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High school baseball team-by-team previews

Updated: September 24, 2012 6:25AM



Aurora Christian

Head coach: Andy Zorger

Conference: Suburban Christian Gold

2010 record: 19-12, 9-6 (3rd)

Postseason advancement: Regional final

Key additions: Todd Clapp (3B), Kenny McCracken (INF/P/OF).

Players to watch: Mitch Holtz (.449 avg., 7 HR, 41 RBI), Josh Haugen (.389 avg., 5 HR), Jake Hanson (.317 avg.), Brent Minta (.308 avg.), Bobby Kuntzendorf (5-2, 0.82 ERA).

Coach says: “I have very high expectations for this team. We have seven starters returning, including our top four pitchers from last year. Our strengths will be our pitching and defense. Our offense should be improved over last year, but we need to be better with runners in scoring position. We stranded too many runners in key spots last year. We had four sophomores start last season, so that experience should help us out this year. I look for us to challenge for the conference title and to be a favorite to win a regional and compete for a sectional.”

East Aurora

Head coach: Jorge Trejo

Conference: Upstate Eight Valley

2010 record: n/a

Postseason advancement: First round of regionals

Key additions: Billy Kelley (SS/P), Ivan Villapando (OF), Victor Fonseca (INF), Rey Fonseca (OF).

Players to watch: Noel Rivera (3B), Tom Okapal (C/1B), Fernando Salinas III (OF/P), Jeremy Ornelas (Utility), Jody Sarabia (P/1B), Michael Thomas (C/OF), Alan Alcala (Utility).

Coach says: “After playing 30-plus games on the road last season, the Tomcats are looking forward to playing at home on their improved baseball diamond. We are building on that excitement and learning how to be consistent as a team defensively, limiting the number of extra outs that open up ballgames. We are a relatively young and inexperienced team at the varsity level that will improve with more at-bats and game situations that cannot be simulated indoors.”

Marmion Academy

Head coach: Dave Rakow

Conference: Suburban Christian Blue

2010 record: 22-12, 11-3 (1st)

Postseason advancement: Sectional final

Key additions: Mitch Sterne (2B), Andy Young (SS/P), AJ Friedman(OF/P), Chris Simon (P/1B/OF).

Players to watch: Tim Tarter (6-2, 2.40 ERA, .333 avg, 25 RBI), Kyle Kozak (.351 Avg, 21 RBI), Tyler Friel (4-2, 2.55 ERA).

Coach says: “Our pitching staff should be one of our strengths this season. We are returning two of our top three pitchers from last season. We also lost five everyday starters from last year’s team, and the performance of the guys who fill those spots will probably determine whether or not we are contenders for a conference championship this season. I am confident that we will be able to fill those positions this season though, and believe that we have a strong junior class along with great senior leaders in 2011.”

West Aurora

Head coach: John Reeves

Conference: DuPage Valley

2010 record: 9-24, 6-15

Postseason advancement: First round of regionals

Key additions: Adam Baumann (OF), Marcus Diaz (P/3B), Tommy Goulding (P), Adam Lipscomb (SS), Alex Pope (OF/3B), Austin Wyeth (P).

Players to watch: Stevie Acevedo (OF), Omar Fernandez (C), Cody Love (P/3B), Richie Renner (SS/3B), Ryan Schaefer (2B), Cal Wagner (1B).

Coach says: “The Blackhawks are much improved from last season with six starters returning. The infield should be vastly improved with experience throughout the infield. Three-year varsity player Stevie Acevedo returns to man center field with a number of candidates vying for the corner outfield positions. The pitching staff will be greatly improved with the return of Cody Love and the additions of Marcus Diaz, Austin Wyeth and Tommy Goulding.”

Waubonsie Valley

Head coach: Dan Fezzuoglio

Conference: Upstate Eight Valley

2010 record: 25-10, 20-5 (2nd)

Postseason advancement: Regional final

Key additions: Joey Cuzzone (P/OF/1B), Chris Anderson (P/OF), Kyle Limanowski (OF/P), Connor Readnour (1B), Matt Risch (P), Brian Deal (P).

Players to watch: Mike Murphy (P/OF), Ryan Vega (SS), Harry Vickers (3B/2B), Eric Josupait (C).

Coach says: “We feel very confident in all facets of the game. We feel we have good depth in pitching, hitting and defense.”

IMSA

Head coach: Renard Miller

Conference: Northeastern Athletic

2010 record: 10-13 (6th)

Postseason advancement: First round of regionals

Key additions: Paul Yuan (3B), Matt Tennenhouse (OF), Sam Kaufman (2B).

Players to watch: Jon Henricks (SS), Neel Patel (P), ViVek Thakkav (CF), Brendan Wesp (C).

Coach says: “We are a very young team. A lot of guys will be asked to play two postions on the team this season. We will need to take it game by game and see what happens.”

Oswego

Head coach: Chris Neitzel

Conference: Southwest Prairie

2010 record: 21-14

Postseason advancement: Regional final

Key additions: Tim Wodzisz (2B), Nick Gerber (P/OF), Bryce Holm (OF), Jimmy Lukaszek (P).

Players to watch: Scott Allegretti (7-2, 3.59 ERA, .301 avg., 28 RBIs), Parker Meek (.356 avg., 22 RBI), John Hugunin (.330 avg., 25 RBI), Kevin Tidaback (.301 avg.), Tyler Schwerin (.300 avg.), Mark Gillafo (4-1).

Coach says: “Although we graduated a ton of offense we feel we have a solid core of returning starters and are returning 17 of our 21 wins on the mound, (and) we have six different kids who got wins as underclassmen. Counting on our pitching to keep us in games. We will not have a lineup full of thumpers like last year, but we will still have three or four with some hitters we hope will develop.”

Oswego East

Head coach: Jim Vera

Conference: Southwest Prairie

2010 record: 17-19, 8-13 (6th)

Postseason advancement: Second round of regionals

Key additions: Matt Miller (IF/OF), Adam Kishanov (P).

Players to watch: Bobby Smith (.370 avg.). Cody Burton (.364 avg,). Danny Klingbeil (.362 avg.), Adam Kaczmarek (.310 avg.), Eric Egan (P), Matt Schultz (IF/P).

Outlook: The Wolves are returning five starters from last year and Schultz is returning from Tommy John surgery ahead of schedule. He should rejoin the team in May.

Batavia

Head coach: Matt Holm

Conference: Upstate Eight River

2010 record: 18-16

Postseason advancement: Second round of regionals

Key addition: Sam Burnoski (LF). Players to watch: Danny Seiton (SS), Jay Clark (C), Ben Allison (P), Braden Hrack (2B), Nick Beltrano (3B), Andrew Scaccia (RF).

Coach says: “We have had several very good seasons over the last few years with three conference titles and two Elite 8 appearances. The most successful were years where young players had grown up after 3-4 varsity seasons together. The process of development is exciting. I feel we are going to see some exciting baseball with the return of a seasoned team that knows what hard work can accomplish.”

Geneva

Head coach: Matt Hahn

Conference: Upstate Eight River

2010 record: 21-14, 13-8

Postseason advancement: Regional final

Key additions: John Swiderski (C), Jordan Touro (P), Andy Francis (OF), Ryan Millan (P), Eric Milen (OF).

Players to watch: Chris Hipchen (.412 avg., 13 HR, 39 RBI), Mike Monaghan (.378 avg., 6 HR), Brad Bernhard (.393 avg., 5 HR), Matt Williams (.311 avg., 11 extra base hits).

Outlook: After a fourth place finish in the last season of the WSC, the Vikings look to be competitive in the new conference.

Kaneland

Head coach: Brian Aversa

Conference: Northern Illinois Big 12

2010 record: 23-13, 14-7

Postseason advancement: First round of regionals

Key additions: None

Players to watch: Bobby Thorson (.406 avg., 2.93 ERA), Drew French (3B), Joe Camiliere (OF), Corey Landers (OF), Kyle Davidson (SS/P).

Coach says: “We really beefed up our schedule this year adding the likes of New Trier, Brother Rice, Batavia, and as always, Plainfield North, Burlington Central and Marmion. We have a deep team where either our starter or our backup at every position could start this year and we wouldn’t miss a beat. I think the balance that we have in all aspects of the game will be our strength and the senior leadership we have will blend very well with the juniors who are filling some very important roles this year.”

Yorkville

Head coach: Scott Luken

Conference: Northern Illinois Big 12

2010 record: 10-24, 6-15

Postseason advancement: First round of regionals

Key additions: Ryan May (SS), Nick Gillette (OF), Chris Hill (C/IF).

Players to watch: Luke Lucchetti (.407 avg., 13 2B, 46 runs), Stephen Toma (P), Derek Piszczek (.378 avg.), Josh Cooper (.330 avg., 7 HR).

Outlook: A deep but inexperienced pitching staff should keep the Foxes in most games.

Sandwich

Head coach: Derek Avery

Conference: Interstate Eight

2010 record: 20-17, 11-5

Postseason advancement: Regional semifinal

Key additions: Jake Roehn (P/1B), P.J. Crotty (IF), Jeffrey Woods (SS/P), Dallas Schroeder (3B/C), Danny Bryski (OF), Mitch Brummel (OF).

Players to watch: Justin Wegener (P/C), Matt Anthenat (P/OF), Nolan Gipe (IF/DH).

Coach says: “Our top four pitchers should be a strength for us. However, we are a bit inexperienced at most positions. With injuries to (Connor) Voss and (Preston) Frieders, we only have two players back that got much playing time last season. Anthenat and Wegener will be asked to do a lot for us.”

Plano

Head coach: D.J. Cocks

Conference: Interstate Eight

2010 record: 11-26, 2-14

Postseason advancement: Regional semifinal

Key additions: Trent Bowers (P/C), Cory Dryden (P/OF/1B), Kyle Doney (P/1B), Jose Martinez (OF).

Players to watch: Alex Ramirez (2.19 ERA, 7 HR, 37 RBI), Angel Castellanos (.368 avg., 17 SB), Devin Ambrose (.461 OBP, 20 SB), Devin Haws (.344 avg., 15 SB), Ivan Corral (.323 avg.), Vance Schmidt (.282 avg.).

Coach says: “We have 12 guys out of our 16-man roster who can pitch so we have a lot of arms. The key for us is our pitching. We are looking to have a winning season this year and hope to make some noise in the playoffs.”

Hinckley-Big Rock

Head coach: Matt Olson

Conference: Little Ten

2010 record: 14-16, 10-6

Postseason advancement: Regional final

Key additions: Jacob Ryan (IF/OF/P).

Players to watch: Mitch Ruh (.444 avg., 39 RBI), Jack Peters (.344 avg, 20 RBI, 10 SB).

Somonauk

Head coach: Bob Honkala

Conference: Little Ten

2010 record: 24-4

Postseason advancement: Regional final

Key additions: Brandon Kramer (P/OF), Johnny Wathen (IF), Kyle Hatton (C), Cody Blue (1B), Jake Krischel (P).

Players to watch: Danny Heerhold (.477 avg.), Jake Morsch (5-1), Colin Stahl.

Coach says: “We are a very young team, but with that said, we are a team that has talent and a team that works hard. We aren’t going to try to recreate the wheel here. We are going to try to focus on playing the game the way it was meant to be played. I think that as the season goes on, game by game, we will see improvement. We are going to use the fact that we are young to our advantage. These guys just want to play and have a winning mentality. When we get this team to ‘click,’ whenever that is, we will be a fun team to watch. I think the future is bright here.”

Indian Creek

Head coach: Joe Piekarz

Conference: Little Ten

2010 record: 10-14

Postseason advancement: Regional quarterfinal

Players to watch: Josh Johnson (SS/P), Cal Herrmann (P/2B), Dillon Martenson (P/CF).

Coach says: “We look to compete in every game and be at our best come May. We are very young, but are willing to learn the game. I look forward to teaching these players the game of baseball and seeing how we develop as the year goes on.”

Aurora Central Catholic

Head coach: Eric Fulara

Conference: Suburban Christian Gold

2010 record: 3-19

Key additions: Steven Belovich, Shawn Soris.

Players to watch: Matt Miller, Matt Musuras, Ryan Harreld, Joe Medgysi, Kyle McGill, T.J.Ali, Matt Czerak.

Newark

Head coach: Brian Holman

No season preview information was provided to The Beacon-News.



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