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Baseball preview: Glenbard East returns top talent from 21-win team

Senior-heavy Rams have experience and talent to be successful

Glenbard East's Mike Hansen makes contact against Downers Grove North Wednesday at Legion Field in Carol Stream.
Glenbard East's Mike Hansen makes contact against Downers Grove North Wednesday at Legion Field in Carol Stream.

LOMBARD — Glenbard East coach Joel Pelland doesn’t set goals or expectations for his team, but it’s clear the second-year coach thinks highly of this year’s squad.

The Rams are loaded with seniors and returning starters from a team that posted a winning record in the DuPage Valley Conference and made it to a regional final.

“We’re senior heavy this year,” Pelland said. “We’ve got a couple juniors that might get into the mix. We should be pretty competitive.”

Senior pitcher Nick Vichio, a St. Louis University recruit, will be a key part of the pitching staff.

“He’s definitely a heck of a talent and a heck of an arm,” Pelland said. “I would put him up against anybody that we play.”

East has plenty of depth on the mound behind Vichio. Seniors D.J. Spears, headed to play for NAIA Judson University in Elgin, Mike Hansen, Danny Ryan, Yoanny Gonzalez and Troy Huber will also log innings.

Spears and Huber started a doubleheader at downstate Morton on Saturday. The Rams won the opener 4-3 in nine innings, but dropped the second game 8-3.

Offensively, seniors Greg Ludwig, an Ashland University recruit, and center fielder Joe Kotch also are back in the fold and will bat in the middle of the order. Tyler Behrendt, Scott Borosak and Tommy Mogovero, who had the game-winning RBI in the win over Morton, will also see some time in the lineup.

The Rams should have both some power and speed in the lineup. Pelland thinks the offense is well-rounded, making for a balanced team.

“We’re pretty diverse,” Pelland said. “We’ve got a lot of solid arms on the mound. Our bats, we have some guys that have a little pop and have the potential to go gap to gap with the ball, but we also have some speed as well.”

Meet the Rams

Joel Pelland

2012 record: 21-16 (12-9 DuPage Valley Conference)

Top players:

Mike Hansen sr. OF/P

Joe Kotch sr. CF

Greg Ludwig sr. OF/1B

D.J. Spears sr. 1B/P

Nick Vichio sr. P/IF

Next game: Friday at Pleasure Ridge Park (Ky.)

7: Returning seniors that started as juniors for the Rams

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