SAUGET, Ill. – Wild Thing Starting Pitcher Chase Cunningham and ThunderBolt Outfielder Coco Johnson have been named Week 8 Frontier League Pitcher and Player of the Week as chosen by Pointstreak, the official statistical provider of the Frontier League and the Independent Professional Baseball Federation.
Chase Cunningham of the Washington Wild Things earns his first Frontier League Pitcher of the Week honors with two dominant performances over the last week. On June 27th, the righty earned his second shut-out victory of the season when Washington hosted Traverse City in an East Division showdown. Cunningham went eight complete innings and dealt four strikeouts and let up just five hits and two walks. His next start came on Sunday when the Wild Things looked to sweep the Joliet Slammers. Chase worked his way through the Slammers order and completed his last start with seven full innings allowing only one run, four hits and three walks while striking out five. The Wild Things were able to get the win as they finished the Slammers with a score of 4-2.
On the season, Chase sits on a 6-0 record on ten appearances (all starts). He has a 2.49 earn run average (4th overall) with sixty-five innings pitched (2nd overall) with thirty-eight strikeouts.
This is the righty’s second season in the Frontier League, both with Washington. Last season, the Johnson City, Tennessee native had a record of 7-10 with nineteen appearances (all starts) and a 4.21 earn run average. With just ten appearances, he is one win away with tying his record from last season.
Windy City ThunderBolts add Coco Johnson to their Player of the Week award list. Johnson had three multi-hit games out of five last week. When Windy City hosted Lake Erie at home, Coco went for a total five for eight with two runs, one homerun, two doubles and four RBI. In the series at Traverse City, he went five for thirteen with two runs, a double and a stolen base. Over the course of those five games (one rainout against Lake Erie), Johnson’s batting average was .476.
In 45 games this season, the Benton Harbor native has a .282 batting average with twenty five runs, seven doubles, three homeruns, a triple, twenty three runs batted in with twenty-seven stolen bases (2nd in league). Fellow ThunderBolt teammate Keenyn Walker leads the league with twenty-eight. Johnson continues to be a solid defender as his fielding percentage is .966 on the season. He has eighty-two put-outs and four assists.
Johnson being named player of the week isn’t his only Frontier League accomplishment. In 2016, the Outfielder was selected to the Frontier League All-Star game. His career started with being part of the Miami Marlins organization from 2013-2015 before being picked up by the ThunderBolts. Coco has one of the Frontier League’s most impressive stats. In two-hundred and thirty three career games, he has a total of one-hundred and five stolen bases.
With the All-Star break just a week away, both teams look to stay on their win streaks. Washington currently sits second place in the East Division with a record of 26-18, three games behind first place Schaumburg (29-15). Windy City is on the coattails of Washington with a record of 25-20.
To start the holiday week off, the ThunderBolts will travel to Sauget, Illinois to take on the Gateway Grizzlies (12-35), then back home to host the Southern Illinois Miners (20-25).
Washington travels to Normal to take on the CornBelters (22-23) then play host to the Gateway Grizzlies.
The Frontier League is entering its 25th season in 2017 and includes 12 teams stretching from Pennsylvania to Missouri and from Kentucky to Northern Michigan. The Frontier League annually advances the most players to MLB organizations of any of the independent leagues, and 32 former Frontier League players have played in the Major Leagues.