Baseball previews: Montini's talent will hope to overcome youth
IC Catholic and Timothy Christian push for winning records
Coach: Bob Landi
2012 record: 20-17 (10-6 Suburban Christian Blue)
Chris Bartosz sr. P/1B
Ben Dobosenski sr. P/1B
Austin Kline jr. OF
Next game: Saturday at Peotone
What to watch: The Broncos are a junior-dominated team that even features a pair of sophomores, but Montini coach Bob Landi believes the team has the talent to overcome its youth.
“We are young, but we’ve got some real players at the junior level," Landi said. "We got a real nice group of kids and our two sophomores are pretty darn good, too.”
Landi believes the strength of the team lies in its pitching staff. The four primary starters will be seniors Chris Bartosz and Ben Dobosenski and juniors Tyler Quick and Eric Frontzak.
“They’re all pretty talented and above-average pitchers," Landi said. "We’re very fortunate with those four, but we've got nine guys that can throw strikes and come out of the bullpen.”
The Broncos' coach also praised his defense, especially the outfield speed. Montini's offense may not be deadly, but junior Austin Kline is a talented returner.
The spring weather has been especially frustrating for Montini, which has already canceled 11 games. But once the Broncos get outside on a regular basis, the goal is to win the Suburban Christian Blue.
Coach: Zach Rodeghero
2012 record: 16-19 (7-9 Suburban Christian Gold)
Clark Brinkman jr. OF/P
Danny D'Angelo sr. IF
Eric Orosco sr. IF/P
Cruz Ortega sr. IF/P
Next game: 11 a.m. Saturday at Lincoln-Way Central
What to watch: First-year coach Zach Rodeghero takes over the program and has ambitious goals.
Rodeghero has scheduled a number of bigger schools, including Nazareth who beat the Knights 8-0 on Tuesday, to test his team.
“For me being a first-year guy I want to be over .500," Rodeghero said. "I want to compete in the conference.”
IC got its feet wet earlier this spring thanks to a downstate trip to Jacksonville March 15-16 that allowed the Knights to play three games before just about anyone else in the Chicago area. They picked up wins over Tri-Valley (20-11) and Edwards County (4-3) and lost to Valmeyer (8-6).
Returners Danny D'Angelo, Clark Brinkman, Eric Orosco and Cruz Ortega will play major roles in the offense and be team leaders. Brinkman and Ortega also saw time on the mound last season. They give IC reasonable hope of improving upon last year, which included a Class 2A regional title.
Rodeghero is trying to bring IC back to a more consistent contender.
“We have to change our culture of what has been known as IC baseball," he said. “They’ve had great teams in the past. If we start getting in our coaching philosophies I think we can really do something.”
Coach: Jim Snoeyink
2012 record: 8-21 (3-15 Metro Suburban)
Cole Miller fr. P/IF/OF
Phil Stanton sr. IF/OF/P
Justin VanderNaald sr. IF/P
What to watch: Three-year varsity players Phil Stanton and Justin VanderNaald bring the experience, and freshman Cole Miller brings high-level talent.
All three players will play key roles in the lineup and on the mound for a Timothy program looking to recover from a down season last spring. Long-time coach Jim Snoeyink last won a regional in 2007 with the Trojans.
Miller already throws in the 80s and brings a high-level club pedigree to Timothy.