Ben Alsup pitching for the SAL's Asheville Tourists in 2012. He tossed a three-hit shutout in his 2013 debut. Photo courtesy MiLB.com/Asheville Tourists/Tony Farlow
Ben Alsup (Amsterdam 2008) pitched a three-hit shutout through seven innings and struck out nine to lead the Modesto Nuts over the Inland Empire 66ers in a California League game on Saturday night in San Bernardino, Calif.
Alsup, 24, scattered three singles, walked none and faced just three batters over the minimum in his Advanced-A debut for Modesto, the California League affiliate of the Colorado Rockies. The Louisiana State University product struck out five of the first seven batters he faced and overall seated 20 of 24 Inland Empire swingers in his seven innings pitched. Alsup did not allow a hit until the fourth inning and yielded just four baserunners.
The Ruston, La., native is in his second full season of professional baseball and third overall. He was taken in the 18th round (558th overall) of the 2011 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft by the Colorado Rockies following a four-year career in the Southeastern Conference with the LSU Tigers. Alsup began his professional career in the short-season Northwest League with the Tri-City Dust Devils. He went 3-3 with a 3.23 earned run average over 13 appearances and struck out 50 batters in 61.1 innings. Alsup's 3.23 ERA was the seventh best in the NWL.
The Rockies promoted the former Amsterdam hurler to Class-A Asheville of the South Atlantic League in 2012. Alsup enjoyed a breakout season with the Tourists in just his second season as a full-time starter – he did not move into LSU’s regular starting rotation until his senior year; following a complete game one-hit shutout versus Ole Miss in SEC tournament as a junior. The Asheville ace led the SALLY in innings pitched (156.0), WHIP (1.26) and home runs allowed per nine innings (0.52). He also tied for first in the league in wins (14) and finished second in earned run average (3.63). Overall, Alsup went 14-5 over 24 starts and struck out 90.
His finest performance came at home against the Charleston River Dogs on Aug. 15. One week after his former summer team won the 2012 PGCBL championship, Alsup spun a complete game one-hit shutout in a 6-0 win over the River Dogs. He was perfect through the first five innings and carried a no-hitter into the seventh. Read more about the game from MiLB.com here. Alsup and the Tourists went on to win the 2012 South Atlantic League championship.
Alsup pitched for the Amsterdam Mohawks during the summer of 2008. He was part of an Amsterdam team that went 26-14 and finished second in its division behind rival Glens Falls. Alsup made 14 appearances overall for the Tribe and carved out two wins and two saves in 42.2 innings pitched.