05/30/2021 9:40 PM -
Joliet, Ill. – May 30, 2021 – The Joliet Generals could not start their season any better than they did Sunday, allowing only one hit in two games.
On opening day for the 2021 Midwest Collegiate League, the Generals (2-0) won both games of a doubleheader against the Crestwood Panthers (0-2) at Benedictine University on Sunday.
Joliet took the first game 11-1 in five innings by run-rule.
The Generals were able to recover from a shaky start, when Andrew Hancock (Central Missouri / New Lenox, Ill.), hit Panthers’ infielder Donovan Noble (South Suburban / Chicago, Ill.) to open the game, with Noble later scoring. Hancock settled in nicely after his first inning run, and did not allow any more the rest of the game. He went three innings, giving up just one hit.
New addition Drake Berman (Benedictine / Wauconda, Ill.) cleaned up the rest of the game on the mound, tossing two scoreless and hitless innings, and striking out four. Berman, a senior Benedictine pitcher, will be a valuable left-hander for the Generals this season.
Offensively, leadoff man Michael Gould was one of the Generals to lead the charge. Gould went 1-for-4 with four RBI’s. Joe Virruso (South Suburban / Oak Lawn, Ill.), Ryne Wiederer (St. Xavier / Hoffman Estates, Ill.), and Andrew DeMatteo (Ripon / Orland Park, Ill.) also had singles and RBI’s in the first game.
The Generals won Sunday’s sequel 7-4, with outstanding pitching from the southpaw-slinger Jack Bell (Western Illinois / Minooka, Ill.).
Bell, the freshman lefty from Western Illinois, threw six no-hit innings in his first start for the Generals. He struck out seven, walking no Panthers in the process.
“What a performance,” manager Joe Silva said. “He was missing barrels all day. I wanted to keep him out there, but pitch count was the main reason why I took him out.”
Returning Generals’ outfielder Jack Enright took Panthers’ pitcher Tim Faut deep for the first home run of the 2021 MCL season.
“It felt pretty good,” Enright said. “I was just told to go up there and see more fastballs and attack more first pitch fastballs.”
The Generals will face the Chicago American Giants in the American Giants’ first game in the MCL on Tuesday at Lee Pfund Field in Wheaton, Ill.