Prep Baseball Report

4A State Finals Preview

By Drew Locascio
 Illinois Scouting Director

The Class 4A semifinal weekend has arrived. The games which start on Friday, at Silver Cross Field in Joliet, have been adjusted to accommodate the heat advisory expected during the middle of the day. Game 1 will now take place at 5:00 pm while game 2 will follow.  The four teams still standing in Class 4A are Providence Catholic, Plainfield North, St. Charles North and Mundelein.

Providence Catholic squares off with Plainfield North to open the semifinal action Friday afternoon at 5:00 pm. St. Charles North vs. Mundelein follows in the night cap.

The winners from Friday with face off in the Championship Game on Saturday. The game is currently scheduled to take place at 5:00 pm.

Class 4A Semifinal One- Friday 5:00 pm

Providence Catholic 31-9 vs. Plainfield North 33-3

Providence Catholic – The Celtics of Providence Catholic have their eyes set on an unprecedented third consecutive 4A State Title. The Celtics won five straight games by one run in last year’s run to a second consecutive Title. Read the game story from last year’s 6-5 eighth inning Championship victory over Mount Carmel Here.

In this year’s run to state, the Celtics allowed a total of five runs in their six postseason games. They outscored their opponents, 25-6.

The senior laden roster is led offensively by second baseman Mike Madej, a Purdue commit. Madej led the team with a .434 batting average with 16 doubles, two triples and two home runs. Madej also scored a team high 40 runs in 40 games played. Senior Jackson Dvorak, a South Suburban CC recruit is a tough out in the middle of the lineup. Dvorak hit .374 with eight doubles, a triple and a home run. Senior Matt Waznis adds some thump in the lineup, coming in at .315 with eight doubles, two triples and four home runs.

Coming into the year pitching was a question mark for the Celtics. Entering this weekend, that no longer seems to be the case. Nine pitchers saw time on the mound this spring, led by seniors Connor Hilty and Connor Creed. Hilty went 7-2 with a 1.93 ERA. Hilty logged 50.2 innings on the mound, walked 10 and struck out 30. Creed threw 46 innings, allowed 42 hits, struck out 38 and enters with a 1.83 ERA.

Junior, Tyler Zarembka is 6-2 and the Celtics only left-handed arm. Zarembka has pitched in 14 games, has an ERA of 1.76 and struck out 32 hitters in 43.2 innings. Senior, Matt Trzesniewski is one of the main relievers for Providence Catholic. Trzesniewski has pitched in 21 games, logged 22.2 innings and has a 2.16 ERA.

If the Celtics are able to pull off their third consecutive 4A state title, they would be the first high school baseball team to do so, regardless of Class, in Illinois history.

Providence Catholic is coached by Mark Smith.

Plainfield North – The Tigers, our Preseason No. 1 team in Illinois, have leaned on their pitching staff throughout the year and did so once again throughout the playoffs. On the year, Plainfield North shut out their opponents 10 times and did so twice in their five playoff wins. The last shutout came on Monday night in a 2-0 Super-Sectional victory over St. Laurence. Senior Tyler Garrity, started and threw a seven-inning complete game with nine strikeouts, advancing the Tigers to State for the first time in school history.

The Tigers (33-3) won 23 straight games at one point during the spring and did not give up more than five runs in any game during the regular season. On the mound, Brady Corrigan, Josh Garner and Garrity have all thrown over 50 innings. Junior, Brady Corrigan, an Arizona State commit, leads the way with a 10-1 record and a 0.48 ERA. Corrigan has thrown 72.1 innings, allowed 42 hits, walked 17 and struck out 82 hitters.

Garner, a senior and St. Louis commit, has done damage on the mound and at the plate. Right-handed Garner is 7-1 and sports a 1.38 ERA on the mound. Garner has given up 39 hits in 61 innings and has struck out 64 hitters. At the plate the right-handed hitter led the team in doubles (11), home runs (4) and RBI (44) to go along with a .409 batting average.

Garrity is another two-way player for Plainfield North. The left-hander is 9-0 on the mound with a 1.45 ERA. He has thrown 53 innings, given up 36 hits, and struck out 60. At the plate he has 31 RBI, four doubles and three home runs.

Senior catcher Jake Dunham, a Northern Illinois commit, leads the Tigers with a .422 batting average. Dunham also has 10 doubles, a triple and a home run.

Plainfield North is coached by John Darlington.

Class 4A Semifinal 2- Friday 7:00 pm

St. Charles North (32-6) vs. Mundelein (30-9)

St. Charles North – St. Charles North punched their ticket to the 4A Semi-finals for the first time in school history without two-way standout Tyler Mettetal. Mettetal a junior and South Carolina commit, went down in the middle of the year with an injury.

After starting the year 2-2, the North Stars enter Friday’s game 30-4 in the last 34. The North Stars won their last three games leading up to Friday by one run, including a thriller in the Super-Sectional game against New Trier 4-3 on Monday. Down to their final out, a groundball in the four-hole turned into a two run, walk-off error, propelling the North Stars to state.

The North Stars have received strong pitching all year. All seven pitchers on the staff have ERA’s under 2.15. They are led by senior Jack Lambert, a Parkland JC commit. Left-handed Lambert is 12-1 with a 1.42 ERA on the year. He has thrown 74 innings, allowed 48 hits, struck out 100 and walked 12 so far.

Ryan Litavecz is second on the team in innings pitched at 43. He is 4-2, has a 2.12 ERA and has given up 35 hits, walked eight and struck out 32. Senior right-hander Christian Sidoti a Parkland JC commit, has appeared in 16 games, is 4-1, thrown 25 innings, struck out 32 and has a 1.68 ERA.

At the plate, St. Charles North is solid up and down the lineup. Four players have over 100 at-bats and all of them have a batting average above .325. Another Parkland JC commit, senior Brendan Joyce is hitting .381 with 14 doubles, two triples, two home runs 26 RBI and 40 runs scored. Senior shortstop Zach Mettetal, a Memphis commit is hitting .369 with nine doubles, two triples, 31 RBI and 23 runs scored.

Senior outfielder John LeGare, a Purdue recruit, is hitting .356 with nine doubles, two triples, three home runs, 25 RBI and 29 runs. Kyle Novotney is hitting .327 with nine doubles, four triples and 27 runs scored.

St. Charles North is coached by Todd Genke.

Mundelein – The Mustangs are back at State for the first time since they took home the fourth place trophy in 2002.

After starting the year 8-6 the Mustangs have found their stride and are 22-3 over the last 25 games. The Mustangs pitching staff, recorded three shutouts in their five postseason games leading up to Friday. Arizona State commit, Brendan Murphy has led the Mustangs on the mound and at the plate this spring.

Murphy, a junior left-hander is 9-2 on the mound with a 1.00 ERA. He has thrown 63 innings, struck out 102 hitter and allowed 27 hits. In a recent outing Murphy was up to 92 mph and was still touching 91 in the sixth inning. At the plate, Murphy leads the team with a .426 batting average. He has 16 doubles, two triples, two home runs 33 RBI and 25 runs scored.

Junior Will Michalski has been the No. 2 on the mound for the Mustangs. He has appeared in 20 games, has an 8-2 record and sports a 2.12 ERA. In 59.1 innings he has struck out 66 batters and given up 44 hits. Michalski and Murphy will most likely start the two games this weekend, in what order remains to be seen.

At the plate, Nick Stricker, Jeff Morton and Brett Parola have all been contributors. Stricker is hitting .312 with 12 doubles, two triples, 36 runs and 19 RBI. Morton is hitting .372 with nine doubles, two triples, two home runs, 27 runs and 16 RBI. Parola is batting .318 with nine doubles, 21 RBI and 25 runs scored.

Mundelein is coached by Todd Parola.