MCL to Celebrate 10-Year Anniversary Season with Saturday's All-Star Game

By: Brandon Vickrey

SATURDAY’S GAME:
MCL West All-Stars
at MCL East All-Stars

July 13, 2019 • 7:10 p.m. • Whiting, Ind. • Oil City Stadium
Broadcast: Oilmen Broadcasting Network (Facebook Live)

The Midwest Collegiate League’s brightest stars will be on display on Saturday night at Oil City Stadium as the league celebrates its 10th season in existence with the annual Midwest Collegiate League All-Star Game. The MCL East All-Stars are comprised of the top players from the Northwest Indiana Oilmen, Southland Vikings and Crestwood Panthers, while the MCL West All-Stars are the standouts from the DuPage County Hounds, Bloomington Bobcats and Joliet Generals.

Tidbits

  • The pitching matchup for this year’s All-Star Game pits Crestwood’s Eddie Wilkins (MCL East) up against Bloomington’s C.J. Lewis. Lewis holds an 0.81 ERA working out of the Bobcat bullpen, while Wilkins has logged 34 2/3 innings and boasts a 1.82 ERA with a league-high 44 strikeouts in seven appearances and five starts for the Panthers.
  • The MCL All-Star game has produced numerous professional ballplayers, most notably 2019 Major League Baseball All-Star Paul DeJong of the St. Louis Cardinals. DeJong played in the 2013 MCL All-Star Game at Oil City Stadium representing the DuPage County Hounds. He came off the bench to play second base and went 0-for-2 for the MCL North All-Stars.
  • In addition to DeJong, the MCL has produced big league pitcher Tony Cingrani, who owns a World Series ring and was part of a combined no-hitter. The highest MLB draft pick to have played in the MCL was former Southland Viking Corey Ray, selected fifth overall in 2016 by the Milwaukee Brewers.
  • Oilmen pitching coach Kyle Klosak pitched an inning and allowed two runs on three hits in the 2013 MCL All-Star Game as a teammate of DeJong the North team. Klosak was representing the Rockford Foresters, managed by current Oilmen manager Kevin Tyrrell.
  • The host Oilmen will have eight representatives. Chris Torres and Michael Bolton were late adds, joining Mike Madura, Nate DeLoian, Clay Thompson, Malik Peters, Ben Berenda and Justin Conant. Tyrrell will manage the East team, while DuPage County’s Ben Caple is in charge of the West squad. 

MCL All-Star Game Year-by-Year Timeline

2011 – The year before the Northwest Indiana Oilmen joined the league, their soon-to-be home
field got a taste of MCL baseball. The All-Star Game was hosted within the beautiful confines of
Oil City Stadium for the first time, a game that saw the South (Southland Vikings and Will
County CrackerJacks) edge the North (Chicago Zephyrs and Rockford Foresters) 8-7 in extra
innings.

2012 – The MCL’s Mid-Summer Classic made a one-year transition to Benedictine Stadium as
the South (Will County, Northwest Indiana, Southland and Illinois) beat the North (DuPage
County, DeKalb County, Rockford and Chicago) 3-2.

2013 – Current St. Louis Cardinals star Paul DeJong played in an MCL All-Star Game that saw
his North squad fall to the South 12-4. The game featured six players who would go on to play
professionally including DeJong, Pat Cashman (White Sox organization), Andrew Lowe
(Frontier League), Chis Chigas (Frontier League), Matt Pobereyko (New York Mets
organization) and Jeff Boehm (Los Angeles Angels organization).

2014 – The South defeated the North 10-3 as slugger Jeff Boehm cracked a two-run homer in the
first inning to help the South jump out to a 3-0 lead. Boehm, who was with the Southland
Vikings and went on to play in the Los Angeles Angels organization, received the 2014 Midwest
Collegiate League All-Star Game Most Valuable Player Award.

2015 – The South topped the North 10-3 in another game stacked with players who would go on
to play professionally. That group included Micah Coffey (White Sox organization), Shane
Carrier (Minnesota Twins organization), Trent Carrier (Pecos League), Reid Birlingmair
(Oakland Athletics organization), Enrique Zamora (Frontier League) and Scott Kapers (Texas
Rangers organization).

2016 – DuPage County’s Joe Engel (Columbia) notched three hits to earn MVP honors as the
Blue All-Stars beat the White All-Stars 10-2.

2017 – The MCL fielded one All-Star team, which took down the Serbian National Team 14-3.
The MCL squad pounded out 19 hits and Tyler Sroczynski of the Oilmen led the way with four
RBIs.

2018 – In a game dominated by pitching, 11 different hurlers enjoyed scoreless, hitless outings
as the MCL West All-Stars topped the MCL East All-Stars 6-3 in 11 innings. Bloomington’s
Zach Frey was the winning pitcher with two perfect innings of relief. He struck out four of the
six batters he faced and needed only 19 pitches to hold the East scoreless in the ninth and 10 th
innings, earning the MCL All-Star Game MVP Award.

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