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Shepherd, McConkey start All-Star games

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Kentucky freshman right-hander Chandler Shepherd and sophomore infielder Paul McConkey started their respective summer collegiate league all-star games, with Shepherd starting in the Perfect Game Collegiate League and McConkey getting the nod as the designated hitter in the New England Collegiate League.

A native of Louisa, Ky., Shepherd was the starting pitcher in the PGCL All-Star Game on Tuesday night, tossing a shutout inning to open the game. The 6-foot-2 right-hander leads the league in ERA (1.12), opposing average (.158), innings pitched (48.0) and wins (six). Shepherd has struck out 45 and walked only seven in his seven starts with a sparkling 6-0 record.

McConkey, a native of Knoxville, Tenn., McConkey was the starting designated hitter in the NECBL All-Star Game on Sunday, going 1-for-2 with an RBI. McConkey owns a .345 average in 29 games for the Holyoke Blue Sox, with 11 doubles, one triple, three homers and 21 RBI. The left-handed hitting infielder ranks eighth in average, ninth in hits (40) and third in doubles.

In 2012 for the Wildcats, Shepherd emerged as one of the top freshman pitchers in the nation, appearing in 18 games with nine starts, with a 3-1 record and a 3.83 ERA. Shepherd shined in the NCAA Tournament with UK short on pitching after the 21-inning opener, tossing 10.2 innings in a two-day span. Shepherd finished with one save in 56.1 innings, walking 16 and striking out 33. Among his highlights include his first career Southeastern Conference appearance at No. 9 Arkansas, tossing 3.2 shutout, one-hit innings and three shutout innings vs. No. 1 LSU.

McConkey finished 2012 with a .323 average in 20 games, cranking one double and two RBI. The 5-foot-11, 185-pounder emerged late in the year as an impact hitter, charting two-hit games vs. Alabama and No. 4 Florida.

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