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Examiner
  • Blue Springs grad Tepesch getting shot in Texas Rangers camp

  • When Nick Tepesch approached the mound Sunday afternoon in Surprise, Ariz., to make his first pro start against a major league opponent, the 2007 Blue Springs High School graduate didn’t afford himself the luxury of looking at the opposing team and thinking, “This is a dream come true.”

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  • When Nick Tepesch approached the mound Sunday afternoon in Surprise, Ariz., to make his first pro start against a major league opponent, the 2007 Blue Springs High School graduate didn’t afford himself the luxury of looking at the opposing team and thinking, “This is a dream come true.”
    After all, he was facing the Kansas City Royals, and the 2007 Gatorade Missouri High School Player of the Year grew up in the shadow of Kauffman Stadium.
    “I knew I had a job to do, and I wanted to do well,” said Tepesch, who is trying to make the Texas Rangers’ major league roster. “It is a dream, I can’t believe I’m playing professional baseball and that my first spring training appearance was against the Royals, but I really found that more ironic than anything. We share the same complex with the Royals down here in Surprise, and I pitched in an intrasquad game, but it is pretty ironic that my first appearance would be against the Royals.”
    As Tepesch warmed up in the bullpen, he was pleased with his sinker. The big right-hander used it as his out pitch, as he struck out the side in the third and worked a scoreless fourth inning, that included a double-play ball that followed a one-out bunt single.
    Tepesch caught former American League MVP Miguel Tejada and Max Ramirez looking before Johnny Giavotella went down swinging on a full count.
    “My sinker was my out pitch,” said Tepesch, who gave up only one hit in two scoreless innings as the Royals claimed a 7-5 victory. “It felt good when I was warming up so I went with it those two innings.
    “To have that kind of success in my first real major league outing and to have it come against the Royals is pretty unbelievable.”
    Tepesch, who was an Academic All-American at the University of Missouri, is making an impact with the Rangers. He was 5-3 with a 2.89 ERA at Class A Myrtle Beach last season where he combined with Jimmy Reyes for a 3-0, no-hit victory over Wilmington, in which he threw 7 1/3 innings.
    He was then promoted to AA Frisco (Texas), where he was 6-3 with a 4.28 ERA.
    “This sure beats working a real job,” Tepesch said. “But I do see it as a job. I am trying to make a Major League Baseball roster, and it happens to be with one of the best teams in baseball. I don’t want to get too high or too low. I’m working hard, real hard, and we’ll see what happens.
    “No one on the Rangers has told me anything about my chances of making the team. I just want to go out and do the best I can do every time they give me the ball.”
    Page 2 of 2 - Tepesch enjoyed an all-state and All-American career at Blue Springs High School, where he was 9-0 with a 1.50 ERA and .410 batting average for the state champion Wildcats his senior year.
    “I was so fortunate to have great coaches before I got to high school, and then in high school and with the (American Legion’s Blue Springs Rod’s Sports) A’s,” Tepesch said. “I still keep in touch with those guys. I can’t imagine what it would be like to come to Kansas City with the Rangers and pitch against the Royals.
    “I saw a lot of games there when I was a kid, and I dreamed about the big leagues. Now, well, we’ll see what happens.”
    Follow Bill Althaus on Twitter: @AlthausEJC.
     
     
     

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