Prep Baseball Report

4A State Semi-Finals: Plainfield East and Lake Park Advance

By Peter Hamot
Illinois Staff


Plainfield East Advances over Hononegah

Plainfield East and Hononegah squared off in the first game of the day for the 4A State Semi-Finals. A strong showing on the mound and competitive at-bats led to the Bengals advancing to the State Championship by a score of 5-3. 

The Bengals of Plainfield East were led on the mound by sophomore  Brady Louck, a Notre Dame commit. Louck went 6.2 innings allowing 5 hits, no walks while striking out 13. The left-hander featured an electric fastball, sitting 87-89 mph early on with arm-side life and settling in at 85-86 mph later in the game. Louck went to a sharp breaking ball with slurve shape and action in the 69-71 mph range that he was able to command for strikes. He flashed a changeup at 81 mph that was mostly straight, but kept down in the zone. The Notre Dame commit showed a very mature mound presence and was not afraid to attack hitters even when behind in the count, collecting swing and misses on fastballs with intent the entire game. 

Plainfield East started the scoring in the top of the third inning. Senior Caden Dyhr, a Wisconsin-Oshkosh commit, led off the inning with a deep shot over the left-field wall to put the Bengals up 1-0 at the time. Louck followed up with a single up the middle and would eventually come around to score on a ball in play from junior Christian Mitchelle to put the Bengals up 2-0 at the time. 

Hononegah fought back in the bottom of the fourth inning. Senior Braden Sayles, a Wabash CC commit, led off the frame with a single to set up senior Noah Goddard, a McHenry County CC commit. Goddard went on to lift a ball over the right-field wall to put the Indians’ first runs on the board, making the score 4-2 at the time. 

The Bengals continued their impressive offensive showing as juniors Jacob Denton and Sebastian Pape singled to set up Dyhr once again. Dyhr kept his day at the plate rolling by ripping a double to left-field, scoring junior Nathan Rudd who reached base via a fielder’s choice earlier in the frame, extending their lead to 3-0 at the time. Louck would come up once again and ground out to the pitcher, scoring Pape on the play to make the score 4-0 at the time. 

With the win, Plainfield East advanced to the 4A state championship at 7:00 pm.


Lake Park Advances over O’Fallon In Extra Innings

Lake Park and O’Fallon faced off in the second game of the day to decide who would play the Bengals of Plainfield East for the 4A State Title. Late game drama led to the Lancers eventually coming away with a 6-5 win in eight innings.

With the game tied at five in extra innings, Lake Park got things rolling in the bottom of the eighth inning with a single from senior Jackson Kent. Senior Tommy Klco, a Missouri Valley College commit singled into left field but Kent was thrown out at the plate attempting to score. However, on the same play, Klco advanced to third on a heads-up baserunning play and put himself only ninety feet away from scoring. Senior Giacomo Fanizza, stepped in and delivered the biggest swing of the game, ripping a ball off the left-field wall to send the Lancers to the State Finals. 

The Panthers of O’Fallon entered the top of the seventh inning chasing two runs. Sophomore Will Millard reached base via a walk and would later score on a wild pitch to make the score 5-4 at the time. Senior Garrett Meyer reached base via an error on a tough play into the six-hole between short and third base. The throw got away from the first baseman and junior Corey Quintal, who reached base with a walk earlier in the frame, came around from second base to score, tying the game at five runs a-piece. 

Lake Park scored three runs in the bottom of the fifth inning to take a 5-3 lead at the time. Senior Chris Worcester (Eastern Illinois commit), drove a sacrifice fly to centerfield to score sophomore Danny Rollins and tie the game at three runs a-piece. THe Lancers scored two more runs later in the inning on a wild pitch, extending the Lancer’s lead to 5-3 heading to the sixth inning.

O’Fallon got on the board first in the top of the second inning. Junior Kellen Scruggs doubled to left-field to score Meyer, who walked earlier in the inning to make the score 1-0 at the time. Senior Kendall Brookins followed with a single up the middle to score Scruggs and make the score 2-0 at the time. Brookins would later come around and score on a wild pitch and extend the lead the 3-0, giving O’Fallon the early advantage. 

Lake Park was led on the mound by Jackson Kent, a Wisconsin-Milwaukee commit, who settled in after the three run second inning. The left-hander went 6.1 strong innings, allowing 3 earned runs, 5 hits, 4 walks and striking out 13. Kent featured a fastball that sat 87-89 mph that he used to fill up the zone on both sides of the plate. He showcased an 1/7 to 12/6 breaking ball in the 72-74 mph range that he developed feel for later in the game and was able to drop in the zone for strikes. Kent also flashed a changeup at 80 mph kept down in the zone. After the second inning, Kent did not allow a run for the rest of the game. 


O'Fallon, who finished the season 26-10, knocked off Hononegah 6-4 in the 4A third-place game later that day. O’Fallon at one point early in the season sat at 5-5 before going on a 21-5 run to finish the season and take home the third-place trophy. The Panthers did so with a number of underclassmen sprinkled throughout their roster as well. The future is bright in years to come for O’Fallon and head coach Joe Bauer.