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Former Bandit gets World Series win

Posted 2017-11-09 By Larry Beazley

    For Chris Devenski , a long, hot summer of baseball in Woodstock at the height of his college career in 2011 may not have been a memorable experience, but the town’s most devoted fans won’t soon forget that he was here.

    Devenski went to the mound in relief a week ago at Los Angeles and gave the Houston Astros their first World Series win in franchise history.

    He had come a long way from Cal State Fullerton and a college wood bat league that had brought him to Woodstock.

    In Game 2 of the 2017 World Series on Wednesday, Oct. 25, Devenski delivered.

    The Astros had tied the game in the ninth inning on Marwin Gonzalez’ homer off Dodgers’ closer Kenley Jansen. Two innings later, Houston’s George Springer homered to give the Astros a lead.

    Devenski, pitching in relief over the last inning and a half, struck out LA’s Yasiel Puig on a changeup at 3-2 to win the game, the Astros’ first World Series victory.

    Devenski pitched for the Woodstock River Bandits of the Valley Baseball League in 2011 while a student at Cal State Fullerton.

    The Dodgers won the sixth game of the series Tuesday night to force a seventh and deciding game.

    River Bandits general manager Robert (Porky) Bowman said Devenski appeared in eight games, six as a starter.  He pitched 39.2 innings, had 53 strikeouts, walked 14, allowed 29 hits and complied a 2-2 record with a 2.50 earned run average.  He made the Valley League All-Star team along with follow teammates third baseman Justin Seager and pitcher Zack Jabofsky.

    Seager was drafted by Seattle Mariners. His younger brother, Corey, is now the starting shortstop for the Los Angeles Dodgers, competing against the Astros.

    Jabofsky was the third member of that team to be drafted and joined the Atlanta Braves.  Another 2011 River Bandits veteran, a three-year starter at shortstop for Woodstock, was Derek Vigoa, now the Astros’ director of transportation.

    Despite lots of talent, the River Bandits still did not make the playoffs in 2011.

    Shortly after the River Bandits’ season ended, Devenski was drafted in the 25th round by the Chicago White Sox, then traded to the Houston Astros as the player to be named later in a 2012 deal that sent Houston’s Brett Myers to Chicago.

    Devenski made his major league debut April 8, 2016 with the Astros.  Since then he has a 12-9 record, with a 2.38, ERA making the American League All-Star team this year.