GLEN ELLYN – With a large group of multi-sport athletes on his roster, Mike Riley didn't have his full Glenbard South baseball team at his disposal much this summer.
"We had a lot of kids missing," Riley said. "We have a lot of kids doing football, I think we have eight football guys, so on those days we were a little undermanned."
But for a program that has reached the 20-win plateau in five of the last seven seasons, there were still positives to come from the last six weeks, which ended Monday with a 1-0 loss to Willowbrook in the opening round of the summer playoffs.
"I look at the different phases of the game," the coach said. "And we've got some young kids coming up so I was looking to see if they can help next year."
As was the case this past spring, pitching should be a strength in 2014. Nick Yangas is expected to be the ace.
"We will be OK on the mound, I like out pitching staff," Riley said. "Yangas is back and he is tough and Will Cornwall is back. And then two juniors who I already thought would be in our top four pitched really well this summer. That will help.
"Alex McGimpsey started as a sophomore in the outfield and we threw him in the JV games and that has paid off. He has gotten stronger and is throwing harder. And junior Dominic Fazzari was very good."
Having lost a talented senior class, offense could be an issue.
"I look at this year's team kind of like last year," the coach said. "I'm concerned with the hitting, but fortunately last year, we ended up hitting real well."
One thing is for sure, the team will have a different look on offense.
"Last year we had a lot of team speed," Riley said. "We stole close to 100 bases. This year, we will be slower. A lot of our rallies will have to come from our hitting and not from manufacturing. We will have to try to work on those things (team speed) in the offseason."