Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local Sports

July 27, 2013

UK’s Shepherd ready for spotlight

Former Lawrence County ace ready to play in Cape Cod League All-Star Game

YARMOUTH, Mass. — Kentucky pitcher Chandler Shepherd just keeps adding milestones to his already stellar career.

The Louisa native — who was runner-up for Kentucky’s Mr. Baseball in 2011 — was named to the Cape Cod Collegiate Baseball League All-Star Game.

The 2013 version of the All-Star Game will be today at 4:30 p.m.  

This is the second time Shepherd has been named to a Collegiate League All-Star team, after grabbing honors in the Perfect Game Collegiate League last season.

“It’s just a big honor and I’m pretty excited about it,” Shepherd said. “Playing in a league like the Cape Cod league and being considered one of the best players — it’s just a huge honor. And it’s also motivation.

The 6-foot-2 right-hander has dominated the competition while helping the Harwich Mariners to a 18-16-1 record in the Eastern Division.

At the break, Shepherd is second in the league in earned run average at 0.87. He’s also tallied 27 strikeouts in 31 innings and holds a 2-2 record on the year.

And while his numbers look good, Shepherd said the best part about playing in the Cape Cod League is getting to play against the best competition in the county.

“It’s been great because you test yourself against the best players,” Shepherd said. “Plus you get to play a bunch of baseball. You use every day to just try and get better and just enjoy it while you’re out here.

“Everyone wants to play. And there are great players and every one can play so you’re getting better. There are scouts at every game that come up to you after the game ... it’s just very beneficial to play here.”:

Along with testing himself against the best college players in the country, the Kentucky Junior also has been around major league scouts all summer.

In 2012, 253 players who were featured in the Cape Cod League played on Major League Baseball rosters.

Notable names who played in the Cape Cod League All-Star Game include Buster Posey and Tim Lincecum of the San Francisco Giants, Evan Longoria of the Tampa Bay Rays, Chase Utley of the Philadelphia Phillies and Justin Masterson of the Cleveland Indians.

Shepherd, who out of high school was selected in the 41st round of MLB Draft by the Chicago White Sox, said he knows a lot of eyes will be on him when he takes the mound today.

“It will be just an inning,” Shepherd said. “I hadn’t really thought about it until recently. And you want to show scouts what you can bring to them every day. I want to help my team win so hopefully it will be a quick inning.”

In his sophomore season at Kentucky, Shepherd made 26 appearances, 25 in relief, and amassed a 5-0 record with a 2.77 ERA and 39 strikeouts.

The Wildcats started the season strong, going 20-5 with a season-high nine-game winning streak. But a 10-20 finish and a first round loss in the SEC Tournament to Ole Miss ended the season on a sour note.

“It was pretty disappointing,” Shepherd said. “I thought we had it a team that could make it pretty far in the postseason, but sometimes you can’t control these things. We’re going to look to come back next year and make it farther.”

Other SEC teams represented in the All-Star game will be Alabama, Arkansas and Georgia along with a player from Louisville, one of Kentucky’s top rivals.

Heading into his junior season, facing top competition during the summer is big in Shepherd’s preparation to take the mound for the Wildcats.

“Every day you’re on a baseball field, it’s going to benefit you,” Shepherd said. “The way I look at it, every day is a chance to get better. By the time I get back to school, I want to be better than the year before. That’s my goal.”

The Cape Cod league All-Star Game will be played at Red Wilson Field. The game will be televised on Fox College Sports.   

KYLE HOBSTETTER can be reached at khobstetter@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2658.

 

1
Text Only
Local Sports
  • 0724putnamwebshot.JPG Laying the foundation Workers are finishing the foundation for the locker room on the home side of Putnam Stadium on Tuesday. The Ashland Tomcats open the football season on Aug. 22 against Newport Catholic.

    July 23, 2014

  • Genuine throwback

    Todd Eastham is disproving the old cliche, “Those who can, do; those who can’t, teach.”

    July 23, 2014

  • MARK MAYNARD: Looking for those who inspire

    Inspirtation, they say, comes from within. It is defined as an inspiring or animating action or influence.

    July 22, 2014

  • 0722KYPGA_152.jpg Jones tops Gillum in playoff at Eagle Trace

    Ashland senior golfer Logan Jones didn't shoot his average Monday.
    He didn't mind.
    His three-over par 75 and one-hole playoff win over Elliott County junior Ryan Gillum gave him the Boys Open division title in the Kentucky PGA Junior Tour stop at Morehead State University's Eagle Trace Golf Course.

    July 21, 2014 6 Photos

  • 102213_329a.jpg Raceland tabs Clark as new girls basketball coach

    Jason Clark has a reputation of being — to use his word — “passionate” on the Raceland volleyball sideline.
    He plans to bring that same approach as the Lady Rams’ new basketball coach.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0305region2_389.jpg Pass the Mayo: East sophomore PG, Lady Raiders preparing for winter run

    East Carter sophomore point guard Kristen Mayo has played basketball for as long as she can remember.

    July 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • 0718spinda.jpg Steelers super fan Spinda to be recognized in Florida

    Shawn Spinda doesn’t have to use speech to profess his passion for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
    All it takes is a quick glance for a person to get the picture.
    But to absorb the whole picture, you’ll need to clear your schedule.
    Spinda is one of several fanatics who will be recognized at the Sports Fans Conference in Orlando, Florida, which is set for Aug. 28-Sept. 1 at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort. He is a “What a Fan” NFL Fan of the Year nominee.

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0703rfLL0204.jpg Little League State Baseball: Ready to run

    Morehead 11- and 12-year-old All-Star baseball manager Toby Gardner collectively likened his team to a racehorse.

    July 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0717prokick1.jpg Prokicker.com camp Eleven Ashland Tomcat football players were part of the Ray Guy Prokicker.com camp at Huntington High. The high-profile camps are put on all over the country. Rick Sang, an Ashland native who befriended Guy 20 years ago, is the camp's founder.

    July 16, 2014

  • 0716fbpractice0105.jpg Four-down territory: Making summer football practice pit stops

    ARE YOU READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL?
    The popular Monday night catchphrase filled my room on Tuesday morning as my new alarm sounded off at 7 a.m.

    July 16, 2014 5 Photos