By: Brandon Vickrey
July 7, 2015 • 7:10 p.m. • Whiting, Ind.
Radio: AM 1230 WJOB
Internet Broadcast: nwioilmen.com
NWI’s Jimmy Skiff vs. Joliet's Steven Skolarz
The Midwest Collegiate League’s brightest stars will be on display on Tuesday night at Oil City Stadium as they take the field on the league’s biggest stage. The annual All-Star Game serves as a chance for the league to further its mission of developing players that are ready to play at the professional level. Now in its sixth year in existence, the MCL has accomplished its goal of aiding collegiate ballplayers in their climb to the professional ranks. In the 2015 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft, nine former Midwest Collegiate League players were selected. The league has had 19 players drafted over the last two years and approximately 30 players selected in its six-year history.
Steven Skolarz, a 2015 graduate of Lincoln-Way West, will get the start for the North team. Skolarz signed his National Letter of Intent to play his college baseball at Division-I Loyola Marymount on July 2. Skolarz sports a 2.46 ERA in two starts with the Admirals this summer. Jimmy Skiff, an Andrean High School product who plays at Purdue Calumet, will get the start for the South. He holds a 3-1 record with a 1.48 ERA in six Midwest Collegiate League games with the Oilmen. Each pitcher is expected to throw only one inning on Tuesday, except Skolarz, who is slated for two frames.
Inside the Dugout
Snipes manager Billy DuBois will guide the North squad, while Southland’s Tony Sanchez has been named manager of the South team. Both will be at the helm in an MCL All-Star Game for the first time in their coaching careers. The managerial matchup will pit DuBois against one of his former players, as Sanchez spent a summer with the Snipes during his playing days.
All-Star Game History
Last year, the South defeated the North 10-3 as Illinois-Chicago 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 last summer and is now a member of the Los Angeles Angels organization, received the 2014 Midwest Collegiate League All-Star Game Most Valuable Player Award. The South comes into this year’s game having won three consecutive MCL All-Star Games. The most recent North victory came in 2011 at Oil City Stadium, when the North (Chicago Zephyrs and Rockford Foresters) edged the South (Southland Vikings and Will County CrackerJacks) 8-7 in extra innings. The South prevailed 3-2 in 2012 and 12-4 in 2013.
Around the MCL
The Hounds and Oilmen have gone back-and-forth atop the MCL standings all season, but the Snipes are the hottest team in the MCL. They have won four straight and are now only a game behind the first-place Oilmen and 1/2 game behind the second-place Hounds.
Click "download attachment" to view full MCL All-Star Game Notes.
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