UK pitcher signs with Rockies

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Kentucky junior right-hander Clint Tilford has agreed to terms with the Colorado Rockies, foregoing his final season of eligibility, he announced Tuesday.

Tilford, a native of West Paducah, Ky., was a 31st round draft pick (931 overall) of the 2009 MLB Draft, one of four UK players and seven signees drafted. Tilford has signed an agreement to play for the Casper Ghosts, the Rookie-Level affiliate of the Rockies in Casper, Wyo., which begins its season on June 23 with a seven-game, season-opening road swing.

"First, I want to thank Coach Brad Bohannon and Coach Gary Henderson for recruiting me and giving me the opportunity to play at Kentucky,” Tilford said. “I really enjoyed my time at Kentucky and wouldn't change anything about my time there. I learned a lot about the game of baseball during my three years and hope to do my best to represent the program in the future."

The 6-foot-2, 195-pounder, appeared in 23 games with eight starts in 2009, mainly functioning as a late-inning reliever and mid-week starter. Tilford earned a 1-4 record and a 7.05 ERA, tossing 52.1 innings, allowing 75 hits and 48 runs. The right-hander walked 24 and struck out 34, allowing opponents to hit for a .332 average.

In his three-year career, Tilford has worked in 50 games with 19 starts, posting a 5-4 record and a 5.85 ERA. Tilford has tossed 112.1 career innings, striking out 76 and walking 58. Tilford had several highlights in 2009, including making a start against rival Louisville on April 28, tossing 5.1 innings, allowing seven hits and only one earned run, striking out five without issuing a walk. Arguably his best performance of the season came against Indiana State on March 8, tossing five shutout innings of relief, allowing two hits and fanning three. Through his first nine appearances of 2009, Tilford had totaled a 3.16 ERA.

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