As the Hannibal Hoots conclude their inaugural Prospect League season, we take a look at 10 bright spots from this summer.
The Hannibal Hoots wrap up their inaugural season in the Prospect League with a game at Clemens Field on Friday night.
The team is out of contention for the playoffs, but there have been plenty of bright spots on the Hoots roster.
We take a look at 10 positives from the summer:
1) 10-game winning streak
The Hoots endured a rocky start to the summer, and the situation hit rock bottom with a 4-17 record June 25.
But under the leadership of manager Clayton Hicks and fellow coaches Kevin Cali and Jake Walters, the Hoots responded by rattling off 10 wins in a row — the final three against the river rival Quincy Gems.
The streak is the longest by any team in the league this summer.
Since starting the lengthy winning streak, the Hoots have posted a record of 20-17, briefly rising into contention before being eliminated with one week remaining in the 60-game schedule.
“Make no doubt about it, we were on pace to be the worst Prospect League team ever if we only win 12 games,” Hannibal general manager Matt Stembridge said. “But Hicks did a tremendous job of resetting and reevaluating and repurposing.
“He got the guys to buy in.”
2) Dodd leads team in more ways than one
Dylan Dodd didn't waste any time making an impact for the Hoots, pitching six scoreless innings to propel Hannibal to a 4-0 win over Danville on Opening Night.
His successful debut was a sign of things to come.
Dodd, who will play at Southeast Missouri State University as a junior this school year, leads Hannibal pitchers with 60 strikeouts while only walking seven batters.
The left-hander has recorded four wins and logged 44 1/3 innings on the mound.
The standout stars just as much, if not more, at the plate.
He possesses a .297 batting average with four home runs and a team-high 30 runs batted in. He has often served as designated hitter when not pitching.
3) Donohue provides consistent presence
Patrick Donohue made a home in the outfield for the Hoots, playing in 40 games and committing just two errors in more than 350 innings on defense.
The Valparaiso junior has reached base in his past 11 games to help maintain a season batting average of .300.
Donohue leads the Hoots with 35 runs scored and 26 walks and also has stolen 13 bases, second on the squad.
He has posted seven multi-hit games and twice has collected three hits in a contest.
4) Late additions make their mark
Like many teams across the league, the Hoots encountered injuries and roster turnover over the course of the summer.
Ethan Owens, Michael Nielsen and Tye Thixton were just a few of the 14 players who played for Hannibal this summer but didn't finish the season with the club.
Several late signees made the most of their opportunities.
This list includes but is not limited to: Alex Satunas (.333 batting average, six RBIs in 10 games); Jose Mercado (21 runs, 12 stolen bases in 32 games); Hunter Wienhoff (12 2/3 innings pitched, 3.55 ERA, 13 strikeouts, 1 walk); and Austin Eilers (6 1/3 innings pitched, 1.42 ERA, 8 strikeouts).
5) Lane anchors middle infield
Josh Lane has played in more games (53) this season than anyone else on the Hoots roster.
Part of it has been out of necessity, but the Taylor University product certainly earned his stripes.
Following an injury to Owens early in the season, Hicks was searching for answers of who to plug the gap in the middle infield.
Lane entered the summer expecting to primarily play second base, but he also filled in for 147 1/3 innings at shortstop until the emergence of late additions Mercado and Daunte DeCello.
Lane, who has only committed one error in 274 2/3 innings at second base, owns a .243 batting average with 20 runs and 16 RBIs. He is second on the team with 42 hits.
6) Roscetti thrives in return to action
Hicks was unsure what to expect out of Joe Roscetti.
Roscetti redshirted his freshman season at Quincy University due to a severe injury he sustained during his senior year of high school.
Returning to the field this summer, he didn't miss a beat.
Roscetti has handled the starting role at third base while batting .250 with 21 RBIs and eight doubles. He leads the team with 47 hits and is second on the team with 25 runs.
7) Lights-out arms in bullpen
Jonny Steiner has been lights-out at the end of games.
The Hoots reliever has recorded a microscopic ERA of 0.96 while striking out 33 batters in 18 2/3 innings. The Lindenwood University-Belleville junior has issued just five walks over 14 appearances.
His WHIP of 0.75 leads the Hoots pitching staff, and opponents have batted just .145 against him.
Tyler Lunger has been another reliable arm out of the Hannibal bullpen. The righty sports an ERA of 1.72 with 27 strikeouts compared to just three walks in 15 2/3 innings.
Relying on his fastball, he has recorded four straight scoreless appearances.
The Indiana University-Kokomo junior stretched out for five innings of two-run ball during a 6-5 win on July 6.
8) Catching duo shares the load
A pair of sophomores have shouldered the load behind the plate for Hannibal this summer.
Brady West (227 2/3 innings) and Sam Nozicka (178 1/3 innings) have committed just four errors combined at catcher while helping Hoots pitchers navigate through opposing lineups.
West, of Indiana Wesleyan University, is hitting .225 with 13 RBIs and a team-high 10 doubles. Nozicka, of Eastern Illinois University, has a .208 average with seven RBIs and also pitched a scoreless frame.
9) Chisholm bolsters pitching staff
Dylan Chisholm made his Hoots debut June 23 and has been part of the team's core nucleus ever since.
The Lindenwood University-Belleville pitcher has pitched in nine games, including five starts, while posting a 3.34 ERA over 43 innings on the hill.
His 2-3 record is deceiving, particularly after he went 7 2/3 innings while only allowing one earned run but still took the loss at Terre Haute earlier this week.
From June 27-July 8, Chisholm plowed through 17 consecutive innings without surrendering an earned run.
10) Saak a surprise
Brendan Saak figured his playing days were over this May following his final season of college baseball.
The Quincy University graduate took a job in the Hoots front office.
But the Hoots' lack of pitching depth pushed him back onto the field.
Saak, a long reliever, didn't allow an earned run for his first 10 1/3 innings and has a season ERA of 2.58 with 33 strikeouts in 38 1/3 innings. He has made 14 relief appearances and one start.