Local minor league pitchers are part of the no-hitter combination last month
Few who faced Braden Shipley or Larson Kindreich during their prep baseball days here in Southern Oregon would be surprised to find that opponents have trouble getting a hit with the pitching phenoms.
Within about a month of each other, however, the duo has been able to claim their professional prominence after each had a role in the no-hitter combination for their minor league affiliates.
Kindreich, a 2018 graduate of Crater High, got the ball rolling on July 9 when his outstanding start set the stage for the High-A Hickory Crawdads’ first no-hitter since 2013.
Shipley, a 2010 graduate of North Medford High, paced the Double-A Arkansas Travelers on Friday night when he capped the team’s second no-hitter of the season.
With the local players at different stages of their careers (Shipley has already reached the major leagues and Kindreich is just getting his feet wet as a professional), the moments proved pivotal for each, but certainly more sentimental for Shipley.
Now 30, Shipley began his career as the 15th overall pick in the 2013 MLB draft by the Arizona Diamondbacks and eventually graduated to the big leagues. He eventually gravitated toward the Kansas City Royals and Cincinnati Reds organizations and even had a stint with Acereros de Monclova in Mexico before staying with the Seattle Mariners organization in March.
Shipley, a former starting right-hander who now works exclusively out of the bullpen, pitched the final inning of Friday’s 6-0 win over the Northwest Arkansas Naturals to complete a no-hitter.
Shipley drew a walk, but induced a pop-up infield in his leadoff inning to start a Travelers celebration.
“I was telling the guys this year has been interesting for me,” Shipley told MiLB.com after Friday’s game. “It’s the first time I’m back in Double A (since 2015) and I’ve just embraced it. But it was the first time in a long time that I was nervous going into a game. It felt good.”
“The last few years have been very hard for me,” he added. “Mostly, it’s been trying to figure out, ‘Who am I?’ Who is Braden Shipley? I think with the help of a lot of people, too many to name, they got me to where I am today, comfortable with who I am now.”
Prelander Berroa, the No. 24 prospect in the Mariners organization, struck out a game-high 11 in five innings to start Friday’s effort before giving way to one-inning efforts by Blake Weiman, Make Haberer, Rob Kaminsky and Shipley to seal the combination. no hit
This season, Shipley has a 2-1 record and a 3.45 ERA, with 10 saves in 39 games. In his 47 innings, the former Black Tornado has struck 52 and conceded 38 balls.
“Having a lot of failures the last few years has prepared me to go out there and pitch with a little bit of freedom and be successful,” Shipley told MiLB.com, “but the most important thing is to share my experiences with some of these guys. younger people. I’ve been lucky enough to help them, advise them, whatever I can do. It’s very rewarding and I couldn’t be happier to spend this evening with them.”
Kindreich also found plenty of rewards this summer as part of the Texas Rangers organization, which selected him 224th overall in the eighth round of the 2021 MLB draft.
After starting the season with the Single-A Down East Wood Ducks, Kindreich was quickly promoted to High-A Hickory in North Carolina and the left-handed starting pitcher dominated in the Crawdads’ 10-inning no-hitter against Bowling Green . Hot Rods.
On that fateful night, Kindreich struck out eight and allowed just one walk in six innings during a fantastic display of chemistry with catcher Randy Florentino. Kindreich used a combination of fastball and changeup to keep hitters off balance.
“We worked really well together tonight,” Kindreich later told MiLB.com. “I was calling some really good pitches, we were in sync with our sequences. We were just trying to be aggressive, get our team back in the dugout as quickly as we could to get our batters out.”
That tense waiting period finally paid off in the top of the 10th inning when the Crawdads pushed across four runs. Theo McDowell pitched his second hitless inning of relief to pick up the win, with Leury Tejada and Michael Brewer also pitching a hitless inning in immediate relief of Kindreich.
In 15 games and 11 starts this summer, Kindreich has posted a 4-2 record and a 3.45 ERA. Over his 60 innings pitched, the 23-year-old southpaw has struck out 80 and walked 40.
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Medford’s Braden Shipley, who pitched for the Arizona Diamondbacks, was part of a no-hitter for the Arkansas Travelers on Friday. THE ASSOCIATED PRESS