By Mike Porcaro
Jack Molnar, a sophomore at Fremd High School, tossed a 3-hit shutout in a prestigious baseball tournament this month for players graduating high school in 2016 and earlier, according to a news release.
Molnar, pitching for Niles-based Illinois Indians TRIBE, competed in the fifth annual Perfect Game/Evoshield National Championship baseball tournament held Sept. 13-16 in Phoenix. Played on the spring training fields of the Cincinnati Reds, Cleveland Indians, Los Angeles Dodgers, and Chicago White Sox, the tournament attracts top teams and players nationwide.
Surrendering just 3 hits and 2 walks in the 8-0 complete game, six inning win against California Baseball Academy Warriors Blue, Molnar struck out five hitters against the team based in Brea, CA.
“Once I pitched through the first 2 innings without giving up a hit, I was confident I could be successful,” said Molnar, a 6-foot, 165 pound right-hander.
Mixing breaking balls with an 80 mph fastball, Molnar kept CBA hitters guessing all game long. “I changed speeds and tried to keep hitters off balance. Our team defense was great and made a big difference.”
Illinois Indians TRIBE is coached by Nelson Gord. “We played as good as anyone in the country with a record of 3 wins and 1 loss for the tournament and outscoring our opponents 20-6,” said Gord. “Our defense was stellar, and our pitchers pounded the strike zone.”
In addition to Molnar’s performance, juniors Michael Nielsen from Roselle’s Lake Park High School, and Robby Coggin of Maine South in Park Ridge, each pitched complete games for the TRIBE.
For his efforts, Jack Molnar, who also plays for Fremd’s baseball team, was named to the all-tournament team.