All-Area Baseball South Team: 15 photosJune 17, 2013 The Suburban Life All-Area Baseball South Team features players from Benet, Bolingbrook, Downers Grove North, Downers Grove South, Hinsdale Central, Hinsdale South, Lemont, Lisle and Westmont. [Connor Kopach, Downers Grove North, senior]A productive leadoff hitter, steady fielder and quiet leader, Kopach was a linchpin of North's success this season. The All-Area MVP led the Trojans in hits (45), batting average (.441), runs (41), walks (18) and stolen bases (15), and tied for the team lead with three home runs. The Southern Illinois-bound shortstop also earned a West Suburban Silver all-conference selection. [Mike Papierski, Lemont junior]Already committed to Louisiana State, this catcher/third baseman was named all-state and South Suburban Blue Conference Player of the Year. The left-handed hitter batted .398 with nine doubles and three home runs and also contributed 34 runs scored and 24 RBIs. In addition, he stole 11 bases, walked 21 times and had just nine strikeouts in 109 plate appearances. [Nick Sramek, Bolingbrook senior]Mired in a tough slump much of 2012, Sramek turned it around his senior year. Bound for the University of Wisconsin-Parkside, the rangy center fielder led Bolingbrook's regulars with a .292 average, 17 RBIs, 20 runs, eight doubles and three home runs and was named SouthWest Suburban Blue all-conference. [Mike O'Malley, Downers Grove North senior]The West Suburban Silver all-conference selection took a big step forward in his senior season. O'Malley finished with a 7-2 record and 1.88 ERA with five complete games, two of which came in the playoffs, including a sectional semifinal win over Downers Grove South. [Zach Burdi School, Downers Grove South senior]One of the hardest throwers and most fearsome pitchers in the state, Burdi won four games and struck out 57 on the mound, but he was even better in the batter's box. The University of Iowa recruit and West Suburban Gold all-conference selection powered a potent Mustang offense with a .418 batting average, three home runs and 31 RBIs. [Ryan Van Volkenburg, Lisle senior]A four-year varsity player for the Lions, Van Volkenburg was a key piece to Lisle's run to the state title this season. At the plate, the Interstate Eight all-conference pick hit .360 with 34 runs scored, 22 RBIs, two homers and 17 stolen bases. On the mound, he went 6-1, which included the Lions' 2-1 win over Teutopolis in the state semifinal game. [Pat McInerney, Benet senior]Named MVP in the East Suburban Catholic Conference, McInerney hit .381 with eight home runs and 38 RBIs. He went 6-1 on the mound and led the Redwings to a share of the ESCC title. The all-state pick will continue his career at the University of Illinois. [Kevin Coppin, Lisle junior]Coppin switched from catcher to shortstop toward the end of the season but remained the Lions' most productive hitter all spring. The Interstate Eight all-conference selection led the team with a .378 average, 24 RBIs and 20 walks, and was among the team leaders in runs scored (29) and stolen bases (13). [Jean Pietrzak, Westmont senior]After a tough-luck junior season on the mound, Pietrzak got the results he wanted this spring. The Sentinels' leader in innings pitched (49.0), he struck out 54 batters and went 7-1 with a 1.22 ERA. The Interstate Eight all-conference selection batted .284 with 26 RBIs, 24 runs and 17 stolen bases. [Alex Ventrella, Lisle senior]With a huge sweeping curve ball and competitive edge on the mound, the lefty ace mowed 'em down all year. The Interstate Eight all-conference pick finished the year 7-1 on the mound with an ERA (0.96) and WHIP (0.88) both under one while striking out 87 in 65.2 innings. He earned the win in the state championship game, surrendering just four hits and an unearned run over five innings. [Charlie Donovan, Westmont sophomore]Already committed to the University of Michigan, Donovan led the Sentinels in almost every significant offensive category: average (.488), RBIs (40), home runs (four), triples (seven) and stolen bases (28). The slick-fielding and strong-armed shortstop was named Interstate Eight all-conference. [Danny Mayer, Downers Grove South senior]The University of the Pacific recruit produced consistently all spring, both with the bat and as a pitcher. At the plate, he finished with a .415 average, a .627 slugging percentage, four home runs and 43 RBIs. He picked up five wins on the mound as he earned West Suburban Gold all-conference honors. [Mike Rizzo, Hinsdale South senior]Rizzo played sparingly as a junior, but stepped up to fill a major role this spring as the Hornets defended their West Suburban Gold conference title. Rizzo played nearly flawless at first base but was even more impressive as South's No. 1 conference starting pitcher. A vocal leader, Rizzo earned WSG all-conference honors this spring. [Chris Botsoe, Hinsdale Central sophomore]A transfer from St. Laurence, Botsoe stepped right into the Red Devils' lineup and had a major impact. The speedy center fielder led Central's regulars with a .444 batting average, 25 runs scored and 11 extra-base hits (seven doubles, four triples), and he also had 11 stolen bases. A Louisville recruit, Botsoe committed just two errors. [Jake Latz, Lemont junior]The Louisiana State recruit contributed both on the mound and at the plate for the Indians. As the ace of the pitching staff, Latz struck out 78 batters in just 44-2/3 innings of work, compiling a 1.88 ERA. Offensively, he hit .411 with seven doubles, two home runs, 21 RBIs and 25 runs scored. He was named to the all-state team.