Travis Jankowski, who led the Stony Brook University baseball team to the College World Series in 2012, became the first former Seawolf to play in the Major League Baseball World Series when he started in right field in Game 4 on October 31.
Jankowski, a a member of the Stony Brook Rita & Kurt Eppenstein Athletics Hall of Fame, went 2-for-4 with two runs batted in and two runs scored to lead the Texas Rangers to an 11-7 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks. Texas took a 3-1 series lead to move within one victory of the team’s first-ever World Series title.
Jankowski replaced ALCS MVP Adolis Garcia in the eighth inning of Game 3. With Garcia out for the remainder of the championship with an oblique injury, it was time for Jankowski — who also made a sliding catch in the seventh inning — to step up.
“Last night, I had my mind locked in that I was starting Game 4,” Jankowski said in a postgame interview on the MLB Network. “There’s no replacing Adolis, especially what he has done in the postseason run. I got the news at 2 pm before the game, but I was ready to go 15 years ago and it’s one of those things you try to step up and enjoy the moment.”
Jankowski was National Co-Player of the Year when the Seawolves defeated six-time national champion LSU in Baton Rouge in the NCAA Super Regional to advance to the College World Series. He was drafted in the first round by the San Diego Padres and has played with six MLB teams over parts of nine seasons. He signed a minor-league deal with the Rangers prior this year and has been a key contributor to their run to the Series.
Read the full story on Jankowski’s historic World Series debut on the SBU Athletics website.