Class 2A Preview



By Sean Duncan
Executive Director

Every year, it seems, we start our Class 2A preseason preview with Harrisburg. The reason is simple: Harrisburg’s roster is typically loaded with talent, not to mention headlined by a top-ranked player.

More so than the bigger classes, in 2A, one dominant frontline pitcher can carry a team to a state championship. Teutopolis won consecutive state titles behind No. 1-ranked Derek Thompson; prior to that, Olympia won back-to-back titles behind right-hander Matt Frahm. Last spring, Normal U-High rode the left-handed arm of Jacob Hendren to the school’s second state championship.

Don’t confuse. Teams obviously need to score runs, pick up the baseball and, at the minimum, have an adequate No. 2 on the mound. But a high-end ace can clearly carry a Class 2A team.

This year, 2A’s field features two lights-out, shutdown arms: Rock Island Alleman RHP Cody Sedlock and Harrisburg RHP/SS Ryne Roper. Both are University of Illinois-bound top 10 prospects in the Class of 2013. Both have dominant stuff.

And both are reasons why we are picking Alleman and Harrisburg as the clear favorites to win the 2A championship come June. Flip a coin between the two.

We give the slight edge to Alleman because the Pioneers return several critical pieces from last year’s club that came painfully close to winning the Class 2A state championship, ultimately losing a 4-3 heart-breaker to Normal U-High in eight innings. Sedlock (10-3, 3.19 ERA; 102 Ks in 74.2 IP) being the chief piece. Alleman also has the senior leadership and surrounding cast to be the last team standing at O’Brien Field in Peoria.

Roper, who can dominate a game with both his arm and bat, is perhaps the biggest difference-maker in the state. Venerable coach Jay Thompson also welcomes back seven starters from last year’s 30-win team.

Perennial power Teutopolis, too, features a dominant pitcher, senior RHP Kyle Pruemer, who helped the Wooden Shoes to a state title as a sophomore. Teutopolis also has junior LHP/OF Bobby Wenthe, giving the team a formidable 1-2 punch.

Pleasant Plains is always a formidable contender in 2A, and Wesclin, which placed fourth last spring, should also contend. And although Normal U-High graduated the Hendren brothers and several other contributors, you can’t overlook the defending champions.

Breese Mater Dei and Richmond-Burton also have the potential to make a significant run in the playoffs. Herscher, which finished third last year and has been a mainstay in 2A, and perennial 2A power Illinois Valley Central, both moved up a class this year.

Class 2A Preseason Top 10 Teams

Rk

Team

Record

Comment

1 Rock Island Alleman 29-13 Ace RHP Cody Sedlock and several others return for 2A state runner-up squad 
2 Harrisburg 30-8 Two-way standout Ryne Roper leads 7 returning starters for perennial powerhouse
3 Teutopolis 31-9 RHP Kyle Pruemer and LHP/OF Bobby Wenthe give Wooden Shoes tough 1-2 punch
4 Pleasant Plains 26-12 Coach Dave Greer always has his team in the mix come the playoffs
5 Breese Mater Dei 16-15 6 starters and 7 pitchers return, headlined by RHP Mitch Langenhorst
6 Richmond-Burton 27-8 Losing LHP E.J. Trapino is a big blow, but team will rely on RHP/3B Ryne Blanton
7 Normal U-High 29-10 Defending champions lost a lot, but hey, they are the defending champions
8 Trenton-Weclin 20-19 Warriors look to make second straight trip to Peoria after taking fourth last year
9 Aurora Central Catholic 14-18 Coach Sean Bieterman inherits team with solid pitching, led by RHP/SS Matt Miller
10 Chicago Christian 26-13 Butler-bond SS Brodie Meyer headlines 6 returning starters

2013 Season Preview Mag SLIDE