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Carolina's Travis Wood Named Southern League Most Outstanding Pitcher

August 31, 2009 - Southern League (SL) News Release

MARIETTA, GA - The Southern League of Professional Baseball Clubs is pleased to announce that Carolina Mudcats lefthander Travis Wood has been named its Most Outstanding Pitcher as voted upon by the league's field managers, radio broadcasters and print media.

In 2008, Wood reached the Double-A level for the first time in his four-year career, and pitched 17 games for then-Reds affiliate Chattanooga, finishing with a 4-9 record and 7.09 ERA. He clearly learned a few lessons during his first trip around the Southern League, as he returned to the circuit for the start of the 2009 season and turned in one of the most dominant performances in league history.

Wood, who was promoted to Triple-A Louisville in late-July, obliterated the modern-era Southern League record for ERA by posting a miniscule 1.21 mark, shattering the old record of 1.57, set by Montgomery's Dave Rozema in 1976. The 22-year-old lefty became just the ninth Southern League pitcher since 1964 to pitch at least 109 innings and post a sub-2.00 ERA.

The season didn't begin smoothly for Wood, however. Despite pitching well through his first four starts, Wood received just four total runs of support over a three-start span and entered May with an 0-3 record. He won nine consecutive decisions the rest of the way and earned a unanimous selection to the North Division All-Star Team.

Wood surrendered more than two earned runs in just one of 19 starts and limited opposing hitters to a .189 batting average. He was named Southern League Pitcher of the Week for June 1-7, capping a week in which he struck out 17, walked one, and allowed six hits and no runs in 15 innings.

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