DETROIT-Making his first start of the 2011 American League Championship Series on Tuesday night, former Hutchinson Community College baseball player Andy Dirks went 1 for 3 with a run scored and stole a base in the Tigers’ 5-2 victory over the Texas Rangers at Comerica Park in Detroit.
The Tigers earned their first victory in the best-of-7 series in which the Rangers lead 2-1. Game 4 is Tuesday afternoon in Detroit.
In his first two at-bats, Dirks struck out and flew out to center. Facing Rangers’ pitcher Colby Lewis with two outs in the sixth, Dirks lined a single to left field. Dirks was the last batter Lewis faced.
The Rangers brought in pitcher Koji Uehara to face Austin Jackson. During the Jackson at-bat Dirks stole second base, beating a high throw from Texas catcher Yorvit Torrealba and the tag of second baseman Ian Kinsler. A couple of pitches later, Dirks scored on Jackson’s base hit to center field to give the Tigers a 4-1 lead.
Dirks got the start in right field after Maglio Ordonez was lost to the Tigers because of injury for the remainder of the postseason in Game 2 of the series.
Dirks, who did not play in Detroit’s four-game AL Division Series victory over Tampa Bay, is 1 for 5 in the ALCS with a run scored and stolen base.
Dirks, who played at Hutchinson in 2005 and 2006 and Wichita State in 2007 and 2008, was drafted by the Detroit Tigers in the eighth round of the 2008 Major League Draft.
Dirks was an instrumental member of HCC’s 2005 Region VI Championship team that competed in the Juco World Series in Grand Junction, Colo.
While at HCC, Dirks went 82-35. The 2005 team was in a four-way tie for the Jayhawk West championship and Region VI championship and the 2006 team won the conference outright and went 44-13. Dirks was first-team All-Jayhawk West and first-team all-Region VI as a sophomore.