411OnTheForty: Former UT pitcher John Curtiss playing with Rays in World Series

21 Oct By
Former Texas reliever John Curtiss began the World Series picked up a strikeout in the Tampa Bay Rays' 5-3 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers in the first game of the World Series (photo courtesy of texassports.com).

Two teams not remotely close to Texas might be playing in the World Series but Longhorn fans still have a connection in baseball's biggest event, which began Tuesday night: John Curtiss, a go-to reliever for Texas from 2011-14, took the mound for the Tampa Bay Rays in the first game.

The righty had a rough go of it throughout the postseason, and entered the game with an 8.10 postseason earned run average. However, coming in with runners on first and second with two out, Curtiss struck out the Dodgers' hard-hitting catcher, Will Smith, on three straight pitches.

Curtiss posted an impressive 1.80 ERA in 17 appearances out of the bullpen for Tampa Bay this season, assembling a 3-0 record and picking up two saves.

Curtiss is one of two former Big 12 players to suit up for this year's World Series. Former Baylor infielder Max Muncy is an everyday starter for the Los Angeles Dodgers.

While at Texas, Curtiss was named a Capital One First-Team All-America after posting a 2.28 ERA in 28 appearances in 2014, helping UT reach the semifinals of the College World Series, where it lost to the eventual national champs, Vanderbilt.

Riley Zayas is a high school sophomore and freelance journalist from Round Rock, Texas. He began his journalism career as a Sports Illustrated Kids reporter and has since become a regular contributor to Horns Illustrated, covering Texas Longhorn sports. His work also includes Fellowship of Christian Athletes publications, his personal blog 360 Sports, College Baseball Nation and Sports Spectrum, a national christian sports website. Twitter: @ZayasRiley