Panthers Send Six to MCL All-Star Game
07/04/2019 10:02 PM -
Crestwood, Ill. – July 5, 2019 – Although the Crestwood Panthers currently sit at the bottom of the MCL standings with a 4-19 record, the team's talent-laden roster, which includes the likes of six Division One athletes, has never been the subject of skepticism. Case in point, six Panthers players were selected to represent the team at the MCL's annual All-Star Game, taking place at Oil City Stadium on Saturday, July 13th at 7:10 p.m.
Crestwood's most obvious honoree, undoubtedly speaking, was starting pitcher Eddie Wilkins (University of Illinois-Springfield / Braidwood, Ill.). Out of the Panthers' four wins on the season, Wilkins has appeared in three of them, while posting a 2-2 record overall. His 2.45 ERA places second amongst his teammates, and with 35 strikeouts in only 25.2 innings pitched, Wilkins averages nearly 12.5 strikeouts per nine innings. His contributions to Crestwood's success have been significant, and his subsequent All-Star bid should come as no surprise.
Rounding out the Panthers' selectees on the mound are Ethan Soderna (Ohio Wesleyan University / Chicago, Ill.) and Noah Mathias (Roosevelt University / LaPorte, Ind.) Soderna, working both out of the bullpen and as a starter, has quietly put together an outstanding season on the mound. Although registering an 0-1 record, his ERA currently stands at 2.01, which paces the team by a wide margin. Soderna has also recorded 31 strikeouts in 31.1 innings, while exhibiting excellent command, as evidenced by the issuance of only 10 walks in that same time span. As for Mathias, his 3.65 ERA ranks third on the team, adding to his undefeated 1-0 record. Similar to both Wilkins and Soderna, Mathias strikes out hitters at an above-average clip, posting 12 K's in 12.1 innings of work.
Offensively speaking, it looks as if the lifeblood of the Panthers' batting order, the usual one, two, and three hitters to be exact, have all been tabbed to play amidst the MCL's best. Reggie Brock Jr. (Chicago State / Chicago, Ill.) spearheads Crestwood's honorees at the plate. Brock, already an MCL Player of the Week winner, is slashing an impressive .465/.521/.581, while adding 10 RBIs in just 43 at-bats. Although he has not appeared in a game since June 21st due to an oblique injury, Brock is close to a full recovery, and thus, will hope to participate in the All-Star Game.
The Panthers' second, yet expected, selectee is Nick Anderson (Kankakee CC / Highland, Ind.). Anderson entered the MCL season with considerable momentum, hitting .367 as a member of the Cavaliers during the Spring. Fortunately enough, he has continued to live up to the lofty expectations surrounding him, hitting .288, to complement an outstanding .466 on-base percentage. Anderson also leads Crestwood in runs scored with 21, and walks with 16.
The sixth and final Panthers All-Star is Ray Hilbrich (Purdue University-Northwest / Schererville, Ind.), who, ironically enough, made his season debut just 11 days ago. In the six games that Hilbrich has played in, however, he's slashed .414/.414/.690, adding nine runs scored, four RBIs, and five extra-base hits. Hilbrich's presence at the top of Crestwood's lineup has completely changed this team for the better, therefore making his All-Star selection all the more appropriate.
The MCL All-Star Game will pit the MCL East All-Stars (Northwest Indiana Oilmen, Southland Vikings and Panthers) against the MCL West All-Stars (Bloomington Bobcats, DuPage County Hounds and Joliet Generals). Tickets for the MCL All-Star Game are available now on NWIOilmen.com. The game will also be broadcast live on the Oilmen Broadcasting Network via Facebook Live, starting at 7 p.m. on July 13th.