Power Surge Lifts Panthers Past American Giants

07/25/2021 3:40 PM -

Crestwood, Ill. – July 25, 2021 – Entering Sunday’s matchup against the Chicago American Giants (14-15), the Crestwood Panthers (15-16) had scored just 11 runs in their past three games.  

And, after initially trailing 2-0, it seemed as if that trend would continue against the Giants, who curbed a Panthers’ scoring opportunity in the first inning. Crestwood’s luck changed, however, as they struck for 15 runs in the game’s final five innings, defeating Chicago 15-5, and re-taking sole possession of third place in the MCL standings.  

Dino Biggers (Illinois Wesleyan / Naperville, Ill.) put the Panthers on the board early, lining a two-out, two-RBI single to right-center field, tying the game at two in the second. After an RBI walk by Sergio Olivares (Waldorf / Libertador, Venezuela), Crestwood’s offense saw five consecutive RBIs posted by Sean Lynch (Eastern Illinois / Indian Creek, Ill.). In the third, he singled to score Gannon Andrews (Purdue University Northwest / Portage, Mich.), and in the fourth, he launched a grand slam home run to left-center field, giving the Panthers a commanding five-run lead. 

“The last couple of games, I haven’t been getting many pitches to hit,” Lynch said. “So, today, I was happy to see some pitches in the zone, and I didn’t miss them. On the grand slam, I was up 3-1, saw a good pitch down the middle, and crushed it.”  

Crestwood’s offense persisted in its dominance, putting up a seven-spot in the game’s final inning via multiple American Giants errors. Manager Isaac Valdez was pleased with his team’s output offensively, but noted that more improvement is still expected. 

“This was much different than the past few days, and that’s a huge positive for us,” Valdez said. “We can still get better at the bottom of our order, though. There’s definitely room for improvement, and hopefully, we can get on a hot streak from here and build off this.”  

On the mound, Keagan Bobbitt (Uncommitted / New Lenox, Ill.) authored a masterpiece, striking out nine American Giants hitters and walking just two. He lasted six innings, surrendering just three earned runs. Valdez was especially impressed by his performance, and pinned the majority of the team’s win on his outing. 

“He pitched a great game for us today,” said Valdez. “I tip my cap to him. The Giants are an excellent hitting team, and he kept them off balance. He did a fantastic job, and was a big reason why we won here today.”  

The Panthers will look to build on their third-place positioning in the MCL standings, as they oppose the MCL Minutemen from Prairie State College on Monday. Coverage begins at 5:00 P.M. on the Minutemen Broadcast Network, available via Facebook Live.