Inside the Box Score: Admirals Defeat the Oilmen 8-2

By: Ryan Neiman

The Joliet Admirals sunk their losing streak as they defeated the Oilmen at a score of 8-2 on Thursday night.

The Admirals are now back to their winning ways and they are now on the right path for the  last playoff spot in the Midwest Collegiate League.

We break-down the box-score from Thursday’s nights victory and some key notes you should be aware of.

  • Admirals bats came alive against the Oilmen as they knocked out nine hits.
  • The Admirals eights runs scored tied a season high.
  • Batters 1 thru 6 were combined 9 for 29 which is good for a .310 batting average.
  • Eight of the nine batters for the Admirals came around to score.
  • The Admirals scored eight runs despite only having four RBI’s. The Oilmen had five errors.
  • Jeff Evak continues to be a speedster on the base-paths swiping  his sixth stolen base on the year.
  • The Admirals used four pitchers in Steve Waldrop, Brock Borgeson, Eric Littler, and Brenden Miller to preserve their 8-2 victory. They scattered ten hits, allowing only two runs, and leaving nine men left on base squandering the Oilmen’s chances of scoring.  Littler ended up with the victory on the day.
  • Admirals fielding contributed to ten assists.
  • Jeff Evak and Ryan Kent were combined for 4-9 as they were a wonderful tandem at the top of the order for the Admirals.

Follow the Joliet Admirals on Twitter @JolietAdmirals 

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Quinn Ahern, Jeff Evak build MCL All-Star Game stock but lose to Hounds

The Admirals’ No. 1 starter, Quinn Ahern, was called upon to help stop their six-game losing streak Friday against the DuPage Hounds in the first leg of their road doubleheader. He did his job, keeping the Admirals afloat with another quality start, but they gave up a lead late that led to a 5-2 loss.

This is the third straight game in which the Admirals scored first and led throughout half of the game, but whether if it’s because of pitching or hitting, the game seemingly gets away from them towards the end. On Friday, it was the offense, according to second basemen Michael Kendrick.

“We’re right in the game. We’re just not getting timely hitting, so it’s tough,” said Kendrick who went 1 for 4, a double and an RBI.

The Admirals would have liked to get a win at DuPage to make for a happier drive out to Whiting, Ind. to face the NW Indiana Oilmen for the nightcap, but the loss extends their losing streak to seven games.

“It’s tough on our psyche a lot, but we’re trying to fight through it,” said Kendrick.

Outside of Kendrick, who had the only RBI for the Admirals, Jeff Evak continues his strong season as he faced off against fellow Purdue teammate, starting pitcher Matt Frawley on the mound for the Hounds. Evak got the best of him by getting two of the three total hits allowed by Frawley. He went 2 for 4 with a triple and a double, which extends his hitting streak to six games and raises his stock to reach the Midwest Collegiate League All-Star Game on July 9.

Coming off season-highs of 8 innings pitched and 9 strikeouts against the Northwest Indiana Oilmen in his last start, Ahern went 6 1/3 innings, gave up three earned runs and struck out five against the Hounds. He has a quality start in every start this season. His ERA hovers around the low-twos as he builds his own case to reach the MCL All-Star Game.

Brenden Miller made his debut for the Admirals after suffering an arm injury in the Spring season. The Division I pitcher, out of Southern Illinois University, showed off a breaking ball with lots of bite as he struck out two in his 1 2/3 innings of work.

After Friday night’s game against the Oilmen, the Admirals are back at it again with another road doubleheader against Lexington the following day. The first game at Lexington is expected to start at 1 pm.

 

Remembering Tony Gwynn

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By: Ryan Neiman

On Monday, the baseball world lost one of the greatest players to have ever to grace the playing diamond. Hall of Famer and legendary San Diego Padres player Tony Gwynn was taken too soon from us as he passed away at the young age of 54. His playing accolades included but were not limited to a career .338 batting average, 8-Time National League Batting Champion, 15-Time All-Star, 5-Time Gold Glove Winner, amassing 3,141 hits, and 7-Silver Slugger Award Winner.

Yet, despite of all of his remarkable achievements throughout his career, it was the way Gwynn carried himself not only on the field, but when he was away from the game as well.

He became a role model for those who were inspiring to reach the final plateau for their dreams. And with this alone, Tony Gwynn was a Hall of Famer in many ways than just his ability to propel a line drive to the opposite field.

Everyone has their own role models whom we use as a motivational tool to better ourselves in various aspects of our lives.

Tony Gwynn was the rare exception where no matter how hard you try to imitate the type of person he was, it was impossible to achieve because he was considered a diamond in the rough.

Thus, the Joliet Admirals will strive and attempt to reach the same stature of Tony Gwynn managed to do during his twenty year career every time when we step onto the field. However, if we are not able to reach the same level as Gwynn, that is acceptable by us . For us to simply look up to a man like Gwynn and fall short of being the identical version of him is not problematic with us because of this simple notion:

There was only one Tony Gwynn.

“We make a big deal about work ethic about trying to make good decisions and doing things right. And you know what? That’s what we’re supposed to do. When you sign your name on the dotted line, there’s more than just playing the game of baseball. I think if you look out here today, you see all these people out here today, they love the game too. … Those people who pay to watch you go out and play, you’ve got to be responsible and make decisions and show people how things are supposed to be done.”

– Tony Gwynn

Home runs from Jeff Evak, Jermaine Terry not enough against Southland

Story by:  Jay Sanchez

Not one team has hit a home run at the Joliet Admirals’ home field. Its dimensions are 375 feet in the alleys, 400 in center field, 330 down the left-field line, and a short, 275 towards the right-field line, but there’s high fences all around. Combine that with the use of wooden bats, and it makes for a difficult time to hit one over the wall.

So, the Admirals hitters were licking their chops Monday at Southland, which has a field with shorter dimensions, as numerous baseballs were clearing the fence during batting practice.

Jermaine Terry provided one of the two home runs by the Admirals’ offense. He followed Justin Kovalsky’s RBI single with a two-run shot to cap off a 3-0 early lead in the first inning.

“Right off the bat, I knew it was gone,” Terry said about his home run. “It felt great.”

The outfielder, who plays at Lakeland Community College, also hit a double off the center-field wall and finished the night 2 for 3 with two RBIs, two runs scored and two walks.

Jeff Evak hit an opposite-field solo home run in the fifth inning to extend the Admirals lead to 5-3. The right-fielder, out of Purdue University, finished 2 for 5 and also extends his hitting streak to five games.

However, the two-run lead that Evak delivered was squandered as the Southland Vikings (8-6) scored four runs in the bottom half of that same inning, which gave them the lead, and they didn’t look back. The Admirals (3-9) were defeated 11-6 and extended their losing streak to six.

“We just got to come together as a team,” said utility player Joey Anderson. “Like when we were on our three-game win streak, we just got to put that all back together and figure it out as a team.”

Kovalsky’s single that drove in Ryan Kent back in the first inning was his first RBI of the season. Along with the RBI, he finished 1 for 3, two runs scored and a walk. Chip Bouchard has had plenty of singles on the season, but his RBI double that drove in Terry in the third inning was his first extra-base hit of the season.

Also, outfielder Jay Roberts returned from injury but wasn’t 100 percent healthy for his Admirals debut. He hit the ball hard, but was hitless.

He and the team will have some rest as there will be no games for the next three days before a busy day on Friday in which there will be two road clashes:  A day game against the DuPage Hounds, and a night matchup against the Northwest Indiana Oilmen.

So fans going to Friday’s games, brace yourself for lots of driving.

 

Kevin Steger’s debut keeps Admirals afloat, Hounds rally in ninth to win

Story by:  Jay Sanchez

The Joliet Admirals played a doubleheader on Saturday in which six pitchers were used, and all but one of them pitched more than one inning. So it was important for Sunday’s starter to have a quality outing to prevent taxing the bullpen even further, especially with another game to play the following day.

Newly added pitcher Kevin Steger did just that. He went deep into the game and did that while on a pitch count.

The 6’6 right-hander, out of Triton Community College, made his Admirals debut Sunday against the first-place DuPage Hounds. He pitched seven innings, gave up two runs and struck out four on only 75 pitches.

“He pitched awesome today,” said Admirals pitcher Brock Borgeson on his new teammate’s start. “He only threw 75 pitches in seven innings, and that’s the epitome of being efficient as a pitcher,” he later added.

Admirals manager Jorge Garza said he’s looking forward for Steger to pitch more innings this summer, add depth into the starting rotation and be a “nice 1-2 punch” behind No. 1 starter, Quinn Ahern.

“Kevin Steger was a big-time pickup for us. Great, quality kid, he pitches very well,” said Garza.

The Admirals (3-8) gave Steger run support right from the get-go, scoring two runs in the first. However, those were the only runs delivered by the offense. The Hounds (10-3) climbed back to tie the game in the seventh inning, and then things unraveled in the ninth in which they scored five runs en route to their victory.

“We were strong all the way throughout until the end, and that’s kind of where we need to fix it up here.” said Garza. “It’s not very good to play eight innings of baseball when it’s a nine-inning game.”

Ryan Kent, like Steger, also made his Admirals debut. The outfielder, out of Morehead State University, was the team’s lead-off man and went 1 for 3 with a stolen base, and a run scored.

Alec Barnhart was 1 for 3 with a stolen base, which extends his hitting streak to eight games. He’s delivered at least a hit in all of his starts this season. Jeff Evak finished 1 for 3 with a run scored, and two stolen bases. He has a hit in four straight starts. Shortstop Logan Fleener continues to have the highest batting average on the team. His 1 for 3 day, along with a run scored, gives him a five-game hitting streak and lowers his batting average to .450.

The Admirals are back at it again Monday for their fifth game in last four days. This time, they travel to Flossmoor, IL to face the Southland Vikings. Their third road game of the season is expected to start at 7 pm.