Mustangs, Friars feature improved players on the diamonds

Rising stars key baseball, softball seasons

Many high school players are debuting in the spotlight this spring for area baseball and softball teams – from seniors stepping into leadership roles to underclassmen earning starting varsity jobs.

Anthony Iniquez

School: Morton baseball

Class: Junior
Position: Pitcher/first base
Impact: Iniquez represents both Morton's progress this year and their potential next year. The junior has been a big reason for Morton's improved record, especially in conference. He's hitting .296 overall, but .349 in conference games with 11 RBIs in 15 games. On the mound, he has a 2.69 ERA with 35 strikeouts.

Karina Madera

School: Morton softball

Class: Freshman

Position: Third base

Impact: It hasn't taken long for Madera to become a key player for the Mustangs. As well as playing the hot corner, the freshman has been batting clean-up for Morton. Morton coach Tom Eukovich lights up with excitement at her potential. "She's gonna be a good one," Eukovich said.

Kevin Claffy

School: Fenwick baseball

Class: Senior

Position: Second base

Impact: After receiving sparse playing time as a junior, Claffy is suddenly one of Fenwick's best hitters. He has .378 batting average and a team-high 13 runs for the Friars.