History made in home stand openerJune 21, 2016
KOKOMO, IND. – Lock Haven University’s Mike Anthony wasn’t thinking any less than helping get his Kokomo Jackrabbits’ teammates get a win at Kokomo Municipal Stadium Tuesday, June 21.
“I just went out and threw strikes,” he commented after a dazzling complete-game, two-hit, six-strikeout effort that lifted the Gold and Brown past visiting Springfield 4-0 in front of nearly 1700 appreciative fans.
As the possibility of a complete-game blanking appeared to be a possibility into the seventh, eighth and ninth innings, Anthony had a strategy to stay in the game. “Honestly, I just sprinted to the other end of the dugout,” he said with a soft laugh and smile. “The guys just left me alone and then, going into the ninth, (field manager Matt) Howard walked up shook my hand and said ‘You’re going back out’.”
Anthony’s gem set a franchise first, as it was the only one to go nine, and was just the second for the Jackrabbits. It marked the fifth complete game in the Prospect League this season.
“Mike’s just the kind of guy you want on the mound in a situation like this,” Howard noted after a delay to the start time pushed first pitch back to 7:07 p.m. from its scheduled 6:35 p.m. beginning. “He’s calm and competitor. He goes out and throws strikes which is what you want when the schedule might be off a little.
“We needed this,” he added with a smile. “The five-game road trip was tough with so many close-knit opportunities and then to wind up falling short in each instance. Hey, though, I told the guys, the teams in front of us in the first half are coming in the next few days. We just need to go out and play like we can on our home field.”
Offensively, third baseman Ryan Hutchinson of Illinois State University upped his hit string to eight contests by going two-for-three with an RBI. Catcher Mitch Stoltzfus of Millersville University made a strong impression in his first game in a Kokomo uniform, ending with two hits, while right fielder Griffin Harms of Wayne State University added two hits as well.
The Jackrabbits, sitting at 11-12, continue their current four-game home stand Wednesday, June 22. The Butler Bluesox come to town for a 6:35 p.m. start.