LA GRANGE PARK – The Roadrunners expect to be strong yet again with two Division I recruits and a handful of returning starters.
In a sport where a single elimination playoff can be inconsistent, Nazareth has been consistent with five straight sectional titles and have the talent to go for a sixth.
Left-handed pitcher Peter Minella, headed to Western Illinois, shortstop/catcher Tim DalPorto, headed to Kent State, and pitcher/first baseman Jake Bartels, a four-year varsity pitcher, give the team a core to make most anyone in the state envious.
Senior outfielder Andrew Barreto started last year and provides good speed. Pitcher Michael Greene had a 2.25 ERA last year in over 40 innings.
Also returning is junior Mike Kogut, who hit 90 mph on the radar gun at a showcase this winter and hopes to harness that velocity during the spring season. Another high-level prospect is sophomore infielder Brandon Bossard.
“He has all the makings of a top player in his class,” coach Lee Milano said. “He has speed, excellent hands and an excellent arm. He is a Division I player and a possible draft choice.”
Milano said the Roadrunners’ strengths will be their pitching depth and team speed.
Junior outfielders Matt Flach and Matt Wilson and senior catcher Drew Dunker also will be in the lineup.
Once the postseason rolls around, the Roadrunners will be well tested after competing in the East Suburban Catholic Conference, where they hope to contend for the title along with the likes of Benet, Carmel and Joliet Catholic.
Coach: Lee Milano2013 record: 27-12-1Top players: Andrew Barreto sr. OF Jake Bartels sr. P/1B Brandon Bossard so. IF Tim DalPorto sr. SS/C Michael Greene sr. P Mike Kogut jr. P Peter Minella sr. P