At times, Ryan Turgeon can get overlooked on Nazareth’s pitching staff.
That’s how deep Nazareth’s starting rotation is this season.
Nazareth coach Lee Milano said he has the deepest staff in his 19 years as a head coach. The Roadrunners, Milano said, have eight starting pitchers.
Turgeon, a Dayton recruit, is one of four pitchers already committed to pitch in college. Turgeon and junior Michael Prosecky, a Louisville recruit, headline the staff as Division I commits. Julian Lopez (Loras) and Chance Roach (Carthage) also are set to pitch in college.
The entire staff from last season, Milano said, is back for the Roadrunners.
“Everyone has experience and can throw strikes,” Turgeon said. “We also have a great defense to back us up, if we get into trouble.”
Turgeon finished with a 5-3 record with one save and a 3.29 ERA last season to earn an East Suburban Catholic All-Conference selection in his junior season. He also drove in 25 runs to go with a .422 batting average.
This season, Turgeon, a right-hander, is a different pitcher – and fielder – after losing 40 pounds in the offseason. He attacks batters with a five-pitch arsenal that includes a two-seam fastball, four-seamer, a slider, a changeup and curveball.
“I rely on my slider more than the curve, but I’m not afraid to mix both of them in,” Turgeon said. “My best pitch is my two-seam fastball because it rides in on righties and they get jammed a lot.”
The Roadrunners (7-3-1) have a busy schedule of eight games in a nine-day span in the middle of April. Milano said the winter-like weather will force a rush of reschedule games amid a condensed schedule, which should benefit his team.
“We have a lot of depth on the mound,” he said. “Our pitchers have been outstanding [this season]. Every game is a learning experience, moving forward and trying to apply that. We’re definitely moving in the right direction. We had a couple of nice wins this week.”
Turgeon said the Roadrunners remain focused on the goal of winning a Class 3A state title.
Nazareth’s postseason success in recent years – nine regional championships, six sectional titles to go with a second, third and fourth-place state trophy from 2005-15 – is a motivating factor for the seniors.
“The clear and obvious goal for everyone in the program should be Joliet,” Turgeon said, referring to the site of the state tourney. “In the offseason, we would grind in the weight room and our coach would tell us how hard we work now will decide where we will be in a few months.
“Everyone took it to heart, as it would be some people’s last time playing baseball. I just want to win every game I pitch or put my team in a good spot to win. I would also like to keep my bat going like it was last year.”