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Former Gamecock Jackie Bradley Jr. named MVP of ALCS

Jackie Bradley Jr. takes batting practice with Gamecocks

South Carolina baseball great and Boston Red Sox center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. hits at Founders Park with the Gamecocks on Jan. 29 as they prepare for the 2016 season.
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South Carolina baseball great and Boston Red Sox center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. hits at Founders Park with the Gamecocks on Jan. 29 as they prepare for the 2016 season.

Jackie Bradley had an American League Championship Series to remember and was rewarded for it Thursday.

The former South Carolina standout was named MVP of the ALCS after the Boston Red Sox defeated the Houston Astros, 4-1, on Thursday to win the best-of-seven series. Boston advances to the World Series to take on the Los Angeles Dodgers or Milwaukee Brewers.

Bradley, the 2010 College World Series MVP for the Gamecocks, was just 3-for-15 (.200) in the ALCS but made the most of his hits. He had a grand slam in Game 3 and go-ahead homer in Game 4 and finished with nine RBI in the series. Bradley’s .200 average was the lowest batting average for the MVP of any league championship series.

“I felt good. I think it kind of just all boils down to having a game plan and obviously executing,” Bradley told reporters after the game. “You can have a game plan but sometimes it might not work out. But as a batter you want to swing at good pitches. You want to swing at pitches you can handle.”

All nine of Bradley’s RBI came with two outs. He also walked four times, had a .400 on-base percentage and a .667 slugging percentage in the series.

Bradley’s nine RBI are third most by a Red Sox player in the ALCS. David Ortiz holds the club record with 11 set in 2004.

“It’s amazing,” Bradley said. “This is what we set out to do when we come to spring training. And we battled, we’ve been battle-tested, played against a lot of great ball teams. This is definitely a special moment.”

During the regular season, Bradley, who is known for his spectacular plays in center field, hit .234 with 13 homers and 59 RBI. He was batting .198 on July 7 before surging in the second half.

Bradley is one of two former Gamecocks on the Boston roster. The other is Steve Pearce, who had a big homer in Game 3.

Information from The Association Press was used in this story.

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