Former West Virginia pitcher Alek Manoah dazzled in his Major League Baseball debut Thursday at Yankee Stadium.
Manoah, a 2019 first-round draft pick, tossed six scoreless innings with seven strikeouts and two hits allowed to lead the Toronto Blue Jays to a 2-0 victory over the New York Yankees.
The contest was the first game of a doubleheader, allowing Manoah to throw all but one inning in his first win.
Manoah, who issued two walks, threw 88 pitches, 60 of which were strikes. One of his two walks came to DJ LeMahieu in the first batter he faced, before Manoah struck out Aaron Judge.
The Yankees never got a runner to second base against Manoah, who was the 11th overall selection by Toronto.
Manoah’s family was on hand for his debut at the highest level.
“I couldn’t look up. I couldn’t let myself do that until I got out of the game,” Manoah said. “I heard them a ton. They keep me going. That’s who I do it for. They’ve helped me get here. It’s about them. They do everything for me to be able to succeed and to work as hard as I do, it’s amazing to be able to make them happy and proud.”
The 23-year-old Manoah pitched three seasons at WVU. In 2019, he was 9-4 with a 2.08 earned-run average in 16 starts. Manoah had 144 strikeouts and 27 walks that season.
He lost out on a chance to play at the minor league level last season due to the pandemic.
In three starts this season with the Class AAA Buffalo Bisons, Manoah was 3-0 with a 0.50 ERA and 27 strikeouts in 18 innings.