06/02/2018 11:25 PM -
Lemont, Ill. – June 2, 2018 – Despite producing their highest run total of the season, the Crestwood Panthers were unable to come through with hits when it mattered most as they suffered defeat at the hands of the DuPage County Hounds 10-8.
The Hounds (4-0) scored three runs in both the second and sixth innings while adding four more in the innings in between, however only produced five hits throughout the entire game. Their patience at the plate was evident all game long as the Hounds drew 12 walks.
For his second consecutive start, Panthers left-hander Kyle Ostrowski (John A. Logan College/Tinley Park, Ill.) could only get through 1.1 innings. Although he only allowed one hit and struck out three, Ostrowski issued six walks and hit one batter, allowing three runs to cross the plate and prompting manager Isaac Valdez to remove him from the ballgame.
Even though he gave Ostrowski an early hook, Valdez remains confident that the young pitcher will regain his form and become a dominant force on the mound.
“Kyle is a really talented pitcher,” Valdez said. “There’s a reason the Seattle Mariners drafted him out of high school. Right now, we’re looking for ways to improve his control. I plan on working with him on his direction to home plate, which should get him to throw fewer walks.”
In spite of the Panthers scoring eight runs on 12 hits, they could not get the final decisive hit in the later innings to win the game. Down by two runs in the top of the seventh, the Panthers had the bases loaded with one out. Although they had already scored three runs in the inning, the Panthers could not get another big hit to push across a few more badly needed runs. While the overall offensive productivity was good, the Panthers still managed to leave 22 runners on base.
“We have to make better decisions at the plate with the bases loaded,” Valdez said. “There were too many times where our hitters got anxious and tried to do too much. Once the guys get the right approach, the runners left on base will turn into runs.”
Doing the heavy lifting out of the Panthers bullpen after Ostrowski’s early exit were relievers Jake Miller (Concordia/Plainfield, Ill.) and Jake Anderson (Benedictine/Bolingbrook, Ill.) both making their first appearances on the season. Miller entered the game after Ostrowski walked in DuPage County’s first three runs of the game but left the bases loaded after striking out the first two hitters he faced. He would go 3.2 innings allowing six runs on four hits, walking three and striking out six. Anderson would enter in the sixth and pitch three innings, only allowing one unearned run, walking three and striking out none.
“The two relievers did really well today,” Valdez said. “They did a great job of challenging hitters by throwing strikes. There were times ,however, where they would try to get too cute, and that would cause them to fall behind in counts. We just have to keep challenging hitters on the mound, we’re very successful when we do that.”
The Panthers next game comes after two days off on Sunday and Monday as they host the Bloomington Bobcats at Howie Minas Field on Tuesday at 5:00 p.m. CT. In order for them to pick up their elusive first victory, the pitching needs to step up.
“The offense has improved in every game,” Valdez said. “Once the pitching matches it, we’ll get on a roll.”
You can catch Tuesday’s game on the Panthers Broadcasting Network with Ryan Zimmerman delivering the play-by-play call, available via Facebook Live on the Crestwood Panthers Facebook page.