Chicago, Ill. – Aug. 12, 2019 – After the conclusion of the Midwest Collegiate League Championship series this past weekend, the league has announced its major award winners and all-league team.
The league’s Pitcher of the Year voting was dominated by Southland’s Justin Rios (North Central / Lemont, Ill.), who earned the award by posting a 2.39 ERA and 6-1 record while allowing 15 walks and striking out 40 over nine games, seven starts. He joins Tom Concklin (DuPage County, 2015), Mitch Weis (Bloomington, 2016), Kevin Glynn (Southland, 2017) and Quinn Gudaitis (Bloomington, 2018) as hurlers to win the MCL Pitcher of the Year award since the honor began.
DuPage County’s Nick Santoro (Naperville, Ill. / University of Wisconsin-Whitewater) garnered the MCL’s Most Valuable Player distinction after batting .407 with a .444 on-base percentage in 39 games. He slugged one home run, drove in 29 runs, scored 45 times and swiped 25 bases. Santoro joins Bobby Sheppard (Southland, co-MVP 2014), Jeff Boehm (Southland, co-MVP 2014), Tyler Sroczynski (Northwest Indiana; 2015 and 2016), Jack Butler (Bloomington, 2017) and Nate Montgomery (Northwest Indiana, 2018) as players who have won MCL MVP honors since the award’s inception.
After guiding his team to its first MCL regular season championship, Bloomington’s Jake Wegner was named the MCL Manager of the Year. He went on to guide his squad to the MCL Championship by going a perfect 4-0 in postseason play, sweeping both the MCL Semifinal Series and MCL Championship Series. The Bobcats became just the third team in MCL history and the first since DuPage County in 2015 to win both the regular season and postseason titles in the same year. Wegner joins a group of MCL Managers of the Year that also includes Sean Osborne (DuPage County, 2015), Tom Barry (Joliet Admirals, 2016), Kevin Franchetti (Southland, 2017) and Ben Caple (DuPage County, 2018).
The MCL major awards are determined based on a vote of the league’s managers and broadcasters. The voting for the major awards and nomination/selection process for the all-league team occur prior to the start of postseason play. Only regular season accomplishments are taken into consideration for both the major awards and the all-league team.
The MCL has also announced its all-league team, honoring four outfielders, five pitchers and one player at every other position.
2019 MCL All-League Team
1B - Will Krushena, Joliet
2B - Austin Biehl, Bloomington
SS - Nick Santoro, DuPage County
3B - Jackson Dvorak, NWI
C - Jake Schroeder, Southland
OF - Peyton Dillingham, Bloomington
OF - Reggie Brock, Jr., Crestwood
OF - Ray Hilbrich, Crestwood
OF - Scott Jones, DuPage County
P - CJ Lewis, Bloomington
P - Eddie Wilkins, Bloomington
P - Ethan Soderna, Bloomington
P/OF - Justin Rios, Southland
P - Mike Tobin, Southland