Jacks Jabber - July 31, 2017

July 31, 2017

KOKOMO, IND. – The final week of the 2017 Prospect League regular season is at hand. First-year field manager Gary McClure’s Kokomo Jackrabbits, sitting at 24-30, still find themselves among playoff implications.

Trailing Eastern Division second-place club Champion City by four and a half games for the final slot with six to play, the Jackrabbits need a win streak and assistance to advance to a second successive PL postseason appearance. Kokomo’s road is far from easy with four successive contests ahead against Western Division leading Lafayette and two versus defending champion West Virginia on the road.

The span begins Tuesday, August 1, with a doubleheader at the Aviators’ Loeb Stadium. Game time is 5:35 p.m. Lafayette makes a return visit to Kokomo Municipal Stadium for the final regular season home games Wednesday and Thursday, August 2 and 3. First pitches are 6:35 p.m. each night as Family Wednesday, featuring a $20 package of two dugout reserved seats, two hot dogs and two sodas, and Taco Thursday, with three tacos for $5 and $5 margaritas, headline the set. Kokomo’s eastern journey to Beckley, W.V., and Linda K. Epling Stadium has twin 7:05 p.m. starts.

TROPHY TALK: The cherished prize that goes to the victor of the Battle for State Highway 26 series is up in the air. The 2017 edition stands neck and neck at eight wins apiece with four games to play, as the Aviators have claimed three straight and four of the last five.

STATISTICALLY SPEAKING: Austin Peay University’s Imani Willis’ drive for the league batting average title is going down to the wire with West Virginia’s Austin Norman and Lafayette’s Dougie Parks close behind. Willis, who’s led the chase over a good portion of the campaign, stands at .358 after a three-for-eight late afternoon/evening at Springfield July 30. Norman and Parks are both hitting .353. He and Norman are tied for the triples’ lead (six), too, while Des Moines Area Community College’s Luke Fegen, also a Jackrabbits’ roster member, is tied for fourth in three-baggers (four). Willis also finds himself in the top three of stolen bases, as his 21 are third-most, trailing only Butler’s Calvin Scott (26) and Springfield’s James Govern (24) … On the mound, Butler University’s Quentin Miller is still among the PL’s earned run average top 10 (No. 7 – 3.42). His 55 strikeouts are in similar territory (No. 8), and his four wins are tied for sixth. The University of Missouri’s Josh Konecek, one of Miller’s staff mates, finds himself in the top 10 as well, ranking in a ninth-place tie for saves (two).
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