Baseball team wraps up busy summer

Maher Kawash, Baseball Reporter | The Daily Eastern News

After coming off a 15-39 season, the Eastern baseball team took little time to rest as some players took part in summer collegiate leagues.

Jimmy Govern
File Photo
Jimmy Govern

The Panthers had 22 players participating across eight different leagues this summer, and some even came away with a championship.

Redshirt freshman Hunter Clark, freshman Jordan Flint, freshman Zack Forney, and freshman Jimmy Govern were all members of the NWI Oilmen, winning the 2016 Midwest Collegiate League Championship.

Clark turned in an impressive performance on the mound all summer long as he finished the season with a 0.75 ERA and two saves in 24 innings pitched.

Flint and Forney have yet to play a game for Eastern since they are incoming freshman, but they did impress at the plate for the Oilmen.

Flint, Forney, and Govern led the way at the plate with 39 combined runs batted in on the season.

Forney and Govern also boasted batting averages above .300, while Flint was not far behind at .281.

As those four enjoyed a championship summer, other Panthers also enjoyed some success.

Freshmen Cole Berry, Bryan Bund, Tyler Tesmond, and Dane Toppel were also a part of the Midwest Collegiate League, but teamed up on the DuPage County Hounds.

And although the Oilmen took the Championship bragging rights, it was the Hounds who finished the regular season with a MCL best 29-19 record.

Bund was another player who has not made an appearance for the Panthers yet as a freshman, but he did get plenty of experience this summer.

Bund pitched 42.1 innings on the mound for the Hounds as he ended the summer with 43 strikeouts and a 5.74 ERA.

Hunter Clark
File Photo
Hunter Clark

Tesmond and Toppel tried to build off their freshman campaigns, and had some success at the plate.

Tesmond knocked in 35 runs on the season, while Toppel followed with a .347 batting average.

Toppel also earned himself special honors after being named as the Midwest Collegiate League “Player of the Week” on June 20.

The Panthers also sent another five players to the Prospect League as redshirt sophomore Frankie Perrone, junior Jake Haberer, and Jack Holden were members of the Quincy Gems.

Sophomore Josh Turnock joined them in the league as a member of the Champion City Kings, and incoming freshman Andrew Curran played for the Danville Dans.

Haberer had a special summer on the mound, holding a 2.85 ERA in 56.2 innings pitched. He also recorded 54 strikeouts on the season, while boasting a 4-2 record.

Redshirt junior Brendon Allen and junior Chase Thurston continued the trend of teaming up as they pitched for the Kenosha Kingfish in the Northwoods League.

Sophomore Joseph Duncan faced off against them in the same league as a member of the Lakeshore Chinooks, while junior Justin Smith joined the Duluth Huskies.

Sophomore Hunter Morris, freshman Jackson Mueller, junior Alex Cain, Derek Flaugher, and sophomore Michael McCormick also played for separate summer leagues.

While all those Panthers got some work in over the summer, seven of them clinched a spot on the all-star team in their respective leagues.

Allen, Clark, Curran, Forney, Haberer, Tesmond, and Toppel all earned the special summer league honors, and Clark also made his way onto the Midwest Collegiate All-League Team.

Maher Kawash can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].