Albers Dominates Puerto Rico in IABF World Cup

PANAMA CITY, Panama -- Former Kentucky baseball star southpaw Andrew Albers turned in a dominating performance for Canada against Puerto Rico in the 39th IABF World Cup on Sunday, tossing five shutout innings in a winning performance.

The former UK standout lefty Albers earned the starting assignment on Sunday against Puerto Rico, picking up the win. A native of North Battleford, Saskatchewan, Albers picked up the win for Canada by tossing five shutout innings, facing only 17 hitters. A UK fixture on the staff from 2005-08, Albers got 12 groundouts and fly outs in the game, striking out two and only allowing two walks and one hit.

“Basically we were only looking for three innings out of Albers,” Canada manager Ernie Whitt said. “He was throwing the ball so well that we were able to keep him out there.”

Albers exited Lexington as one of the more prolific pitchers in the history of the program. Functioning as a weekend starter, stopper and closer out of the bullpen during his career, Albers racked up 81 career appearances, fifth all-time and his 20 career wins are tied for fourth-place in UK history. With 12 career saves, Albers ranks third in UK history.

The physical and vocal leader of the UK pitching staff throughout his career, Albers led UK with 31 appearances in 2008, earning a 2.40 ERA and a 7-4 record, totaling five saves. Starting a team-high 15 games in 2007, Albers totaled a 6-5 record and a 4.85 ERA, striking out 51 in 72.1 innings. In 2008, Albers struck out 64 in 56.1 innings, allowing just 45 hits.

During his four-year career, Albers – a 10th-round pick of the San Diego Padres in the 2008 MLB Draft – helped lead the Wildcats to two NCAA Regional Championship games and the 2006 Southeastern Conference Championship. In his four years, UK won a school-record 151 games.

In the 2011 MiLB season, Albers ascended to Double-A with the Minnesota Twins organization. In 22 games with two starts in high class A, Albers went 4-1 with a 1.55 ERA with four saves in 52.1 innings, walking only seven with 46 strikeouts. After a promotion to Double-A, Albers went 4-1 with a 2.91 ERA in 13 games and five starts, hurling 43.1 frames with seven walks and 34 strikeouts. Combined over the two levels, Albers went 8-2, 2.16 ERA, with four saves in 95.2 innings, walking 14 with 80 strikeouts. As a starter, Albers went 2-0 with a 2.63 ERA in five starts in Double-A.

During his four-year career, Albers helped lead the Wildcats to two NCAA Regional Championship games and the 2006 Southeastern Conference Championship. In his four years, UK won a school-record 151 games. As a senior in 2008, Albers racked up several highlights, including a career week during UK’s 44-win season in 2008, en route to SEC Pitcher of the Week honors on April 28, 2008. He pitched on back-to-back days twice in his four appearances during a six-game UK week, which included a series win over No. 10 Vanderbilt in Nashville. The senior earned two saves during the week, notching a 1.23 ERA in 7.1 innings, allowing only three hits, one run and striking out seven. Albers allowed opponents to hit for a measly .136 average, closing out UK's two-series clinching wins on Saturday and Sunday at Vanderbilt with his first two saves of the season.

Albers got UK series-winning save at No. 10 Vanderbilt on April 27, 2008, coming in a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the eighth inning with UK nursing a 3-1 lead. Albers immediately induced an inning-ending double play to get out of the jam, then proceeded to throw a perfect bottom of the ninth, striking out two in the final frame. In a Saturday win at Vandy, Albers came on with one out and runners on first and second, getting out of the jam with two outs, finishing the game with two scoreless innings for his first save of the season. In a midweek game at Louisville in 2008, Albers came in during a tie game, with one-out and a runner on first in the eighth inning, immediately inducing an inning-ending double play. In front of a school-record crowd at Western Kentucky in 2008, Albers emerged from the bullpen in the seventh with a 2-1 UK lead and a runner on first. Albers got UK out of the jam, tossing two perfect innings with three strikeouts, getting the first two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning, working a 1-2 count on the final hitter, before handing the ball over to Scott Green who threw one pitch to get the save.