Prep Baseball Report

Class 3A State Semifinal Preview

By Matt Huck
Area Scout

The Class 3A semifinals begin at 10:00 am on Friday morning. The third place game will be at 9:00 am on Saturday morning with the Championship game following at noon. St. Viator, Marmion, Champaign Central, and Marian Catholic are the final four teams in 3A.

Class 3A Semifinal One - Friday 10:00 AM

Marian Catholic (23-15) vs. Champaign Central (30-9-1)

Marian Catholic - The Spartans are making their first trip back to Joliet since 2012 where they won the title beating Nazareth and LaSalle-Peru in the title game. You can read that game story HERE.

In five playoff games this year Marian has thrown three shutouts and outscored opponents 61-2.

Maryland bound RHP Mark DiLuia is the team leader both on the mound and at the plate. DiLuia went 7-1 with a 1.68 ERA. In 58.1 innings this year he has struck out 72 batters. At the plate DiLuia leads in all triple crown categories hitting .434 with six home runs and 32 RBIs. He is also tied for the team lead with 12 doubles.  

Marian relies on sophomores Jordan Smevoll and Michael Bohlen behind Diluia. Smevoll went 8-3 this year with a 1.69 ERA in 66.1 innings of work. Bohlen posted a 6-1 record in 41.1 innings with a 1.52 ERA. Besides DiLuia, Nick Bledsoe and Pierce Jones are the top hitters in the Spartan lineup. Bledsoe hit .311 with 11 doubles and three triples. Jones hit .325 with a homer.

Marian Catholic is coached by Tony DeCarlo.

Champaign Central -Champaign Central is making its first trip to state since 1968. The Maroons have hung on for some wins on the road to Joliet. In the team's opening game they needed eight innings to defeat Mattoon 4-3. Their biggest upset came in the Sectional Championship where they defeated Chatham Glenwood 9-7.

The Maroons have a balanced lineup with seven different players hitting over .300. Jake Beesley had an impressive line this year hitting .392 with nine doubles and 40 RBIs.  Patrick Beckemeyer hit .366 seven doubles and four triples. Zak Hartleb hit .373 with seven doubles, two home runs, and 20 RBIs. Cade Sestak hit .360 with seven doubles and Marshall Thompson hit .356 with a team leading 11 doubles. 

Cam Robinson posted an 11-2 record with a 1.58 ERA, in 66.1 innings he struck out 73. Robinson also hit .319 with 23 RBIs. Cade Sestak went 8-3 with a 1.33 ERA and Dom Erlinger went 6-2 with a 2.15 ERA.

Champaign Central is coached by John Staab.

Class 3A Semifinal Two - Friday Noon

Marmion (21-16) vs. St. Viator (23-15) 

Marmion - The Cadets are making their first trip to the state finals in program history. Marmion posted a 21-16 record this season this year in the ultra competitive Chicago Catholic League Blue Division that features almost all 4A schools. In six playoff games so far they have scored double digit runs three times and thrown two shutouts.

Bobby Pierce was the team's leading hitter, hitting .391 with 29 RBIs, 9 doubles, two triples, and five home runs. Jack Molenhouse hit .397 with 25 hits all being singles on the year. Arkansas commit Chase Stanke hit .320 with a team leading 10 doubles, four home runs, and 24 RBIs.

Brandon McPherson is the top two way talent for the Cadets hitting .323 and going 6-0 on the mound with a 1.21 ERA. Collin Gibson (5-3, 3.50 ERA) and Eric Lundell (5-3, 3.75 ERA) are the other contributors on the mound.

Marmion is coached by Frank Chapman.

St. Viator - Viator is making its second consecutive trip to the state finals after getting 4th place last year. The Lions lost to eventual state champion Lemont 10-2 in the semifinal and 6-0 to Limestone in the 3rd place game.

St. Viator posted a 23-15 record on the year, but went just 8-10 in East Suburban Catholic play. The Lions have turned in on in the playoffs against conference opponents. They were swept by both Carmel and Benet in the regular season, but easily knocked them off in the playoffs with 8-3 and 13-4 victories. The Lions have put up a lot of runs in their five playoff games so far scoring 53 runs including 13 in the Super Sectional win over Benet.

Notre Dame commit Cole Kmet has had a monster year, and is in the running for PBR Player of the Year. Kmet is one of the more impressive two way talents in the state after hitting .435 with 12 home runs, 16 doubles, and 44 RBIs. Kmet leads the Lions in every offensive category. On the mound he posted a 7-3 record with a 2.11 ERA. Over 56.1 innings Kmet struckout an impressive 96 batters.

Casey Kmet hit .426 with 23 RBIs, 34 runs scored, and 10 doubles. Freshman shortstop Jack Mahoney hit .355 with two home runs and 27 RBIs.

St. Viator is coached by Mike Manno

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