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Queens Chronicle

Pitcher went from St. John's to the MLB playoffs

Rookie Cody Stashak came back to New York with the Twins

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Posted: Monday, October 7, 2019 3:13 pm | Updated: 12:16 pm, Thu Oct 10, 2019.

Cody Stashak is back in New York.

The right-handed pitcher helped St. John’s win the 2015 Big East title. Last week he returned, this time to Yankee Stadium as a member of the visiting Minnesota Twins.

“It’s crazy,” he said Saturday after pitching in the first two games of the American League Division Series. “In the bullpen you’re hearing a bunch of stuff you don’t want to hear but you’ve just got to try to eliminate that and focus on what you’re trying to do.”

Stashak was a standout at Cumberland County College in New Jersey, where he went 16-5 with two no-hitters in helping the team finish second at the 2014 NJCAA Division III World Series. And he batted .359 with 91 RBI in 104 games.

Red Storm head coach Ed Blankmeyer recruited him to St. John’s, where he was told he would have a better chance of going pro if he focused on pitching.

He chose the mound and Stashak won a spot in the starting rotation.

Stashak responded by going 7-4 with a 3.57 ERA in 16 starts. He earned Big East Pitcher of the Week honors after allowing one run in 7.1 innings against Kennesaw State in his Division I debut.

St. John’s clinched the regular season conference title in early May and won the conference tournament two weeks later.

Asked what he remembers most about the season, Stashak said, “A lot of good players. We fought hard.”

He’s not embellishing, as six Johnnies were selected in that year’s MLB draft, tying a program record.

Stashak was drafted by the Twins and worked his way up through the minor league system. Minnesota converted him to the bullpen, which he admitted took getting used to but is a role in which he thrived.

In Triple-A, he went 5-0 with a 1.61 ERA in 12 games and was called up to the majors, a moment Stashak called the best of his life.

He made his debut on July 23, pitching two shutout innings out of the bullpen against the Yankees.

He was sent to the minors in mid-August but returned two weeks later and impressed enough to make the postseason roster.

“It’s been incredible,” Stashak said of being in the majors. “It’s something I’ve been dreaming of since I’ve been playing.”

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