By: Adam Johnson
The DuPage Hounds are proud to announce that they will be returning eight players for the upcoming 2016 season. Of those eight players, seven of them played on the 2015 Midwest Collegiate League Championship team. The organization takes great pride in retaining such a large number of players from season to season and our staff is truly looking forward to working with the players once again.
The Hounds are ecstatic to have the reigning Midwest Collegiate League pitcher of the year, Tom Concklin back to headline their 2016 pitching staff. Tom put together one of the more impressive seasons in Hounds history in 2015 as he went 3-0 over nine starts. Over those nine starts, Tom threw a team-leading total of 49.2 innings in which he struck out 26 and walked just 13. His most impressive stat however was his WHIP, which was just 1.027 while his ERA was also a notable 2.36. He was also one of nine Hounds to make the 2015 All-Star team.
This past spring, Tom also played the role of staff ace for the Washington and Lee Generals where he appeared in and started twelve games. Over those twelve starts, Tom recorded an impressive 8-0 record with a 1.03 ERA and 60 strikeouts over 78.1 innings of work. In fact, Tom led the Generals in all of those listed categories. The Hounds will be looking for Tom to continue his mound dominance as their staff leader this summer, as they are relying on him to be one the key pieces that will help them reclaim the Midwest Collegiate League crown.
Thomas Goodyear’s tenure with the Hounds last summer was a quick, but an extremely efficient one. Appearing in just one game, Thomas helped the Hounds close out their biggest rival, the Northwest Indiana Oilmen on July 11th, by throwing the final three innings of the ballgame and locking down the save in a 13-4 win. This proved to be one of the more defining wins of the season for DuPage as the team saw themselves roll six straight wins off over the next week, which ultimately propelled them into a comfortable first-place lead heading into the final two weeks of the regular season.
As a junior at Rockford College this past spring, Thomas appeared in 12 games for the Regents, making six starts. Over those twelve appearances, he threw a total of 40 innings, striking out a total of 44. His impressive strikeout numbers earned him a very respectable 10.42 strikeouts per game, which ranked him amongst the team leaders in that category. Looking for him to continue to produce swing and miss stuff, the Hounds are hoping that Thomas can either become one of their rotation regulars or serve as a defining force that comes out of the pen to close out ballgames.
To say that Peter Hamot was one of the keys to the Hounds winning the 2015 MCL title is an understatement. Hamot joined the team on July 25th of last year and proceeded to shut down the Joliet Admirals after allowing no runs on two hits over seven innings while striking out four. Peter’s success carried over into the playoffs where he threw a team high eight innings over the course of six postseason games. Oh yeah, and he did all of this after just graduating high school.
As a true freshman at Lewis University in 2016, Peter appeared in 13 games for the Flyers, in which he started seven of them. Over those 13 appearances, Peter logged 44 innings on the hill, striking out a total of 28 batters while only allowing 11 batters to reach base via the walk. He also proved to be effective in late inning situations, converting his only save opportunity on the year. Having one full year of college ball now under his belt, the Hounds are expecting Hamot to be even more dominant in 2016 where he will rejoin an already experienced and decorated staff.
The Hounds are elated to have one the heart and souls of last year’s squad returning in Billy Hayes. This 2015 MCL All-Star is truly the definition of a five-tool player as he batted an impressive .329 while driving in 18 runs, stole eight bases, and played excellent defense behind the plate and in the outfield. Billy’s outstanding play in 2015 landed him an All-Star nod as well as on the All-Midwest Collegiate League Team as the leagues best catcher.
This past spring at College of DuPage, Billy was among one of the nations best when it came to offensive efficiency. He recorded and impressive .311 batting average, smacked 14 doubles, three triples and belted three home runs. On top of all that, Billy also drove in 49 runs, which ranked 14th overall in NJCAA Division III. He continued to impress with the glove where he earned a .988 fielding percentage behind the dish and also threw out 50% of would-be base stealers. Billy also put his impressive speed on display as he stole twelve bases in sixteen attempts. Heading into the 2016 season, the Hounds will look to Billy to continue to be one of their anchors behind the plate as well as one of their top of the order guys in their lineup.
The Midwest Collegiate League will be treated to one of the best gloves around for another year as Dustin Krob is slotted to anchor one of the middle infield positions for the Hounds this summer. Aside from his gold glove defense, Dustin also impressed with the bat as well in 2015 as the Hounds saw him hit .360 while driving in 17 runs in the process. Dustin also preformed on the base paths as well as he was tied for third on the team with ten stolen bases. After sitting out the 2016 spring season with South Suburban Community College due to transfer rules, the Hounds expect Dustin to come back as fresh as ever. They are hoping that his consistent bat and sure handed glove will continue to keep him in the lineup as an everyday, top of the order mainstay.
Another key 2015 mid-season acquisition came in the form of Joe Palasiewicz. After injuries to multiple Hounds relievers last summer, Joe stepped up in a big way to be one the Hounds key bullpen anchors as well as an extremely efficient spot starter. In the two games he started, Joe went 1-0 after throwing 13 innings of seven hit ball, in which he gave up only two runs and struck out eleven.
Joe’s 2016 season with Benedictine proved to be his best one yet as the junior proved to be one of the front-line aces. He appeared in and started nine games for the Eagles in which he recorded a 4-1 record with a 2.88 earned run average. Joe led the Eagles in multiple categories, which included total innings (65.2), strikeouts (43) and batting average against (.218). He finished second on the team in complete games with two. Following his success as a starter in 2016, the Hounds expect Joe to make up one of the key components of what is shaping up to be a dominant rotation.
The 2015 summer was a short one for Mike Roberson after an injury cut his season short. Starting the season as the opening day catcher, Mike went one for three with a double and also drew one walk. If it were not for his unfortunate injury last summer, Mike would have been an every day player in already stacked lineup.
Mike was atop nearly every category for the Mesa Community College T-Birds in 2016. He appeared in 53 games where he hit .291 at the plate, which included 51 base hits, seven doubles, a triple and two long balls, all while driving in 35 runs. To say his defensive efficiency matched his offensive efficiency would simply be an understatement. Mike converted an impressive 147 out of his 151 chances behind the plate, which was good enough for a .975 fielding percentage. With the return of Billy Hayes this summer, Mike will most likely be splitting time behind the dish while also seeing time as a designated hitter.
Unlike the other Hounds on this list, Christian Bockich did not spend the 2015 season in DuPage. After being one of the main hurlers for the Hounds in 2014, Christian spent the 2015 season with MCL rival, Michigan City. Christian proved to be the ace of the Lakers staff as he led the team with five starts, compiling a record of 2-2. Over the course of his 44 total innings of work, Christian struck out 34 batters and walked just 22.
As a redshirt sophomore for Lee University, Christian appeared in 20 games over the course of the 2016 season, which was good enough for third on the team. As one of the top relievers out of the pen, Christian recorded 25 strikeouts over 29 innings on his way to a clean 1-0 record. The Hounds are hoping that Christian continues his dominance out of the pen as he will be looked to perform in late-inning situations while also seeing some time in the rotation.
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