Former Lawrence County standout and Kentucky pitching star Chandler Shepherd made his MLB debut last night.
Pitching for the Baltimore Orioles in a relief effort against the Yankees, Shepherd finished with a final line of five hits, one earned run, and two strikeouts in four innings. Out of 68 total pitches, 41 of them were strikes for the former Wildcat.
Here was his very first strikeout as an MLB pitcher, which came against none other than Aaron Judge:
— Baltimore Orioles (@Orioles) August 14, 2019
The Orioles recalled Shepherd from Baltimore’s Triple-A affiliate Norfolk prior to Tuesday’s game against the Yankees.
Before his professional career, Shepherd was a star at Kentucky from 2012-14. As a sophomore, the former Wildcat served as a dominant reliever, appearing in 26 games with one start, posting a 2.77 ERA and a 5-0 record over 55? total innings. He finished 3-0 with a 0.44 ERA over his last 11 appearances and was selected to the 2013 Cape Cod League All-Star team.
His junior year, Shepherd returned from a forearm injury to finish with a 3-1 record, a 3.83 ERA, and one save, winning Baseball America honors as the top prospect in the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League.
To close out his Kentucky career as a senior, was rated the No. 70 player in the 2014 Baseball America Preseason NCAA Top-100. He then made 16 pitching appearances, finishing with a 5-5 overall record and a 3.66 ERA in 76? innings, including nine starts and one saved game.
Shepherd was then selected by the Red Sox in the 13th round of the 2014 MLB Draft, where he lasted until this year. After being waived in May, the former Wildcat had a short four-day stint with the Chicago Cubs before being released and claimed by the Orioles.
Now, three months later, Shepherd is officially an MLB pitcher.