07/07/2018 10:24 AM -
Whiting, Ind. – July 7, 2018 – When the 2018 Midwest Collegiate League All-Star Game takes place next week at Oil City Stadium, the host team will be well represented.
Nine Oilmen have been tabbed to the annual showcase of the league’s brightest stars, which will take place on Saturday, July 14 at 7:10 p.m. and pit the MCL East All-Stars (Oilmen, Southland Vikings and Crestwood Panthers) against the MCL West All-Stars (Bloomington Bobcats, DuPage County Hounds and Joliet Generals).
The eighth annual event has become an attraction for professional scouts as the MCL has developed numerous drafted and signed players in its nine-year history, most notably big leaguers Tony Cingrani (Los Angeles Dodgers) and Paul DeJong (St. Louis Cardinals).
A quartet of pitchers will represent the Oilmen, including veteran Christian Howell (Trinity Christian / Aurora, Ill.), who will make his second MCL All-Star Game appearance and first since 2015. Howell owns a 1.75 ERA and has allowed eight walks while striking out a team-high 32 in five games (four starts) this season. He holds a 4-0 record and has been the winning pitcher in each of his starts this summer. Howell, who has worked 25 2/3 innings and won the MCL Pitcher of the Week Award on July 2, already owns the Oilmen record for career victories.
Alex Voss (Butler / South Bend, Ind.), Chad Patrick (Purdue Northwest / Hebron, Ind.) and Brendan Kelly (Purdue Northwest / Grandville, Mich.) will join Howell in representing the Oilmen pitching staff next week. Voss owns a sparking 0.96 ERA and 2-0 record in five appearances spanning 18 2/3 innings, Patrick has not allowed an earned run and has 23 strikeouts in 14 innings and Kelly holds a 3.29 ERA in three starts.
The group of Oilmen position players all set to compete in the All-Star Game is headlined by a pair of incoming college freshman who were selected in this year’s Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft last month. Jake Plastiak (Wichita State / Tinley Park, Ill.) and Zaid Walker (Michigan State / Flossmoor, Ill.) have both earned their place in the event. Plastiak, the Oilmen shortstop, is hitting .313 with one home run and 13 RBIs, while Walker owns a .371 batting average with one home run and eight driven in through nine games.
Nick Figus (Illinois Wesleyan / Frankfort, Ill.) will make his second straight MCL All-Star Game appearance, this time representing the Oilmen after last year donning a Bobcat uniform. Figus leads the Oilmen in batting average at .394 to go along with two home runs and 13 RBIs. He also owns a .556 on-base percentage. Catcher Nate Montgomery (Tusculum / Geneva, Ill.) was another MCL All-Star Game shoe-in, as he holds a .322 average to go along with team highs in home runs (five) and RBIs (25). Infielder Brandon Petkoff (Texas A&M Corpus Christi / Frankfort, Ill.) will also play for the MCL East All-Stars. He is hitting .295 and has driven in 13.
The MCL East All-Stars will be managed by Southland’s Dave Letourneau, while Bloomington skipper Jake Wegner will be at the helm for the MCL West All-Stars. Tickets for the MCL All-Star Game are available now on NWIOilmen.com. For those who cannot attend, the game will be broadcast live on the Oilmen Broadcasting Network via Facebook Live.