Struggles At Plate Lead to Panthers Loss

08/01/2020 4:05 PM -

Crestwood, Ill. – August 1, 2020 – For the first time throughout the 2020 MCL season, the Crestwood Panthers (12-11) failed to score a run in a game, and ended up falling to the Southland Vikings (14-12) 4-0 on Saturday afternoon.  

As a team, Crestwood only recorded two hits, one going to Donavan Noble (South Suburban College / Chicago, Ill.) in the contest’s opening frame, and another to Cameron Bufford (Grambling State University / South Holland, Ill.) in the sixth. Unfortunately, however, that was all the offense could muster against Vikings pitchers Clay Bumsted and Nick Heiden. 

“I just think that we weren’t aggressive at the plate today,” assistant coach Jameel Rush said. “We had too many guys taking pitches looking and we just didn’t give ourselves a good enough opportunity to win.”  

The Panthers’ performance on the mound certainly set the team up for success, as Eddie Wilkins (University of Illinois-Springfield / Braidwood, Ill.) turned in yet another sound outing, lasting six innings, while allowing just three earned runs. And reliever Oscar Trevino (Saint Xavier University / Lowell, Ind.) added three shutout innings, striking out four Vikings hitters in the process. Crestwood’s problems at the plate, though, overshadowed both Wilkins’ and Trevino’s dominance from a pitching standpoint.  

“I thought our pitching did enough for us to win today,” Rush said. “Eddie did a good job and ate up innings for us, and as for Oscar, this was, without a doubt, his best outing of the year. He did a great job for us. But, you have to score at least four runs per game to win in this league, and we didn’t do that here.”  

With the loss, the Panthers have relinquished their third-place position in the MCL standings, and once again fall one-half games behind the Vikings. Although, at the surface, this development could be cause for concern, Rush is not worried, and persists in his confidence for the team. 

“It is disappointing, but it’s baseball,” Rush said. “You’re going to win some and you’re going to lose some. We have a good game scheduled tomorrow against the Oilmen; I’m hoping we can get a win, and I know that we’ll be alright.”

The Panthers will look to get back on track on Sunday afternoon, as they oppose the Northwest Indiana Oilmen from Oil City Stadium. Coverage begins at 4:00 p.m. on the Panthers’ Broadcast Network, available via Facebook Live.