Jackrabbits move closer to Eastern Division leaders

June 24, 2016

KOKOMO, IND. – Kokomo Jackrabbits’ field manager Matt Howard knows how important the city of Kokomo and its fans are to his 2016 team.

“The guys have been saying over this home stand that they want to win the division for Kokomo,” the Jackrabbits’ skipper said after the Gold and Brown edged within a game and a half of the Prospect League East Division league-leading West Virginia Miners by downing the leaders 3-0 in front of a near capacity crowd of just under 2,400 happy fans at Kokomo Municipal Stadium.

“They love playing at home in front of our fans,” Howard continued. “There is a good vibe here.”

The arm of the University of Missouri’s Ryan Lee dealt the second complete-game gem on the current four-game home stand. He shut down the visiting offense to the tune of five hits while striking out six. “Ryan has a power arm, and it showed tonight,” Howard noted. “We knew he had this in him when we brought him in. He’s got two shutouts to his credit this season now … he’s really got it going.”

Meanwhile, the Jackrabbits (14-12) saw just enough offense against the PL’s strikeout leader in the form of West Virginia’s Jacob Belinda. Third baseman Ryan Hutchinson of Illinois State, as he has done throughout a 10-game hitting streak, contributed another key hit, singling to right in the third to plate two runs for a 2-0 edge. Butler University’s Connor Dall, starting at second base, added the third RBI with a single in the seventh.

“We figured we would be in the midst of a close-knit game facing a pitcher the quality of Belinda,” Howard said. “As we’ve been able to do lately, our guys found a way to get a big hit when they needed it.”

Kokomo takes to the road for a pivotal two-game set at DuPage Saturday and Sunday, June 25 and 26. First pitch times are 7 p.m. and 6 p.m. respectively.

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