06/22/2021 8:54 PM -
Crestwood, Ill. – June 22, 2021 – Patience proved to be key for the Panthers (9-8) on Tuesday evening.
In their matchup against the MCL Minutemen (3-10), Crestwood drew 10 walks as a team, six of which came during their six-run third inning, leading to a decisive 11-4 victory.
That fateful frame began with a Sean Lynch (Eastern Illinois / Indian Creek, Ill.) base hit, and ended with the Panthers recording 12 at-bats. Mike Pawyza (McHenry County College / Lockport, Ill.), Hayden Matulich (Purdue University-Northwest / San Jose, Calif.), Gannon Andrews (Purdue University-Northwest / Portage, Mich.) and Lynch each posted RBI walks in the inning. Gabe Halaby (University of Chicago / Monument, Colo.) also added an RBI single, furthering an impressive three-hit performance that included a solo home run.
“We do an excellent job at seeing lots of pitches when we hit,” manager Isaac Valdez said. “We have a good approach at the plate, and today was just an example of what we’ve done all season.”
On the mound, Keagan Bobbitt (Uncommitted / New Lenox, Ill.) served as the team’s true anchor, dealing three innings of shutout baseball to go along with five strikeouts. Valdez was quite pleased with his performance, and explained that moving forward, Crestwood will need more consistent outings from their arms.
“Keagan did a great job,” Valdez said. “We took him out early so that we could save him for later in the week, but he did very good for us today. As for our other pitchers, they struggled to be consistent with strikes. All of them are high school graduates, so they’re young and getting introduced to the college way. Hopefully, throughout the summer, they could continue to improve.”
Tuesday’s win marked the Panthers’ first victory since last Thursday, and could serve as a valuable building block moving forward. At 9-8, Crestwood has yet to hit their stride as a team, but Valdez believes that could change soon.
“This was a good win for us today,” Valdez said. “These guys [the Minutemen], despite their record, are still a very talented team. We needed to take care of business today, and we did. Now, it’s time to build off this.”
Crestwood will be back in action on Thursday evening, as they oppose the Southland Vikings from Dowling Park. Coverage begins at 5:05 P.M. on the Panthers’ Broadcast Network, available via Facebook Live.