Shepherd, Hess recognized by Baseball America

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. --- Tennessee Tech pitchers Matthew Shepherd and David Hess have been selected by Baseball America as two of the top prospects in the Ohio Valley Conference.

Baseball America is recognized as one of the premier publications for baseball at the high school, college and professional levels across the country.

“It’s great to see some of our guys get some recognition,” head coach Matt Bragga said. “We have a lot of guys who could break into these lists as the season goes on.”

Shepherd, a senior Bluff City, Tenn. native, was named the OVC’s fifth prospect for Major League Baseball’s 2012-13 draft. During his three seasons as Tech, Shepherd has thrown 156.2 innings, including one complete game last season, while recording 122 strikeouts.

“Shepherd’s stuff is deserving to be on this list,” Golden Eagle pitching coach Donnie Suttles said. “As the season goes on, he is going to have to prove that he belongs further up the list.”

A three-position player out of Tullahoma, Tenn., Hess was named the OVC’s No. 3 newcomer this season by Baseball America.

“Hess will be one of our go-to pitchers on the weekends this season,” Bragga said.

While at Tullahoma High School, Hess played as a pitcher, outfielder and shortstop. He earned a pair of all-district awards en route to a District Pitcher of the Year honor, and was voted all-state. During his senior season, Hess stuck out 102 batters and maintained a 1.91 ERA as he built an 8-1 record.

“Hess is ahead of schedule on his development,” Suttles said. “He’s a freshman with a junior’s mentality. He has no ceiling  and could go as high as he wants to.”

The Golden Eagles open the 2012 season Feb. 17, as they take on Missouri State in the Red Raider Classic in Lubbock, Texas.