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Sports

Baseball: Previewing Glenbard East, Glenbard South, Glenbard West, IC Catholic Prep, Montini, Timothy Christian, Wheaton Academy, Wheaton North, WW South, Willowbrook, York

Montini celebrates their Class 3A State Tournament Championship game victory June 8.
Gary E Duncan Sr for Shaw Media
Montini celebrates their Class 3A State Tournament Championship game victory June 8. Gary E Duncan Sr for Shaw Media

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.

GLENBARD EAST RAMS

Coach: Joel Pelland

2019 record: 23-13

Top players

Name year position

Jason Cousineau Jr. 1B/P

Joe Hamilton Jr. SS

Outlook: The Rams are thin on the pitching staff following heavy graduation losses, but Hamilton is one of the area’s leading returning hitters. The junior shortstop batted .424 with 32 RBIs to lead a junior-dominated roster. The Rams will miss the production and leadership of graduated catcher Bret Bushka, who batted .451 with 33 RBIs and scored 37 runs last season.

GLENBARD SOUTH RAIDERS

Coach: Marco Eufrasio

2019 record: 25-14

Top players

Name year position

Jacob Cyrus Sr. OF/P

Michael Nathe Sr. OF/P

Ty Klayum Jr. P

Richie Villa Jr. P

Outlook: The Raiders are coming off a strong summer series showing, and could be in the race for the Upstate Eight Conference title. Cyrus is one of the leading returnees, batting .383 with 37 RBIs and earning an 8-2 record with a 2.38 ERA last season. Led by Cyrus, Nathe, Klayum and Villa, the Raiders have a talented pitching staff to make a strong run.

GLENBARD WEST HILLTOPPERS

Coach: Andrew Schultz

2019 record: 12-10.

Top players

Name year position

Drew Cater Jr. P

Trevor King Sr. P/IF

Sam Ford Jr. P

Mitchell Moore Sr. P

Tommy Koprowski Jr. P

Evan Walch Sr. P

Colin Lewis Sr. OF

Wes Dusek Sr. OF

Cody Paul Jr. C

Zach Rees Jr. IF

Gavin Hepner Sr. IF

Outlook: The Hilltoppers suffered heavy graduation losses, especially in their pitching staff. But they return all-conference shortstop Hepner, though they must rely on several newcomers at key positions.

“We graduated the majority of our innings on the mound and seven starters from last year’s squad, but we have a lot of our guys ready to step up,” Schultz said. “We will be a bit young and inexperienced, but we will also be talented and hungry. We have some good young arms that we’re excited about and a little bit more pop in the lineup than we’ve had in years past. We are looking forward to getting on the field and competing.”

IC CATHOLIC KNIGHTS

Coach: Frank DeAngelis

2019 record: 14-19

Top players

Name year position

Kevin Cooke Sr. SS/P

Dave Sykora Jr. OF/P

Tommy Ryan Sr. IF/P

Nick Kozerski So. IF/P

Chris Vitek Sr. IF/OF/P

Andrew Zwolinski Sr. OF/P

Michael Hilgart Jr. C/P

Joseph Cousineau Jr. C/IF

Brennan Fisher Sr. 1B/OF

Jack Ryan Sr. OF

Will Cooke Jr. 3B/OF

Outlook: The Knights are motivated to atone for last season’s early playoff loss in the regionals. Behind a group of 13 seniors and a 25-player roster, the Knights should be in the running for the Metro Suburban Conference title.

“We have a versatile group of players that can and are willing to play anywhere on the mound,” DeAngelis said. “We handle the bat well and possess good team speed. We anticipate to play pressure baseball on the offense end this year, and should clean up some of our repetitive defensive mistakes from last year with the talent we have at each position. Our pitching depth is approximately 13 arms, and has the ability to eat up many innings for regular season and postseason play.”

MONTINI BRONCOS

Coach: Rich Janor

2019 record: 23-11

Top players

Name year position

Michael Koszeski Sr. CF/P

Nate Kremkow Sr. OF/2B

Anthoine Harris Jr. OF

Estevan Moreno So. SS

Michael Sclafani Sr. 1B/P

Rocco Catalano Sr. RF

Nick Wind Sr. C

Ralph Ortiz Sr. P

Max Kasallis Jr. P

Tyler Atkins Sr. P

Outlook: The Broncos have a talented roster filled with top-level talent, including five players committed to play baseball in college. After winning the Class 3A state championship last season, the Broncos have the depth and experience to make another run, led by pitcher/center fielder Koszewski, a Cincinnati recruit, Sclafani (Lewis), Kremkow (Illinois-Springfield), Catalano (Loras College), Henry Sipchen (Lawrence University) and Wind, a Wisconsin-Milwaukee football recruit.

“The strength of this team is our wealth of big-game experience, and a lot of offensive weapons, especially speed on the bases,” Janor said. “The Broncos will be strong up the middle with Nick Wind returning behind the plate, and sophomore Estevan Moreno at shortstop. Nate Kremkov will move from the outfield to second base, and speedy Antoine Harris will cover a lot of ground in the outfield, along with Koszewski and Rocco Catalano. These guys have played with extreme poise under pressure on the biggest stage, and you can expect them to rise to the occasion again in 2020.”

TIMOTHY CHRISTIAN TROJANS

Coach: Brian Whartnaby

2019 record: 5-21

Top players

Name year position

Harrison Stanton Sr. IF/OF

Ethan Roemmich Sr. OF/P

Bea Brady Sr. OF/P

Ben Jones Jr. SS/P

Fletcher Roemmich So. IF

Donald Tober Fr. C/P

Ethan Munk Fr. IF/C

Outlook: Senior Ethan Roemmich, a returning all-conference performer, is the leader among the returnees. Stanton is slated to be a key contributor after an injury sidelined him last year.

“The strength of our team is leadership, work ethic, our infield and hitting,” Whartnaby said. “We’ll be young, but our upperclassmen are solid leaders and have a lot of experience. Ethan should be a leader on the mound and at the plate.”

WHEATON ACADEMY WARRIORS

Coach: Justin Swider

2019 record: 17-14

Top players

Name year position

Luke Roman Sr. IF/P

Shane Baumgarten Jr. IF/P

Josh Cosme Jr. C/IF

Marcus Bult Sr. 1B/P

Wilber Reyes DelGado Jr. IF

Tyler Stermetz Sr. OF/P

Joe Schaffer Sr. OF/P

Andy Roman Fr. IF

Outlook: Senior Roman, an Indiana Wesleyan recruit, is one of the anchors on the team along with junior Baumgarten. Swider expects Roman and Baumgarten to be leaders on the infield.

“We were young last year, but did well pitching,” Swider said. “We bring back some top-end pitching and with the experience from last year being a young team, that only helps us this year. We have some newcomers that will help add to our experienced lineup. We have some very solid returners, both in the field and on the mound. We have also added some young newcomers to the mix that can swing the stick. This is a focused group of young me that want to compete.”

WHEATON NORTH FALCONS

Coach: Dan Schoessling

2019 record: 22-9-1

Top players

Name year position

Andy Nelson Sr. SS/P

Tyler Woltman Sr. C

Carson Roberts Sr. OF/P

Zach Lorensten Sr. 3B/P

Casey Gray Sr. 2B/C

Jacob Tully Sr. P

Tom Pelafas Sr. P

Matt Nelson Sr. OF

Dan Fleweger Sr. P

Outlook: Nelson, a shortstop and pitcher, is one of the best players in the state. The Iowa recruit was named the DuKane Conference Player of the Year in 2019 after batting .451 with seven home runs and 29 RBIs to go with a 3-0 record with 33 strikeouts in 33 1/3 innings.

“The strength of the team is our offense,” Schoessling said. “Our biggest question mark is on the mound. Beyond Andy Nelson, we do not have much varsity experience. We will have several pitchers competing for spots.”

WHEATON WARRENVILLE SOUTH TIGERS

Coach: John Scherrman

2019 record: 15-14-1

Top players

Name year position

Aiden Monce Sr. 1B/P

Phil Oddo Sr. OF/P

Ray Nepras Sr. SS/P

Outlook: The Tigers lost significant talent and experience from last season, thus expect several new faces leading the team. The good news is Nepras established himself as a quality top-of-the-rotation pitcher after compiling a 7-1 record with a 2.14 ERA last season.

WILLOWBROOK WARRIORS

Coach: Vic Wisner

2019 record: 24-7

Top players

Name year position

Sam Tumilty Sr. SS/OF

Anthony Yannotti Sr. OF

Nelson Melon Sr. OF

Bennett Fleming So. C

Isaac Sobieszczyk Fr. IF

Max Vaisvila So. P

Outlook: The Warriors return three starters from last season’s highly successful team, highlighted by three-sport star Tumilty.

“Our lower levels have had some success, so the expectations are high,” Wisner said. “Just having Sam Tumilty in the lineup makes us a tough opponent. Freshman Alex Chaltin and Issac Sobieszczyk are going to be really good. Our pitching staff with Donny Ward returning from an injury should allow us to compete. Sophomore Max Vaisvila will surprise (this season).”

YORK DUKES

Coach: Dave Kalal

2019 record: 15-8-1

Top players

Name year position

Jon Meyers Sr. P

Kai Formella Sr. P

Tyler Lawrence Sr. P

Zach Wiygul Sr. P

Santino Domingo Sr. P

Anthony Abbatecola Sr. OF

Tyler Cwik Sr. OF

Matt Pinkowski Jr. OF

Tyler Procajlo Jr. IF/P

Tyler Arista Jr. IF

Outlook: The Dukes are certainly not lean on seniors and pitching. The Dukes have the potential to have a formidable staff, led by Concordia recruit Meyers and Trinity Christian recruit Domingo.

“Our pitching will be strong because we’re bringing back nearly 40 appearances,” Kalal said. “We will need a total team effort and everyone on the roster will be expected to contribute to the success of the overall season.”

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