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Baseball: Previewing Lyons Township, Morton, Nazareth and Riverside-Brookfield

Lyons Township's Thomas Remijas gets a hit for two RBIs during the Phil Lawler Summer Classic at North Central College in Naperville on July 16.
Lyons Township's Thomas Remijas gets a hit for two RBIs during the Phil Lawler Summer Classic at North Central College in Naperville on July 16.

The high school baseball season has begun as teams start their quest toward the state finals in Joliet. Here is a preview of area teams.

Lyons Township Lions

Coach: Kevin Diete

2018 record: 25-8

Top players


Grant Leader sr. P

Eric Steensma sr. P

Andrew Gatland sr. P/IF

Michael Walsh sr. P

Thomas Remijas sr. IF

Connor Cassady jr. P/C

Jaheim Adams jr. OF

Outlook: The Lions have talented pitchers galore, led by Leader. The Illinois recruit struck out 77 batters in 41 1/3 innings last year. Steensma, a UT-Martin recruit, fanned 49 in 41 1/2 innings in his junior year, while Gatland was 2-0 last year. 

“The strength of this year’s team will be our pitching depth,” Diete said. “We have six pitchers that combined for a record of 20-4 last year. The goal is to add a pile of runs to aid our pitching and depth.”

Morton Mustangs

Coach: Michael Casey

2018 record: 8-26

Top players


Dante Maietta jr. P/IF

Patrick Morrissey sr. P/OF

Jaime Sandoval sr. SS/P

Gabe Anderson sr. OF

Osvaldo Peinado jr. P/IF

Erik Fabian jr. P/IF

Outlook: The Mustangs have experience after enduring some rocky moments last year. Maietta, a right-hander, and left-hander Morrissey lead the rotation. Sandoval is back for his third year on the varsity, as is Anderson.

“We’re returning eight varsity starters, with many of them having three years on the varsity,” Casey said. “This group has a deep understanding of the game and a tremendous work ethic. It will be exciting to see what this group accomplishes.”

Nazareth Roadrunners

Coach: Lee Milano

2018 record: 24-14

Top players


Andrew McKenna sr. C

Breven Reifsteck jr. C/1B

Michael Prosecky sr. P

Cole Vercelli sr. 2B

Zach Carmignani sr. SS

Michael Milano sr. OF

Teddy Olander jr. P/OF

Troy Siranovic sr. P/OF

Jack Krug sr. P

Braden Schneider sr. OF

Outlook: Last season, the Roadrunners reached the state tournament for the fourth time since 2011, taking third place in Class 3A. With a talented and deep pitching staff, the Roadrunners are seeking a second straight trip to Joliet. Prosecky, a Louisville recruit, is the ace of the staff. McKenna, a Holy Cross commit, is back to call the pitches and lead the staff. Carthage recruit Vercelli takes over at second base to form a solid infield combination with shortstop and Triton recruit Carmignani. Krug, also a Triton recruit, is a player to watch.

“This team has a nice mix of veteran leaders and youth,” Lee Milano said. “This team also possesses excellent team speed.”

Riverside-Brookfield Bulldogs

Coach: Dallas Till

2018 record: 25-7

Top players


Ryan Cermak sr. P/SS

Mike Schicker jr. C

Nate Roberto sr. P

Owen Murphy fr. P/SS

Outlook: Thanks to the return of Cermak and Schicker, the Bulldogs have big goals this season. Cermak, an Illinois State recruit, and Schicker, a Purdue commit, will make sure the Bulldogs are a tough team to beat in any series. Cermak and Schicker are both three-year varsity starters.

“We return our top two pitchers and have multiple pitching-only guys that we have confidence in,” Till said. “We also have one of the top catchers in the area who shuts down opposing running threats.”

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