Shepherd’s Hvozdovic pitching in Frontier League
Pitching on two days rest at Shepherd just might have served left-hander Paul Hvozdovic well. That’s because Hvozdovic is now pitching for pay in the independent Frontier League in the Midwest.
While Hvozdovic was 11-1 as the Mountain East Conference Pitcher of the Year this past spring, he was used almost exclusively as a starter. In 2013, he often was Shepherd’s starting pitcher on two days rest. He recorded 10 wins for the Rams as the team was playing in its final season in the defunct WVIAC.
Hvozdovic was undrafted when the major league selection process for amateurs took place in early June.
Soon after the draft was completed, the 22-year-old joined the River City Rascals of the two-division Frontier League.
During his second week with the pennant-chasing Racals, Hvozdovic was used on three straight days. All of those appearances were in short relief and he never pitched more than an inning.
River City is located in O’Fallon, Missouri, not far from St. Louis.
As of games through Monday of this week, the Rascals held a slim first-place lead in their division of the circuit. River City’s record was 38-23 and was bare percentage points better than the second-place Washington Wild Things and their 39-24 record. The Southern Illinois Miners were only one game back with a 38-25 record.
Hvozdovic had been in 11 games and had pitched 8.2 innings of spot relief. He had allowed seven hits, one earned run, had fanned seven while walking two and had an earned run average of 0.93. He had no wins, no losses and no saves.
The Frontier League has produced 26 players who have gone on to play in the major leagues. One-time Baltimore Oriole closer George Sherrill is an alumnus of the Frontier League.
The vast majority of players in the Frontier League are trying to impress professional scouts who might recommend them to their parent major league club. If signed by a major league team, the player then joins a minor league team and leaves the Frontier League.
Hvozdovic is Shepherd’s all-time leader in wins, strikeouts, innings pitched, appearances and other pitching categories.
All the innings he received at Shepherd may have helped him when asked to pitch on three consecutive days for the River City Rascals.