Liberty outfielder Will Shepherd has been the 2016 Coastal Plain League (CPL) Hitter of the Year and named to the Perfect Game Summer Collegiate All-America team for the second straight summer. Shepherd was selected to the team's second team as its designated hitter.
In his third season as a member of the Peninsula Pilots, Shepherd led the CPL with a .407 batting average, the second-best in the league's illustrious 20-year history. In 45 games, Shepherd scored 39 runs and finished second in the league with 47 RBI. He collected 16 doubles, one triple and five home runs for 101 total bases and a .607 slugging percentage.
Shepherd drew 23 walks to push his on base percentage to .480, finishing the year third in the CPL. He also stole 15 bases.
Along with batting average and RBI, Shepherd finished the CPL regular season among the league's Top 5 in slugging percentage (2nd), on-base percentage (3rd), hits (2nd), doubles (2nd) and total bases (tied 5th.)
Shepherd earned the league's Player of the Week honors for week four of the regular season. He hit .571 over six starts for the Pilots. He had 12 hits with three doubles and collected 15 total bases during the week. The Liberty senior was also selected a starting outfielder for the East Division CPL All-Star team.
The Liberty outfielder helped lead the Pilots to an all-time CPL record .303 team batting average and a 38-17 regular season record to enter the 2016 Petitt Cup Playoffs with the No. 1 overall seed. The Pilots went on to win the East Division Championship, before falling to the Savannah Bananas two games to one in the Championship Series.
The Coastal Plain League is the nation's premier summer collegiate baseball league. Celebrating its 20th season in 2016, the CPL features 16 teams playing in Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia.
This past spring, Shepherd played outfield and second base for Flames. He hit .328 with 46 RBI and 51 runs scored. He led Liberty with eight home runs and collected 17 doubles to lead the Flames with a .502 slugging percentage.
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