Baseball preview: Returners have RB thinking big
Bulldogs bring back top two pitchers, top seven hitters
RIVERSIDE — The Bulldogs fell just short of winning conference and regional titles last spring, but with most of that team back for another run, RB will be looking for much more success.
RB won every Metro Suburban Conference series, but fell short of the league title to Glenbard South, which ran the table after losing two of three games to the Bulldogs. They also lost 3-0 in a Class 3A regional final to Clemente despite coming in as the No. 3 seed in the sectional.
The past two years RB has battled with Glenbard South and Illiana Christian in the MSC. The Vikings won in 2011 and the Raiders won in 2012. The Bulldogs will be thinking it’s their turn.
Junior ace Will Kincanon and solid senior No. 2 Alex Nenadovic posted ERAs under three last spring and will once again lead the pitching staff. Seniors Kevin Garvey and Matt Quintana will look to log more innings after gaining some experience last year.
Kincanon started the opener, a 5-4 loss at Reavis on Saturday. He pitched into the sixth inning and left with a 4-2 lead. However, the Rams scored three runs off Quintana in the bottom of the seventh for a walk-off win.
A number of returners will lead the lineup, including all of the top hitters. Kincanon was the team’s top run producer last year. Nenadovic, C.J. Duffek and Kevin Garvey are all three-year varsity players. That core, along with fellow returners Luke Keller, Thomas Leary and Alex Spirios, should make the Bulldogs a tough lineup to pitch to. Spirios had two hits in the season opener.
A pair of sophomores, pitcher/first baseman Nico Ranieri and middle infielder Kevin Fitzgerald, also made the varsity roster.
RB is scheduled to play games at St. Joseph, Morton and Evergreen Park this week. Once the conference schedule gets started the Bulldogs also have non-conference match-ups against the likes of Nazareth, Fenwick and Wheaton Academy.
Meet the Bulldogs
Coach: Dallas Till
2012 record: 23-13 (14-4 Metro Suburban)
C.J. Duffek sr. OF
Kevin Garvey sr. P/3B
Luke Keller sr. P/OF
Will Kincanon jr. P/1B
Alex Nenadovic sr. P/2B
First game: 4:30 p.m. Wednesday at St. Joseph
7: Regulars that return to Riverside Brookfield's batting order