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Baseball

Morton baseball ready to contend with experienced group

Morton's Sergio Villalobos delivers a pitch in a game last season. Villalobos returns to the mound this season to give the Mustangs experience at the front of the rotation.
Morton's Sergio Villalobos delivers a pitch in a game last season. Villalobos returns to the mound this season to give the Mustangs experience at the front of the rotation.

BERWYN – After suffering through two straight years of younger teams, Morton finally has an experienced squad that has high hopes for the season.

Most of the team returns from last year’s 12-18 squad that showed flashes of quality, but also the inconsistency of a younger team. Senior pitchers Anthony Iniquez and Sergio Villalobos give Morton two reliable hurlers at the top of the conference rotation.

“We’re going to be as good as Anthony and Sergio on the mound,” coach Mike Casey said. “If they have a great year, then we’ll have a great year.”

Juniors Mike Kadela and Luis Rivera give the Mustangs two more returners on the pitching staff. Both started as sophomores, though Rivera missed the second half of the season last year.

Senior catcher Nicholas Campanile started all 36 games behind the plate last year. Corner infielder Oscar Alvarez started on varsity as a sophomore but missed his junior season due to a torn ACL.

Much of that core group was up as sophomores, so the hope is that they can turn the tables as seniors and turn the Mustangs into a winner.

“The big loss [from last year] was Eli McMahon on the mound, but other than that they’re finally seniors,” Casey said. “The last couple years it’s been a young starting crew.

“It’s going to be a senior-heavy lineup probably. They’re older, bigger, stronger. Hopefully that equals more success.”

Casey hopes the Mustangs can improve upon their fourth place finish in the West Suburban Gold from last year, but it won’t be easy. Hinsdale South and Downers Grove South, which were first and second last year, respectively, bring back strong teams, and Willowbrook has some talent as well.

The most notable change with the more experienced group is how the team has handled preseason preparation.

“It definitely is running itself,” Casey said. “The kids know the drills, and they know the routine we’ve implemented. It’s good to see. It’s definitely a little bit different than it’s been in the past.”

Morton Mustangs
Coach:
Mike Casey
2013 record: 12-18
Top players:
Oscar Alvarez sr. 1B/3B
Nicholas Campanile sr. C
Anthony Iniquez sr. P/1B
Mike Kadela jr. IF/P
Luis Rivera jr. IF/P
Sergio Villalobos sr. P/IF

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