Juniors step into leadership roles for Dukes this summer

ELMHURST – Following a spring season that fell short of expectations and ended in a regional final, York baseball got back at it during the summer.

The Dukes played juniors during the spring season, and those juniors are now in a leadership role in their first taste of life as seniors. Anthony Santos, Tyler Zunkel, Seth Dvorak, Jake Dvorak and Michael Ross were all regulars in the batting order during the spring, which gives the Dukes a lot of experience.

There’s plenty of offensive experience, but Santos is the only major pitcher back for the Dukes. The summer is about finding out who can fill those other spots in the lineup and rotation.

York’s summer season came to an end in the second round of the summer state playoffs with a 6-5 loss to Nazareth on Tuesday. The Dukes, who held the No. 6 seed out of 15 teams in the Fenwick regional, beat Addison Trail 3-1 on Monday.

The Dukes didn’t play in any organized leagues like some teams, but played other unattached area teams on a Monday-Thursday schedule to allow players to leave with travel teams on the weekends. York faced off West Suburban Silver rivals Lyons Township and Downers Grove North as well as Naperville Central, Wheaton North and Wheaton Warrenville South among others.

Juniors Ryan Gilmartin, Sam Craggs, Nolan Spencer, Matt Sabatini and Michael Homan saw plenty of time during the summer to earn some looks when the spring season rolls around. Seniors that saw bigger roles included Dan Cirone, Niall O’Brien, Mitch Miner and Nick Leone.