1. Ground Sloths (16-8, – GB); Week: 3-1, W1

Schedule: 5-1 W vs Merchants,  7-4 W vs BlueCaps, 0-3 L vs Bobcats, 5-4 W vs Merchants

Description: The Ground Sloths continued rolling this week as they went 3-1 and solidified themselves as the top team. Their only loss came on July 3rd to the Bobcats. Their bats stayed hot, as they pretty much have all season, but their pitching was phenomenal. The former pitcher of the week, Joey Wilmoth, pitched 2.1 scoreless innings and got a win. Sloths’ pitchers in general allowed just 9 earned runs for the week. On the other side of the ball, the Sloths were helped out by a pair of ISU players: JP Gauthier and Daniel Pacella. Gauthier played in only one game but contributed a home run and pair of RBIs to go along with it. Pacella played in three games, and also contributed a home run and three RBIs. Cole Nelson quietly contributed, as he got on base often and scored three times, more than any other Sloths player this week. Another interesting thing to note is that the Ground Sloths remained undefeated in extra inning Home Run Derbys. Peyton Dillingham hit a derby home run this week to walk off the Merchants, who they beat two times this week. In the home stretch of the season, the Ground Sloths continue to prove that they are contenders for the KCL championship.

Platinum Glove Nominee: #19 Luke Lawrence, C (ISU Commit) – 118 TC (13 A, 104 PO, 1 E), 2 DP, .992 FPCT, .222 CS%, 80 cINN

Luke Lawrence plays perhaps the hardest defensive position on the diamond, and he does it to borderline perfection. Out of 118 total chances behind the plate, he has only made one error, giving him a 99.2% fielding percent. Out of those chances, he has assisted on 13 outs and has 104 putouts. In addition to these stats, he has thrown out 22.2% of runners stealing this year, which is very impressive. On top of all of this, he has only allowed one passed ball all year, out of hundreds of pitches and a variety of different pitchers.

Projected Depth Chart

Note: If a player changed positions they are underlined. If a player’s positional depth changed, but they remained at that position their name is italicized. Additionally, all depth charts are designed with the intent that each non-pitcher is a starter or primary backup for at least one position. Players who have not played in 3+ weeks may not be included.

CLuke LawrenceTyler Woltman
1BDaniel PacellaDavey Fitzpatrick
2BMatt ArmstrongEli MooreCale SteinbaughNoah Campbell
3BDavey FitzpatrickCole NelsonEli MooreNoah Campbell
SSCale SteinbaughNoah CampbellCole NelsonEli Moore
LFJP GauthierQuinn WillardEvan JonesBryce Bishop
CFGavin GonzalezChase AdamsQuinn WillardBryce Bishop
RFPeyton DillinghamEvan JonesBryce BishopQuinn Willard
DHBryce BishopPeyton DillinghamEvan JonesDavey Fitzpatrick
SPAustin BakerKeegan GagliardoRyan BehlingEvan JonesGarrett Swingler
RPLogan WomblesBen DickersonTrey KrauseNate RighiJoey Wilmoth
CLIsaiha ImmkeRichie SniderAlex SmithBryce LohmanLogan Wombles

Seeding Odds

Below is a list of the odds of being in sole possession or holding a tie for first, second, third, and fourth place based on 20000 Season Simulations (Odds will be greater than 100%).

Seeding Odds

1st Place: 100% (Guaranteed to finish at least tied for first place)

2. Bobcats (11-13, 5 GB); Week: 2-2, L1; Tiebreakers: 4-4 vs. Merchants, -6 Run Differential (120 RF, 126 RA)

Schedule: 0-4 L vs BlueCaps, 5-4 W vs Merchants, 3-0 W vs Ground Sloths, 2-3 L vs BlueCaps

Description: The Bobcats went 2-2 this week, which was good enough to move into second place by the end of the week. First up was a 4-0 loss to the BlueCaps on Friday. The Bobcats quickly bounced back with a win during the game of the week on Saturday against the Merchants. The Merchants led the entire game, but the Cats scored 1 to tie it up 4-4 in the seventh and took the game to a home run derby. Auggie Rasmussen stepped up and won the home run derby for his team 1-0 on Born in the USA night in front of the largest crowd of the summer at the Corn Crib. The Bobcats carried the momentum forward and shut out the Ground Sloths the next day, winning 3-0, which took them into second place. The Cats then lost 3-2 against the BlueCaps on Monday. The Cats were down 2-1, but came back and tied it in the sixth, only to fall behind as the Caps went back ahead in the bottom half of the inning. Alec McGinnis gave his team a chance in the seventh by getting into scoring position, but his team was unable to knock him in to tie the game.

At the plate, the Bobcats were a bit quiet this week. After averaging 5.5 runs per game coming into this week, the Cats only scored 2.5 runs per game this week. They were led by Alec McGinnis, who went 5 for 13 with a walk, HBP, 1 RBI, and 3 runs. He either scored or knocked in 40% of his team’s runs this week. Other contributors were Colin Kalinowski with a home run, Evan Hutson who went 2 for 5 with a double and an OPS of 1.171, Bryce Hazzard who went 2 for 4 with an OPS of 1.167, and Auggie Rasmussen who had 2 RBIs and a .364 OBP. On the mound, the Bobcats had a strong week. Coming into the week giving up 5.75 (5.35 earned) runs per game, but this week the Cats only allowed 2.75 (1.75 earned) runs.

Leading the way this week for the starters was Brady Banker. Banker pitched 4 dominant innings against the league-leading Ground Sloths, picking up the win and fanning 7 while only giving up 1 hit, the only baserunner he allowed. Will Jackson, pitched 5 strong innings against the BlueCaps on Monday, striking out 6 while giving up 2 runs (1 earned). Thomas Harper also had a strong start, going 4 innings and striking out 4. He did give up 4 runs, but only 1 was earned. Mitchell Sampson was the other starter for this past week, and went 4 innings of 2-run ball, striking out 7 and only giving up 2 hits and 2 walks. The bullpen rebounded from last week quite nicely, only giving up 3 runs in 10 innings of work. Standouts from this week were Nick Barlow going 2 shutout innings in the win against the Sloths, Christian Badorek going 1.2 innings of shutout ball, Tommy White striking out 3 in 1.2 shutout innings in the win against the Merchants, and Logan Antrim pitching a scoreless inning in the win against the Merchants. Ryne Willard deserves a special shout-out here, as he came into the Merchants game with runners on first and second and got the last out, sending the game to the home run derby that the Bobcats would win, as well as pitching a scoreless final inning against the Ground Sloths to pick up his league leading 5th save of the season. If the Bobcat bats can get hot again next week and the pitching staff can carry this momentum forward, the Bobcats will have a good chance to lock up second place in the last 5 games of the season.

Platinum Glove Nominee: #27 Evan Hutson, 1B(Illinois Wesleyan Sophomore) – 108 TC (6 A, 102 PO), 8 DP, 1.000 FPCT

Although many consider first base to be one of the easiest defensive positions to play, Evan Hutson has made it look so easy that he is the Bobcat’s Gold Glover for the season. Hutson has 6 assists and 102 putouts in 108 chances, not committing a single error. Hutson is one of only 2 players with over 48 total chances not to commit an error and the only one with over 72 total chances with no errors. He has had the third most total chances and is the only one of seven players with over 74 chances who is not a catcher, a position that normally receives the most chances. Hutson has also been a part of 8 double plays this season. A model of consistency and reliability, Evan Hutson is worthy of a KCL Golden Glove award.

CHayden StorkLucas RyanColin KalinowskiBubba Mote
1BEvan HutsonColin KalinowskiBubba Mote
2BJackson BlemlerAlec McGinnisEli HensleyDan Mosele
3BBubba MoteDan MoseleAlec McGinnisShai Robinson
SSShai RobinsonAlec McGinnisJackson BlemlerDan Mosele
LFBrady AlexanderJames DuncanParker MathiesonTyson Mickie
CFAuggie RasmussenParker MathiesonTyson Mickie
RFBryce HazzardParker MathiesonTyson MickieBrady Alexander
DHEli HensleyTyson MickieDan MoseleBryce Hazzard
SPWill JacksonTommy WhiteMitchell SampsonBrady BankerJack Bach
RPChase GockelBrendan ShortLogan AntrimDrew MartinChristian Badorek
CLRyne WillardThomas HarperNick BarlowSeth Hotze

Seeding Odds

1st: 0.45% , 2nd: 56.77% , 3rd: 32.61% , 4th: 6.63%

3. Merchants (11-13, 5 GB); Week: 0-4, L5; Tiebreakers: 4-4 vs. Merchants, -9 Run Differential (121 RF, 130 RA)

Schedule: 1-5 L vs Ground Sloths, 4-5 L vs Bobcats, 2-8 L vs BlueCaps, 4-5 L vs Ground Sloths

Description: After starting the season 7-1, the Merchants have gone 4-12 since June 5. The Merchants went 0-4 this week losing to the Ground Sloths twice (5-1, 5-4), Bobcats (5-4), and BlueCaps (8-2). Cade Sharp pitched a great game on Friday night, going six innings, giving up two runs while striking out six. Addison Fletcher pitched well against the Bobcats going four innings and giving up only one earned run. Monday, Nathan Garard also turned in a good start going five innings, giving up two runs while striking out six. Offensively, Derek Botaletto (4-7) and Karter Hostetler (5-13, 3 RBIs) led the Merchants this week. The problem with the Merchants over the last month has been late game execution. The bullpen, late-game offense, and defense have allowed for plenty of comebacks from the opponents. The Merchants are still championship contenders even at 11-13, but now is a perfect time to get on a run to enter the playoffs on the right foot.

Platinum Glove Nominee: #18 Logan Van Heuklon, C/1B/3B/DH/RHP (Carl Sandburg Freshman) – 104 TC (9 A, 93 PO, 2 E), 3 DP, .981 FPCT, 61.1 cINN, .217 CS%, 1 PIK

Logan Van Heuklon has had a stellar year defensively for the Merchants. With 61+ innings behind the plate, Van Heuklon has thrown out 6 base runners for a 21.7% caught stealing rate which compares to current top MLB catchers like Omar Narvaez. In his 15 games played, he has only committed two errors in 104 chances. Being reliable behind the dish and in the field, gives the pitchers confidence to throw certain pitches and pitch to contact knowing Van Heuklon can field the ball and make the right play.

Projected Depth Chart

CKarter HostetlerDemetrius SchuppLogan Van Heuklon
1BAnthony MartinezLogan Van HeuklonKarter HostetlerChris LeCrone
2BCamden PorterBeau DurbinChris LeCrone
3BChris LeCroneJack KuetheAnthony MartinezLogan Van Heuklon
SSDerek BotalettoCamden PorterBeau Durbin
LFJack ShieldsKaiden RixnerNathan GarardAnthony Martinez
CFZach OttenJack ShieldsJack KuetheNathan Garard
RFJack KuetheTravis LutzNathan GarardKaiden Rixner
DHLogan Van HeuklonTravis LutzKarter HostetlerDemetrius Schupp
SPNathan GarardCade SharpAddison FletcherWes HuntLuke Markunas
RPRyan BredesonEvan McAfeeParker BrodineKaiden RixnerNick Hainline
CLLogan Van HeuklonJesse Hake

Seeding Odds

1st: 0.38% , 2nd: 56.03% , 3rd: 30.76% , 4th: 9.24%

4. BlueCaps (10-14, 6 GB); Week: 3-1, W2

Schedule: 4-0 W vs Bobcats, 4-7 L vs Ground Sloths, 8-2 W vs Merchants, 3-2 W vs Bobcats

Description: The BlueCaps are 5-2 in their last seven games, heating up with 5 games left before the playoffs start and only one game back of the second place. This week the BlueCaps beat the Bobcats twice (4-0, 3-2), lost to the Ground Sloths (7-4), and beat the Merchants (8-2). On the pitching side, Will O’ Gorman went five innings with one earned run and three punchouts. Kolby Pemberton pitched four innings, gave up no runs, and also struck out three. Offensively, the ‘Caps were led by Ben Karpowicz (5-10 2B and 2 RBIs) and Joey Hagen (5-11 2HR and 4RBI’s). The ‘Caps have spent most of the season in fourth place but have three of their remaining five games against the two-second place teams in the Bobcats and Merchants. Regardless of how the ‘Caps finish, they are a team nobody will want to face especially when Griffin McCluskey, one of (if not the best) starting pitchers in the league gets the start in the first round.

Platinum Glove Nominee: #3 Gage Wolfe, 2B/SS (WIU Commit) – 48 TC (30 A, 18 PO), 6 DP, 1.000 FPCT

Gage Wolfe has been spectacular in the field for the BlueCaps, committing zero errors in 48 chances, Wolfe has got most of his playing time in the middle infield with double play partner Liam McGill. The BlueCaps will need Wolfe to keep up the amazing defensive play en route to a potential championship run.

Projected Depth Chart

CTrevor DavisDom Ferrari
1BPatrick MulcaheyZach CarpitaDom Ferrari
2BGage WolfeJayden ComiaMitch MurphyLiam McGill
3BMike MaloneyZach CarpitaJayden ComiaMitch Murphy
SSLiam McGillJayden ComiaGage WolfeHunter Brewer
LFBen KarpowiczHunter BrewerTy CoartneyMitch Murphy
CFJoey HagenSean LynchHunter BrewerMitch Murphy
RFMitch MurphyTy CoartneyHunter BrewerJoey Hagen
DHDom FerrariMike MaloneyPatrick MulcaheyTy Coartney
SPGriffin McCluskeyKeegan BuksaKolby PembertonCameron GlickJulius Sanchez
RPGraham O’GormanShane MooreBraden RoeschMason TelfordRyan Borberg
CLNick SharpAaron AgeeWill O’Gorman

Seeding Odds

1st: 0.00% , 2nd: 16.96% , 3rd: 30.95% , 4th: 45.95%

League Leaders

Spotlight Players

Hitter of the Week: BlueCaps #8 Joey Hagen, OF/RP/DH (EIU Freshman) – 5/11, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 5 R, 3 BB, .455/.571/1.571

His walk-up song says he “looks real good today,” and boy did Joey Hagen look good at the plate this week. Hagen was 5 for 11 with a slash line of .455/.571/.1.000 and was the league leader in home runs (2), RBIs (4), runs (5), and OPS (1.571) among players who played at least 2 games this week. Not only were his numbers eye-catching, but he was also consistent throughout the week, as he had at least one hit in every game. In the Friday win against the Bobcats, Hagen went 1 for 3 with 2 walks and 2 runs in a 4-0 victory, scoring half of the Caps’ runs. He went 1 for 4 in the loss against the Sloths. Then, against the Merchants, he went 2 for 3 with a home run, 3 RBIs, 2 runs, and a walk, a large reason why the ‘Caps won that game 8-2. He hit a three-run bomb that gave the ‘Caps the lead against the Merchants, setting the tone for the game, and causing the BlueCaps to never look back. Finally, he went 1 for 3 with a home run that helped to make the difference in a 3-2 win against the Bobcats. Joey Hagen had a tremendous week, helping the BlueCaps go 3-1 and pull within a game of second place, making him an easy choice for the hitter of the week.

Pitcher of the Week: Bobcats #26 Brady Banker, LHP (Illinois Commit) – 4 IP, W, 1 H, 0 ER, 7 K

Brady Banker of the Bobcats earns pitcher spotlight honors after absolutely dealing against the Sloths on July 3rd. He went 4 innings and allowed one hit. He struck out 7 batters and got the win as well. Due to his stellar outing, the Bobcats were able to shut out the red hot Sloths, something that no other team has done in over a month. Looking at some more stats only proves that Banker had the best week of any other pitcher, for example, he threw 11 first pitch strikes out of the 13 batters he faced. Not to mention he did not allow a single walk, meaning he allowed only one runner to reach base safely. One more crazy stat is that 30.8% of the batters he faced were retired in three pitches or less, as well as three innings where he retired the side 1-2-3. Banker’s outing was nothing short of dominance, and he could be the missing piece that vaults the Bobcats into second place going into the last couple of weeks.


Last Week’s Predicted Game of the Week and Actual Game of the Week: Bobcats 5 Merchants 4, Saturday, July 2 Game 1

For once the predicted game of the week turned out to be the actual game of the week. After the first inning ended 3-1 on all unearned runs, including a two-run single by Karter Hostetler, it looked like the KCL might be in for a high-scoring affair to kick off Born in the USA Night. However, both starting pitchers settled in, for the most part, Thomas Harper for the Bobcats and Addison Fletcher for the Merchants, each giving up one earned run through four innings of work. These runs came off a solo shot by Colin Kalinowski in the second to make it 4-2, and a Beau Durbin RBI triple in the fourth to lengthen the lead back to 3. Relief pitchers entered the game for both teams in the fifth inning and while the Merchants would be done scoring for the day behind stellar relief appearances by Logan Antrim (1 IP, 1 H), Tommy White (1.2 IP, 3 H, 3 K), and Ryne Willard (.1 IP, 1 pitch), the Bobcats found a way to come back behind small ball baseball. In the fifth, a Hensley single was followed up by a two-base error and groundout to make it 4-3, before, in the seventh, a Mathieson single, Hensley sacrifice, and McGinnis single tied the game at four a piece. After being shut down in the seventh, the Merchants also couldn’t get a ball over the fence in the derby, allowing Auggie Rasmussen to get the Derby win for Bobcats 5 to 4.

Next Week’s Game of the Week: BlueCaps at Bobcats, Saturday, July 9, 5:00 PM (Harry Potter Night)

The Ground Sloths have virtually clinched the regular season championship, while the Merchants have struggled to find their stride up late, leaving the two most interesting teams in the KCL with five games left as the BlueCaps and the Bobcats. Their final regular season matchup will occur this upcoming Saturday with the BlueCaps holding a 5-3 head-to-head record, meaning it is crucial for the Bobcats to finish ahead of the BlueCaps, as they have already lost the tiebreaker. While the Bobcats are currently tied for second place, the BlueCaps are only a game behind in last, meaning that by the time this game is played, these teams both have the chance to be either second, third, or fourth. Additionally, if the Merchants continue their slide, this could be a potential 2 vs. 3 playoff preview matchup. The last time they faced off, the BlueCaps squeezed out a 3-2 victory on July 4 behind a go-ahead RBI single by Trevor Davis in the sixth. Each team will be donning specially made Harry Potter-themed jerseys themed around the four Hogwarts houses with the BlueCaps representing Gryffindor and the Bobcats representing Slytherin, making this not only one of the biggest rivalry matches in the KCL but also the biggest rivalry match in Hogwarts.

Weekly Digest

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  1. John on July 8, 2022 at 8:13 am

    Can you outline how the playoffs will work?

    • Kernelytics Team on July 8, 2022 at 1:29 pm

      There are four games remaining in the KCL regular season. After the four games, the number one overall seed (Ground Sloths) will play the last-place team, while the 2 seed will play the 3 seed, with the 1 and 2 seeds being the home teams on Friday, July 15. Then the winner of those two games will play in the KCL Championship on Saturday, July 16 in a full nine-inning game on Star Wars Night. Tiebreakers: 1) Head-to-head, 2) Run Differential, 3) Record excluding derby.

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