According to ATVL, the #2 starter in the Valley League in 2014 is none other than Front Royal’s Jake Harper, the 6-foot-5 lefty from St. Joseph’s!
Jake is no stranger to the league; he pitched for the Harrisonburg Turks in 2013. He also pitched in three games for the Cotuit Kettleers in the Cape Cod League after he finished dominating the Valley League.
So let’s get to the stats. For the Cardinals in 2014, Jake went 5-0, 2.22 in 8 games (7 starts). He allowed only 42 hits and 11 walks in 52 2/3 innings pitched, and struck out 47. His opponent’s batting average was .215, his WHIP was 1.006, and he had a 1.9 BB/9 and 8.0 K/9. He finished 6th in the regular season in ERA, first in WHIP, and 3rd in K/9. He started one game in the playoffs, and while he lost the game after giving up 4 runs, none of them were earned runs. In his first four starts in the regular season, Jake was pretty much unhittable; in 28 1/3 innings, he allowed only 18 hits, 7 walks, and struck out 24. Jake’s best start was probably on June 13th against Charles Town, when he threw 7 shutout innings, and allowed only 4 hits and 1 walk, while striking out 3 (this start was during his amazing early-season streak).
The best thing, though, about Jake’s season was probably the award he received when it was all over: both the Valley League and Perfect Game named him the Pitcher of the Year!
When the season was over, Jake connected with the Cape Cod League and hustled up to the Cape to join Cotuit. He threw in one game, in relief, in the regular season, and then threw 7 1/3 excellent innings in the playoffs (interesting how the Cape can add players even right before the playoffs!).
Jake is currently a senior at St. Joseph’s. For the Pumas as a freshman in 2012, Jake went 0-2, 4.63 in 10 games. He started 8 games as a sophomore, and went 5-2, 2.82, which included 40 strikeouts and only 10 walks in 54 1/3 innings. As a junior in 2014, Harper went 2-2, 3.86 in 11 games (9 starts). He struck out 45 and walked 15 in 53 2/3 innings.
One last stat line: for the Turks in 2013, Jake went 2-3, 3.39, with 32 strikeouts, 16 walks, and 52 hits allowed in 50 1/3 innings.
Congratulations for your excellent season, Jake, and good luck at St. Joseph’s this spring!