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Sports

Baseball: Previewing Fenwick, Hinsdale Central, Hinsdale South, Lyons, Morton and Riverside-Brookfield

Nazareth players celebrates their win of the regional title game with the trophy May 25 with a 10-0 over St. Ignatius College Prep while playing at Triton College.
Nazareth players celebrates their win of the regional title game with the trophy May 25 with a 10-0 over St. Ignatius College Prep while playing at Triton College.

The high school baseball season is on hold for now, but that won’t stop us from taking a look at what teams will look like. Here is a preview of area teams.

Fenwick Friars

Coach: David Hogan

2019 record: 15-13

Top players

NAME YEAR POS.

Brock Alivers jr. IF/P

Luke Coffey jr. IF/P

Griffin Vrdolyak jr. IF/OF

Outlook: The Friars relied on a senior-dominated team to earn a No. 8 seed in Class 4A last season, and although they will be significantly younger this season, don’t count out any David Hogan-led team. The Friars will have a tough time stringing together wins in the competitive East Suburban Catholic Conference.

Hinsdale Central Red Devils

Coach: Jason Ziemer

2019 record: 16-14

Top players

NAME YEAR POS.

Tom Jurack sr. OF/P

Scott Pitts sr. 1B/P

Charlie Huth sr. 3B/P

Alex Simon sr. C/P

Matt O’Neil sr. OF

Mike Brescia jr. IF/P

Jay Randle jr. P/OF

Charlie Williams sr. P/IF

Griffin Hawthorne sr. IF/P

Outlook: Illinois recruit Jurack headlines an experienced and motivated Red Devils squad. Jurack batted .449 to go with 22 RBIs last season. The Red Devils have a deep pitching staff and quality team speed.

“We return some experienced players who have seen a great deal of success,” Ziemer said. “Our team speed should be a strength, along with our ability to throw strikes on the mound. The pitching staff and the offense have a good amount of depth and should be strengths throughout the season.”

Hinsdale South Hornets

Coach: Paul Hoel

2019 record: 17-13

Top players

NAME YEAR POS.

James Ruzicka sr. CF

Drew Duckhorn so. P

Cole Bozzi so. P

Logan McGinley so. P

Tristan Schauer jr. SS

Danny Lowdermilk jr. OF/IF

Parker Bozzi so. P

Outlook: After a highly successful season on the basketball team, Ruzicka headlines a talented core of returnees for the Hornets. Ruzicka batted .366 last season, with Hoel calling him “our best hitter and one of the best hitters in the conference.” 

“We have a lot of young kids, but they have played a lot,” Hoel said. “Our strength is going to be our pitching and defense, which will be very good. The key for us is manufacturing runs, look to play small ball. I feel our pitching and defense can have a really nice season. We want to compete for a conference title, and this is our first year competing in Class 3A.”

Lyons Township Lions

Coach: Kevin Diete

2019 record: 24-8

Top players

NAME YEAR POS.

Matt Schuler sr. IF

Connor Cassady sr. 1B/P

Chris Clarke sr. OF

James Severson sr. P

Jahmein Adams sr. OF

Emmett Spolar jr. OF/P

Anthony Sorrentino jr. P

Noah Jouras jr. C

Outlook: After winning their third straight West Suburban Silver championship for the first time in program history, the Lions will try to follow the same formula to another title behind a talented pitching staff, a solid defense and execution, Diete said. 

Severson, a Wisconsin-Milwaukee recruit, is one of the headliners on the staff. Severson compiled a 3-0 record with a 2.28 ERA last season. Clarke finished with 16 steals in 17 attempts. Adams, a Maryville University recruit, batted .300 last season.

“This team has a nice mix of some veteran leaders with upcoming juniors who are hungry to make an immediate impact for us,” Diete said.

Morton Mustangs

Coach: Michael Casey

2019 record: 11-22

Top players

NAME YEAR POS.

Dante Maietta sr. SS/P

Osvaldo Peinado sr. 3B/P

Erik Fabian sr. 1B/P

Martin Vazquez jr. C/P

Oscar Peinado so. 2B/P

Cameron Fernandez so. OF/P

Brandon Bonin so. IF/P

Isaiah Rosado so. C/P

Luis Gonzalez so. OF

Outlook: Although the Mustangs are a sophomore-dominated team, three-year seniors Maietta, Peinado and Fabian provide experience at key positions. All three seniors also will headline the pitching staff to bring some stability to the lineup.

“All three players demonstrate similar characteristics on the mound, from great presence to controlling the run game and most importantly throwing strikes,” Casey said. “We’re expecting the sophomores to have a big impact on the varsity. The combination of youth and senior experience creates a recipe for an exciting season.”

Nazareth Roadrunners

Coach: Lee Milano

2019 record: 29-9

Top players

NAME YEAR POS.

Teddy Olander sr. OF/P

Breven Reifsteck sr. C

Ryan Smith jr. SS/P

Gianni Moran sr. P

Andrew Ortiz sr. IF

Billy Brown sr. OF

Wylder Guido jr. P

Outlook: The Roadrunners are looking to take the next step after a memorable 2019 season that ended with a Class 4A sectional final defeat to St. Rita. Nazareth’s strength lies in a pitching staff that goes seven deep. Olander, a Hendrix College recruit and four-year varsity player, is the leader of the staff. Guido is looking to build off a solid sophomore season in which he helped beat Joliet Catholic and Marist.

“I believe we will have excellent team speed,” Milano said. “We should have a good mix of returning players and new players.”

Riverside Brookfield Bulldogs

Coach: Dallas Till

2019 record: 21-10

Top players

NAME YEAR POS.

Mike Schicker sr. C

Owen Murphy so. SS/P

Marco Ruiz sr. IF/OF

Liam Corbisiero sr. IF

Tyler Swanson sr. P

Jeremy Fox jr. IF/OF

Daniel Kawiecki sr. P

Michael Ranieri sr. P

Outlook: Schicker is the unquestionable leader on the Bulldogs. A four-year starter, Schicker brings stability behind the plate with his leadership and ability to throw out runners. Murphy is the No. 1 starter for the Bulldogs, capable of throwing in the low 90s. Murphy, a top-end talent, committed to Notre Dame in September. 

The Bulldogs return all their starters from last season’s pitching staff, which includes Swanson, Fox, Kawiecki and Ranieri. 

“Mike Schicker is a solid middle-of-the-order hitter and team leader,” Till said. “Owen Murphy is years ahead of his time regarding baseball knowledge and acts as an extra coach on the field. Owen will hit near the top of the order and looks to continue his success at the varsity level. The strength of our ballclub will be in the pitching department.”

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