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Tepesch impresses in spring debut vs. hometown team

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Rangers rookie right-hander Nick Tepesch made his Cactus League debut on Sunday against a familiar team. Tepesch pitched at the University of Missouri and grew up in Blue Springs, Mo., which is about 15 minutes from Kauffman Stadium.

Tepesch made a pretty good impression on Sunday. He pitched two scoreless innings, allowing one hit and striking out three in a row in the third inning. The only hit was a bunt single in the fourth and Tepesch then got the next hitter to ground into a double play.

"He threw the ball extremely well," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "He was down in the zone and had good depth on his breaking ball. He looks like a pitcher. What he did out there today was impressive."

Tepesch was a 14th round pick in the 2010 First-Year Player Draft. He went 11-6 with a 3.67 EA in 28 outings last season between Class A Myrtle Beach and Double-A Frisco. In 162 innings he averaged 9.2 hits, 2.4 walks and 7.1 strikeouts per nine innings. He also threw a scoreless inning with two strikeouts in an intrasquad game last Wednesday. He and Cody Buckel are considered long-shot candidates for the Rangers' rotation.