MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (May 6, 2019) – Following a dominant April, West Virginia University junior right-handed pitcher Alek Manoah has been named the National Pitcher of the Month by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA).
Manoah went 3-0 in April with a 0.27 ERA in four starts. He allowed just one run on 17 hits with 49 strikeouts and two walks in 33.0 innings pitched. Manoah tossed two complete-game shutouts and went 8.0 and 7.0 innings in his other two starts. Two of his wins came against top-25 opponents.
Three of Manoah’s four outings were shutout performances with no walks and double-digit strikeouts, while he became the only player in Big 12 history since at least 2003 to strike out 15 batters in back-to-back games. Additionally, Manoah had a shutout streak of 34.1 consecutive innings and did not walk a batter for 28.1 innings.
The national monthly accolade comes after Manoah became the first pitcher in Big 12 history to be named the Pitcher of the Week three consecutive weeks, and he added NCBWA Pitcher of the Week honors twice. Additionally, he was the first player to ever earn the Golden Spikes Award/D1Baseball.com Performance of the Week award in three consecutive weeks.
A Miami native, Manoah is the first Mountaineer in program history to earn national monthly honors from the NCBWA.
Manoah’s month began with a win at No. 23 Oklahoma State on April 5. He struck out 11 and did not walk a batter in 8.0 shutout innings, as he held the Cowboys to three hits in a then-career-long outing. Manoah retired the side in order five times and limited OSU to just three baserunners, only one of which advance to second base.
In his first career complete game on April 12 against No. 11 Texas Tech, Manoah struck out a career-best 15 batters in a shutout performance and held the Red Raiders to four hits with no walks. He did not allow a baserunner until the fourth inning and allowed a runner to reach second base just once. Manoah had three strikeouts in the third and eighth innings, had two punchouts in an inning three times and retired the side in order five times.
Manoah became the first player in program history to strike out 15 batters in a complete game shutout in back-to-back games on April 19 vs. Kansas. It was his third consecutive scoreless outing to extend his shutout streak to 31.2 consecutive innings. Manoah gave up just three hits and again did not walk a batter. He struck out two batters in an inning four times and struck out three in the first and had at least one strikeout in every inning. Manoah retired 12 in a row beginning in the second inning and notched four perfect 1-2-3 innings. In a 0-0 game in the ninth, he worked his way out of a two-on, no-out jam to keep his shutout streak intact and allow WVU to walk it off in the bottom half.
Manoah earned his ninth quality start in 11 starts on April 26 at Texas. In 7.0 innings, he held the Longhorns to one run on seven hits with eight strikeouts and two walks. With the one run allowed, Manoah’s shutout streak was snapped at 34.1 consecutive innings, and he walked his first batter in 28.1 consecutive innings. His shutout streak came to an end in the third inning, as UT took a 1-0 lead. While he was not as dominant as he was in his last three shutout outings, Manoah battled on the road to escape several key jams to allow the Mountaineer offense to rally late. His first strikeout did not come until the third, and he proceeded to add eight more on the night.
On the season, Manoah ranks No. 8 nationally with 108 strikeouts, No. 24 with a 0.93 WHIP, No. 27 with two complete games, No. 32 with 6.10 hits allowed per nine innings, No. 39 with a 2.07 ERA, No. 41 with 11.76 strikeouts per nine innings and No. 43 with a 5.14 strikeout-to-walk ratio. He has nine quality starts in 12 starts in 2019.
In WVU’s single-season record books, Manoah’s is No. 5 in strikeout-to-walk ration (5.14), tied for No. 6 in shutouts (2), tied for No. 7 in strikeouts (108) and is No. 8 in strikeouts per nine innings (11.76).
Manoah and the Mountaineers are on the road for four games this week, beginning at Virginia Tech on Wednesday, May 8, at 6 p.m. ET. WVU then travels to Kansas State for its final Big 12 series of the season. The series in Manhattan, Kansas, commences on Friday, May 10, at 7 p.m. ET, and continues on Saturday, May 11, at 5 p.m. ET. The finale at Tointon Family Stadium is slated for Sunday, at noon ET.
Press Release Credit: WVU Sports Athletics
Photo Credit: Shanna Rose, BGS