Walks, Situational Hitting Issues Plague Panthers In Loss

06/08/2021 11:03 PM -

Crestwood, Ill. – June 8, 2021 – Entering Tuesday night’s game against the Northwest Indiana Oilmen (3-1), the Crestwood Panthers (4-5) knew the problems both on the mound and at the plate that led to their recent string of losses. The question was, however, were they prepared to make the adjustments that manager Isaac Valdez had previously discussed?

 Unfortunately, that proved not to be the case, as the Panthers left 10 runners on base and issued 10 more walks en route to a 10-4 loss at Oil City Stadium.  

“When you walk 10 guys, you’re typically not going to win a baseball game,” Valdez said. “Our pitching let us down today, but you’re going to have those days throughout the season. Hopefully, we can figure it out and hold on until we get more of our pitchers on the roster in the coming weeks.”  

Crestwood’s offensive attack was unaffected by the struggles on the mound. Hayden Matulich (Purdue University-Northwest / San Jose, Calif.), Tyler Schultz (Purdue University-Northwest / Hobart, Ind.) and Dino Biggers (Illinois Wesleyan / Naperville, Ill.) each recorded multi-hit performances. Ronald Applewhite (Culver-Stockton College / Chicago, Ill.) posted 1 hit, 1 RBI, and 1 run scored, while Kevin Coe Jr. (Eastern Kentucky / Chicago, Ill) added a pinch-hit RBI sacrifice fly in the 8th inning. Valdez was quite pleased with his team’s hitting, and emphasized that it stands to be the Panthers’ strength moving forward.

“We hit the ball very well today,” Valdez said. “We found ways to put the ball in play, but our biggest issue was timely hitting. We were always searching for that one big hit, but we couldn’t get it.”  

Situational hitting has been a key concern for Crestwood so far this season. The team has stranded 63 runners over their first nine games, amounting to seven stranded runners per game, on average. That glaringly high total must be cut down in the future, and Valdez believes that with time, it will. 

“We just haven’t been able to get that clutch hit to break things open,” Valdez said. “I can’t imagine that this would last the entire season, though. We’re just entering week two right now, and I think we’re going to end up getting those big knocks soon enough.”  

The Panthers will look to snap their current three-game losing streak on Wednesday evening in Hammond, as they oppose the MCL Minutemen from Riverside Park. First pitch is scheduled for 5:05 P.M. and can be streamed on the Panthers Facebook Live page.