SAUGET, Ill. – Normal CornBelter Scott Sebald and Joliet Slammer Melvin Rodriguez have been named Week 12 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.
Scott Sebald of the Normal CornBelters got the nod to start game two of a three game series at Lake Erie last Saturday. Sebald carried the load as he went eight total innings in a pitcher’s duel against Crusher Juan Caballero. Scott struck out two in each of the first, second, third, sixth and eighth innings, finishing with a total of thirteen strikeouts in the match up. He allowed just four hits and a walk with no runs scored. However, Sebald’s eight inning run was not enough as the Crushers went on to win the game 2-1. The lefty received a no-decision in the match up.
The White Oak, Ohio native is in his first season in the Frontier League after spending the 2016 season in the Texas Rangers organization. The 6’5 lefty has a 5-1 record on the season with a 2.97 ERA (3rd amongst active pitchers). He has sixteen total appearances (69.2 innings) with ten starts and one save. He has sixty-one strikeouts (17th amongst active pitchers) with seventeen walks. Sebald is the third CornBelter to win the weekly award (Shawn Blackwell and Aaron Dudley, Week 4).
2017 All-Star Melvin Rodriguez is the first Joliet Slammer to win the weekly award this season. Last week, the Joliet Slammers traveled to Sauget, Illinois to take on the Gateway Grizzlies then returned home to host the West Division leader, the Florence Freedom. One of Melvin’s best games of the week was against the Grizzlies on Wednesday night. In the contest, he went 3 for 3 with a run and a walk. Though it wasn’t enough as the Slammers lost the contest 4-6. When the Slammers returned home, the lefty went 3 for 5 on Saturday with two runs scored, an RBI and a double. To recap the week, he went 11 for 25 (.440), with eleven hits, two doubles, six RBI and three walks.
The Juana Diaz, Puerto Rico native is in his second season with the Slammers after being drafted by the Washington Nationals in the 2015. The 5’10 second baseman is batting .313 on the season. The lefty has forty-five runs scored, sixteen doubles, a triple, nine home runs, thirty-six RBI and twenty-one walks. In sixty-two games played, Rodriguez has a .961 fielding percentage with one-hundred and sixty three assists.
The CornBelters (31-35, 4th in West) will return home to host the 2016 Frontier League Champions, the Evansville Otters (37-29, 2nd in West, swept by Schaumburg last series) and the Gateway Grizzlies (21-46) after being swept by the Crushers in the Belters’ last series.
The Slammers (30-34, 5th in East) lost both series last week against the Grizzlies and the Freedom 2-1. This week, the Slammers will travel to Windy City (36-29, 2nd in East) then Schaumburg (44-21, 1st in East) to try and get back above .500.
The Frontier League is in 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. Follow the Frontier League on Twitter: @FLProBaseball, Instagram: frontierleague, and like the Frontier League Facebook Page.