Former Camel Ryan Thompson, Rays Headed To World Series

Thompson, Rays clinch World Series berth

Former Campbell right-hander Ryan Thompson is headed to the World Series.

Thompson’s Tampa Bay Rays clinched a spot in the 2020 MLB World Series Saturday, topping the Houston Astros 4-2 in game seven of the American League Championship series.

Thompson becomes the fifth former Camel to suit up for a World Series team, joining Rube Melton for the 1947 Brooklyn Dodgers, Gaylord Perry with the 1962 San Francisco Giants,

March 30th, 2014; Buies Creek, NC, USA; High Point vs Campbell Fighting Camels at Jim Perry Stadium, Taylor Field

Jim Perry in 1965 with the Minnesota Twins (pitched in two World Series games) and Cal Koonce in 1969 with the New York Mets (won World Series).

Thompson was originally selected by the Houston Astros with the first pick of the 23rd round in the 2014 MLB Draft following a decorated two-year career with the Camels. He was acquired by the Rays in the 2018 rule 5 draft.

The former Camel made his MLB debut on July 24 against the Toronto Blue Jays, appearing in 25 games during the 2020 season. He earned his first MLB win on August 9 against the New York Yankees, picking up his first career save on September 19 against the Baltimore Orioles.

Thompson as appeared in three games during the 2020 MLB Postseason, including a start in the American League Division Series against the Yankees.

The Turner, Ore. native was Campbell’s first two-time All-American, leading the nation with a 0.88 ERA in 2013. In 2014, Thompson fashioned a 1.33 ERA and a 7-2 record with 17 saves for the Camels. He added 87 strikeouts in 88 innings pitched across 39 appearances.

While leading Campbell to the 2014 Big South Championship, he was named tournament MVP, pitching in all five of CU’s tourney wins with a 1-0 mark and three saves in nine scoreless innings.

Thompson was also a First Team All-Big South performer in 2014 after earning Big South Pitcher of the Year honors in 2013.

In addition to a conference tournament title in 2014, Thompson also led the Camels to a Big South regular season crown in 2013, producing back to back 40-win seasons. In the 2014 Columbia Regional, No. 4 seed CU picked up its first-ever NCAA Regional win, knocking off third-seeded Old Dominion 4-1 in 12 innings.

The 2020 World Series is scheduled to start Tuesday, October 20 in Arlington, Texas.