Panthers Fall Short Despite Valiant Comeback Effort

07/24/2021 4:21 PM -

Crestwood, Ill. – July 24, 2021 – It began as a 4-0 deficit for the Crestwood Panthers (14-15). 

The MCL Minutemen (8-18) had capitalized early on via five walks, one of which led to a run, and a bases-clearing double. That said, in typical fashion, the Panthers mounted a valiant comeback that saw the tying run on base in the seventh. Unfortunately, however, it was all for naught, as Crestwood fell to the Minutemen 4-3, and, in the process, fell out of third place in the MCL standings. 

Following the Minutemen’s four-run second inning, the Panthers roared back with two runs of their own. Chazz Clark (Xavier University of Louisiana / Chicago, Ill.), who recorded two hits, drove in Donavan Noble (South Suburban College / Chicago, Ill.) via a fielder’s choice. Then, Gannon Andrews (Purdue University Northwest / Portage, Mich.) posted an RBI walk.  

In the fourth, Tim Fauth (North Park University / Elk Grove Village, Ill.) added a majestic solo home run to left field, and cut the Panthers’ deficit to just one. In the end, though, Crestwood failed to score more runs, and stranded a runner at first base to end the game. 

“We continue to play like a last place team,” manager Isaac Valdez said. “We left eight guys on base, and that’s what bad teams do. We aren’t hitting when guys are on base, and we can’t even put the ball in play. That needs to change moving forward.”  

On the mound, Malachi Mabins (Kankakee CC / St. Anne, Ill.) shined in relief, dealing three shutout innings, while adding six strikeouts. Dino Biggers (Illinois Wesleyan / Naperville, Ill.) also made his mark, needing only 14 pitches to record four outs, thus giving Crestwood another comeback chance in the game’s final inning. 

“Malachi was truly our only bright spot today,” Valdez said. “He did a great job at keeping us in the game, and this was his best outing of the year. Dino also did well at controlling the strike zone. Both of them gave us an opportunity to make a late comeback.” 

Crestwood will look to snap their three-game losing streak on Sunday afternoon, as they oppose the Chicago American Giants from Lansing Old Timers Field. Coverage begins at 1:00 P.M. on the Panthers’ Broadcast Network, available via Facebook Live.