08/18/2020 9:38 AM -
Crestwood, Ill. – August 17, 2020 – It became quite obvious early on that Ray Hilbrich (Purdue University Northwest / Schererville, Ind.) was poised to repeat his franchise-record .426 performance at the plate from the 2019 season. In fact, throughout his first six games in 2020, Hilbrich had maintained a .435 batting average, while posting an OPS above 1.000.
As the season moved forward, and the Panthers’ push for the playoffs became more evident, Hilbrich continued his reign of terror on MCL pitching. His production down the stretch, the likes of which included nine RBIs in nine games, gave Crestwood a historic finish to the season. And now, Hilbrich’s efforts are being recognized on a league-wide scale, as he has been named the 2020 MCL MVP.
Overall, on the season, Hilbrich recorded an impressive .356/.452/.587 slash line to go along with three home runs, 23 RBIs, 21 runs scored, and 15 doubles. His doubles and RBI totals set single-season franchise-records, and his .356 batting average also made team history as the highest in a single-season with over 100 at-bats. In comparison to the rest of the league, Hilbrich paced all qualifying hitters in doubles, batting average, slugging percentage, and OPS.
Following his second season with the Panthers, Hilbrich has additionally made his mark in the team’s all-time annals, as he is now the franchise leader in total RBIs, total home runs, and total runs scored. His impact on the franchise, both during the difficult 2019 campaign and the unforgettable 2020 season, has been nothing short of extraordinary.
Hilbrich is set to begin his junior year at Purdue University-Northwest and looks to carry over his success from the MCL to his next collegiate season. As for now, though, Hilbrich has significantly etched his name into both the Panthers’ and MCL’s history books by winning the league MVP award and capping off an incredible two-year stint in the Midwest Collegiate League.