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L-Kings' Shipers hurls three-hit shutout

Mariners No. 11 prospect records first career complete game
May 5, 2012
Coming into Saturday's game, Class A Clinton was in the midst of a four-game losing streak that culminated a night earlier when the LumberKings were on the wrong end of a no-hitter.

Jordan Shipers finally was able to turn the tables.

The 20-year-old left-hander hurled a three-hitter for his first career complete game and struck out six as Clinton blanked the Burlington Bees, 4-0.

Shipers, the Mariners' 16th-round pick in the 2010 Draft, walked two and became the first LumberKing to go the distance in a shutout since Kenn Kasparek on Aug. 3, 2009, also against Burlington.

"That's a first for me, going the full game. I was pretty excited," the Missouri native said. "I'd gone seven [innings] before, but I don't think eight. I just beared down, tried to get ground balls, get quick outs and keep my pitch count down. My approach didn't really change."

Although he'd never pitched that deep into a game before, Shipers said he never felt tired until the final batter of the night.

"With my last batter, I got a little fatigued; the adrenaline got to me a little bit," he added. "I started to overthrow, so I took some deep breaths, got calm and got him to ground out."

Shipers (2-0) picked up his second win and dropped his ERA down to 1.62, which ranks seventh in the Midwest League. He's struck out 26 batters and walked 10 over 39 innings in six starts. Last year, his first in the Minor Leagues, he recorded a 4.71 ERA over 49 2/3 innings with short-season Everett.

Seattle's No. 11 prospect said his pitching coach, former Major Leaguer Andrew Lorraine, asked him how he felt coming back into the dugout between innings. But that there was never talk of pulling him from the game.

"All my pitches were working, I was able to throw them all for strikes, so I just focused on throwing them low in the zone," he said. "I'm a ground-ball pitcher, so I got that to work."

The effort came at an opportune time for the LumberKings, whose final 20 batters went down in order in Thursday's 8-2 loss to Wisconsin before two Timber Rattlers combined on a no-hitter Friday.

"I was excited to bring my team out of a slump tonight," Shipers said. "We hadn't been playing the greatest lately, so hopefully, it will give us a boost.

"Overall, I feel pretty happy, it feels pretty good. I want to be able to do it again."

Mariners No. 13 prospect Jabari Blash busted out of a slump with a 4-for-4 night that included a two-run homer to lead the Clinton offense. Anthony Phillips added a two-run shot.

Jonathan Raymond is a contributor for