By Paul Watley | UTAMavs.com
ARLINGTON, Texas – Former UT Arlington outfielder Hunter Pence made it three straight years that a Maverick hoisted the Commissioner's Trophy at the end of the season as the San Francisco Giants won Game 7 of the World Series 3-2 over the Kansas City Royals on Wednesday night.
"It gives you a little pride that you have someone to follow and it also can help the program get some publicity," UT Arlington coach Darin Thomas said. "It's definitely neat to see guys who used to play here playing in World Series."
Pence, who played for UTA in 2003-2004, hit .444 in the series with five RBI against the Royals. Pence's best performance of the World Series arguably came in Game 4 when the Arlington native went 3-of-5 at the plate with one double and three RBI.
"Looking back you have to tip your cap to the Kansas City Royals," Pence said to FOX Sports in a post-game interview. "This was an incredible, incredible series. They played outstanding, their pitching was unbelievable and both these teams truly need to hold their heads high tonight."
The victory by the Giants gives Pence two championships in three years, with the other coming in 2012. Former UTA player John Lackey claimed a World Series with the 2013 Boston Red Sox.
Pence's skill was clear to Thomas when he stepped foot on campus, but what impressed the eighth-year head coach most about Pence was his work ethic.
"He worked hard. He only had one speed just like he does now, but even more so in college," Thomas said. "He didn't know any better, but to play hard and that really made him into a good defender. "He could always hit and run, but throwing and running in the outfield wasn't always there. He was an infielder in high school and really made himself into a good defender with his hard work."
After spending two seasons with the Mavericks, Pence was drafted in the second round by the Houston Astros making Pence the highest UTA draft pick at the time. Pence made stops in Houston and Philadelphia before being traded to San Francisco in 2012.
Also representing UTA in the championship series were two members of the Kansas City Royals' front office in Director of Professional Scouting Gene Watson and Special Assistant to the General Manger/Pitching Coordinator Steve Foster.
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