WHEATON – With the DuPage Valley Conference race expected to be wide open this spring, the Wheaton Warrenville South baseball team can lay claim to one important fact.
The Tigers will have one of the top pitching staffs in the league in 2014, if not the best group.
The Tigers return three of their starters from a year ago in seniors Brett Streubing, Baylor Holmes and Connor Ostrander, a trio that combined to win 13 games while throwing 134 innings.
Streubing was 4-4 with an ERA of 2.29, Ostrander went 5-2 with an ERA of 2.84 and Holmes won four games while striking out 36.
Juniors Austin Polezoes and Chris Simpson also are expected to see time on the mound.
“We are counting on them [the three seniors] to be our core and our leaders,” Wheaton Warrenville South coach Tim Brylka said. “From there we have some question marks defensively; we have some new guys in different spots. And in our lineup, we have a couple of kids coming back, but after that there are a lot of question marks, as well.”
The offense is led by Eric Giltz, who as a sophomore hit .359 with five home runs, 32 runs scored and 19 RBIs. Also back is catcher Justin Kelly, who hit .268 with 18 RBIs in 2013, and Ostrander (12 RBIs).
“We will have to manufacture and try to scratch some runs across,” Brylka said. “Especially with our pitching, we have to get them a couple of runs and take our chances.”
As for the rest of the DVC, Naperville Central returns as the defending champion while Naperville North, Wheaton North and Glenbard North all should be in the mix. Also expected to be formidable is Lake Park, which is coming over from the Upstate Eight Conference. South went 11-10 in the league last spring.
“Even more so, I think it’s going to be more balanced,” Brylka said. “With that being said, every team brings a little something to the table. Wheaton North is always competitive, Naperville Central obviously, Glenbard North and Lake Park will be tough. There are no easy series.”