07/15/2018 4:29 PM -
-By Sam Oppenheim
It was a night full of stars on Saturday in Northwest Indiana, both in the sky and on the field. The 2018 Midwest Collegiate League All-Star Game featured the cream and crop of the MCL. The six teams in the league split up to represent the East and West All-Star teams.
The East squad was comprised of the Oilmen, Panthers and Vikings. Meanwhile, the West was made up of the Generals, Hounds and Bobcats. The MCL West won the game in extra innings, pushing across three runs in the 10th to win 6-3.
Eight Joliet players were represented at the game, which took place at Oil City Stadium. Here’s how the Generals players performed.
The West sent out three Joliet pitchers successively to begin the game.
Getting the start was right-hander Ryan Czajowski. Czajowski threw two innings, giving up one run on two hits. He gave way to Alex Herbst, who only needed 14 pitches in his only inning of work. He managed to retire the side, including a strikeout to end the inning. After the third, Carter Lawler came in to pitch. He gave two hits but allowed no runs to cross in his one inning on the mound.
Combined, Generals pitchers combined to give up one run on four hits in four innings of work.
At the plate, all five of the Joliet position players made their impact known.
In the sixth, catcher Jack Kraus singled and later scored. In that same inning, outfielder Jeremiah Lebron had an RBI groundout to tie the game at three.
In a game in which offense was at a premium, other Generals players managed to get the offense going in the 10th.
Infielder Ranko Stevanovic led off the inning with a single. Second baseman Bryce Cross followed him up with a walk. Then, outfielder Jimmy Day, a late addition to the All-Star team, singled to load the bases full of Joliet players. All three Generals would end up coming into score and made the difference in a 6-3 ballgame. At the end of the night, every Generals batter reached base or had an RBI.
The 2018 MCL All-Star Game MVP unsurprisingly was from that same winning side. Zach Frey of Bloomington was tabbed as the MVP after he picked up the victory with two strong innings in relief. Frey dominated the East lineup in the ninth and 10th, striking out four of the six batters he faced on just 19 pitches in total.
Overall, it was a succesful night for Joliet as they prepare for the final act of the MCL season. The Generals return to action Tuesday night against the fourth-place Bloomington Bobcats. A win would move Joliet ahead of the Bobcats and into the final playoff spot. First pitch is scheduled for 5pm at Wayne King Field and the game will be broadcasted on the Joliet Generals YouTube channel.