a surprise World Series berth. The D’Backs clinched their first WS appearance since 2001, when they won it all, by beating the Philadelphia Phillies 4-2 on Tuesday night to claim the National League Championship Series in seven games.

And as he has been in so many victories this season, Ginkel was there to help secure that win down the stretch.

The 29-year-old right-hander threw 1.2 scoreless innings of relief, coming on in the top of the seventh with two on and one out and getting a pair of fly outs to maintain Arizona’s 4-2 lead. He returned to the mound in the eighth and struck out the side, doing so with a completely filthy slider.

inkel also threw scoreless innings in Games 3, 4 and 6, all Arizona wins, serving as the setup man to closer Paul Sewald. In eight postseason appearances he has allowed no runs on six hits with two walks with 13 strikeouts, following up a regular season that saw him post a 9-1 record, a 2.48 ERA and four saves with 70 strikeouts in 65.1 innings.

Stellar playoff pitching is nothing new for Ginkel, who during his lone season with the UA in 2016 helped the Wildcats reach the finals of the College World Series. Ginkel was 5-1 with a 2.80 ERA with Arizona, allowing one earned run over seven innings in the CWS finale.

The D’Backs took Ginkel in the 22nd round of the 2016 MLB Draft, and he made his big-league debut with Arizona in 2019. He’s spent parts of the past five seasons in the majors, appearing in 166 games.

Ginkel will be the first UA alum to play in the World Series—Game 1 between the D’Backs and American League champion Texas Rangers is Friday—since JT Snow with the San Francisco Giants and Kenny Lofton with the Anaheim Angels in 2002.