Diamond Notes: Week 5


By: Peter Hamot
Area Scout

Each week, IHSA coaches around the state submit to us their nominations for the PBR Illinois Player of the Week honor. On Wednesday, we awarded the Week 5 POTW honor to RHP/3B Owen Murphy (Riverside-Brookfield, 2022; Notre Dame); who finished the week 7-for-11 with 13 RBI, 10 runs scored, two walks, and a stolen base. Five of his seven hits were home runs, including the aforementioned grand slam, and he also struck out 14 batters without walking one across six scoreless innings of work.

There were a number of other impressive performances that were in the mix for the award and deserve recognition. Here’s a look at some of the most notable.

Week 5 diamond notes

Bryer Arview SS / 2B / Civic Memorial, IL / 2023

The uncommitted junior put up an impressive week at the plate; going 9-for-14 with a triple, three doubles, eight RBIs and nine runs scored - also swiping six bases and walking twice. Perhaps his most dominant game came in a 14-4 victory over Staunton; where he went 3-for-4 with a triple, six RBIs, two stolen bases, a walk and three runs scored. On the season, Arview is now hitting .500 with an OBP of .556, SLG percentage of .750, two triples, eight doubles, 13 RBIs and 22 runs scored.

Aden Aukland OF / RHP / Plainfield East, IL / 2022

The College of DuPage commit got it done on both sides of the ball this week; collecting two home runs (one grand slam) with seven RBIs - also going five innings on the mound and striking out six.

Brandon Bak LHP / OF / Plainfield North, IL / 2022

Brandon Bak, an Illinois-Chicago commit, tossed five innings while not allowing a single hit, striking out 13 to just three walks - also going 2-for-4 at the plate with a double and an RBI in a 7-0 win over Romeoville.

Frank Bilecki LHP / 1B / Marist, IL / 2024

Sophomore southpaw Frank Bilecki tossed a no-hitter in a 5-0 win over St. Patrick. Over his seven innings of work, Bilecki struck out 10 to just three walks - also completing the feat in 92 pitches.

Hayden Brazelton OF / LHP / St. Joseph-Ogden , IL / 2022

The Kaskaskia commit tore it up over his three-game stretch last week; going 6-for-7 at the plate with two home runs (in the same inning), two doubles, six RBIs and a stolen base. He also hopped on the mound against Champaign Centennial and collected the win; tossing a complete game with 13 strikeouts, no walks and just five hits. On the season, Brazelton is now 3-0 with a 1.16 ERA in 18 IP with 39 strikeouts - also hitting .490 on the year with two home runs, two triples, eight doubles, 22 RBIs, 32 runs scored, 12 walks, 10 stolen bases and only two strikeouts.

Griffin Brown C / 1B / Lockport , IL / 2022

The Black Hawk JC commit came up big for the Porters in last weeks action; going 6-for-10 with a home run, triple, three doubles, six RBIs, eight runs scored and five stolen bases. He was a run producing machine against strong pitching and in important spots; hitting a game winning home run in the 11th inning against Providence in the opening round of the DISW tournament.

Cooper Cohn C / RHP / McHenry, IL / 2023

The uncommitted junior tore it up at the plate last week, going 6-for-16 with three home runs, two doubles and 12 RBIs. Cohn's three home runs all came in consecutive games; with one being on Friday against Jacobs and the other two coming on Saturday against Sycamore.

Jackson Dibble OF / Geneva, IL / 2023

The junior outfielder went a combined 9-for-16 on the week; notching five doubles, six RBIs and seven runs scored - helping to lead the Vikings to a sweep over Glenbard North and a weekly record of 3-1.  

James Hackett SS / Glenbrook South, IL / 2022

The Boston College commit helped lead Glenbrook South to a perfect 3-0 record on the week (5-2 on the season). In three games played, Hackett went 8-for-11 with a triple, three doubles, seven RBIs and four runs scored - helping to lead South to two conference wins as well as a non-conference win over Buffalo Grove.

Michael Hilker Jr RHP / 2B / Yorkville , IL / 2022

The Wisconsin-Whitewater commit helped boost the Foxes to a 1-0 win over Plainfield Central; going seven innings while only allowing one hit, two walks, striking 12 and cruising to a 74% strike percentage throughout the game. 

Josh Katz SS / RHP / Lane Tech, IL / 2023

The uncommitted junior helped lead Lane Tech to a perfect 3-0 record down in Florida this past week; going 3-for-7 at the plate with two RBIs, five runs scored, two stolen bases, two walks and two hit-by-pitches. Katz also hopped on the mound and picked up wins against Cardinal Gibbons and Archbishop McCarthy; combining for five innings pitched with eight strikeouts, two hits and no walks.

Owen Kelly RHP / Belleville East, IL / 2023

The uncommitted right-hander fired a six-inning no-hitter in a 10-0 win over Alton. Over his six innings of work, Kelly struck out seven to just two walks, helping lift East's record to 10-2 at the time.

Nolan King SS / RHP / Glenbard West, IL / 2022

King, an uncommitted senior, got it done all over the field for Glenbard West over this past week. At the plate, he went 8-for-11 with two RBIs, eight runs scored, five stolen bases and five walks. On defense, King made a stellar play in center field by throwing out a runner who was attempting to score, saving a run. The right-hander then also hopped on the mound and tossed 1.2 innings, recording four of his five outs via the strikeout - also giving up no runs.

Mason Lei RHP / Freeport, IL / 2023

The uncommitted junior tossed a five-inning perfect game against Rockford Auburn; only needing 55 pitches to record 10 strikeouts along the way. Lei also went 5-for-9 at the plate with two RBIs and two walks.

Josh McDevitt RHP / Effingham , IL / 2023

The Missouri commit was lights out in his start against Mattoon on Saturday; going six shutout innings while only allowing two hits and striking out 12 enroute to earning the win. 

Joseph Mendiola 3B / RHP / Belleville East , IL / 2023

The uncommitted junior helped lead the Lancers to a perfect 4-0 week; going 9-for-13 at the plate with a home run, three doubles, seven RBIs and a walk - not striking out a single time in the four games during that stretch. On the season, Mendiola is currently hitting .556 with a home run, three triples, eight doubles and 19 RBIs through 15 games. 

Christian Mitchelle SS / RHP / Plainfield East, IL / 2022

The Central Michigan commit was dominant at the plate over this past week; going 8-for-12 with a home run, three doubles and eight RBIs. The standout two-way prospect also hopped on the mound and struck out six opposing batters over his three innings of work.

Kevin Niedzwiedz 3B / SS / Batavia, IL / 2022

Niedzwiedz, a Black Hawk JC commit, helped lead Batavia to a 3-1 week over Wheaton North and Lincoln-Way Central; going 8-for-13 at the plate with a triple, four doubles and seven RBIs. Three of his doubles all came in an 18-8 victory over Wheaton North, also driving in three runs. NiedzWiedz is now batting .387 on the year with five doubles and eight RBIs. 

Lucas Pajeau OF / RHP / Lockport, IL / 2022

Pajeau, an Illinois-Springfield commit, got it done both on the mound and at the plate for the Porters last week; going 6-for-11 with two doubles, an RBI, three runs scored and five stolen bases. He also hopped on the mound and tossed four dominant innings with nine strikeouts, one hit and collected the win - keeping a potent Providence Catholic lineup at bay in the opening round of the DISW tournament.

Brayden Pals RHP / OF / Effingham, IL / 2022

The Lake Land JC commit followed up the aforementioned outing from Josh McDevitt with a gem of his own, leading the Hearts to an 8-0 victory over Mattoon to complete the double-header sweep. Pals went seven strong innings while only allowing three hits, no runs and striking out 14. 

Tyler Patton C / 1B / Waubonsie Valley, IL / 2022

The Aurora University commit helped propel Waubonsie to a 3-1 week, going 2-1 against No. 6 Naperville central which included a 4-for-4 day on Tuesday with a double and a home run. On the week, Patton went 7-for-14 with a home run , two doubles, six RBIs and four runs scored. 

Ben Powell / Bushnell-Prairie, IL / 2023

Ben Powell started the week on Monday by going 3-for-4 with a home run, two doubles and four RBIs in a 7-3 win over Havana - also scoring two runs. At Stark County on Tuesday, he went 3-for-6 with a homer, three RBIs and four runs scored. Continuing to Saturday, Powell went 1-for-4 with two stolen bases, a run scored and also was dominant on the mound; going five innings with eight strikeouts. On the week, Powell finished 7-for-14 with two home runs, two doubles, seven RBIs, seven runs scored and two stolen bases.

Calvin Proskey RHP / SS / Oak Park-River Forest, IL / 2023

The UC-Santa Barbara commit is picking up right where he left off from his strong 2021 campaign, currently boasting a 0.82 ERA on top of 20 strikeouts in 17 innings with a .138 opponent batting average. On Thursday against No. 6 Hinsdale Central, Proskey fired a complete game shutout with 11 strikeouts to just two walks (both in the last inning), also allowing just two hits. There were multiple times within the game where he retired two or more batters via the strikeout in an inning; getting five opposing hitters to strikeout in a row at one point - also striking out the final four batters of the game. 

Maddux Shockey SS / RHP / Freeport, IL / 2023

The uncommitted junior went a combined 7-for-11 on the week with two home runs, seven RBIs and four runs scored, helping to lift Freeport to a perfect 10-0 record on the year.

Brendan Som 2B / OF / Niles West , IL / 2022

The uncommitted senior went a combined 5-for-9 in West's doubleheader this past Saturday - helping the team knock off Rochelle by the score of 14-3 and Guilford by the score of 13-4. Som collected three doubles with five RBIs, four runs scored and two stolen bases - with two of his doubles coming in the same game against Rochelle. 

Spencer Stearns 3B / RHP / Edwardsville, IL / 2022

Uncommitted senior Spencer Stearns has been a catalyst for the Tigers on both sides of the ball so far this season, and this past week was no different. On the week, Stearns went 11-for-15 with three home runs, two doubles, seven RBIs, seven runs scored and walked twice. All three of his home runs came in consecutive games, with two coming on Saturday against St. Rita and Normal. On the mound, Stearns picked up two wins on the week, tossing three innings on Sunday with five strikeouts to just one walk and no runs allowed - while also threatening a perfect game on Thursday through 4.1 innings; finishing with five innings, two hits, two earned runs and six strikeouts to no walks.

Nate Stempowski SS / 2B / Geneva , IL / 2024

Sophomore Nate Stempowski went off last week; collecting a bases-loaded double in the top of the fifth to put the game out of reach and help pull out the 11-4 victory over Glenbard North. In his third game of the series against North, Stempowski went a perfect 5-for-5 with a home run, double and six RBIs. His first at-bat in that game was a three-run blast with Geneva chasing four runs - which ultimately started a nine run inning and helped boost the Vikings to a 24-9 victory in five innings - sealing a clean three-game sweep over North.

Cole Trickel RHP / SS / Freeport, IL / 2023

The uncommitted junior was dominant in his start against Rockford Auburn, going seven innings with nine strikeouts and four walks. Trickel, along with the aforementioned Maddux Shockey, have both been a key reason that Freeport is off to an impressive 10-0 start.

Cole Van Assen RHP / 3B / Brother Rice , IL / 2023

The uncommitted junior has made some strides lately, reportedly running his fastball up to 90 mph so far this season. In two games last week against Marmion and Normal University, Van Assen picked up two wins with 8.2 innings pitched, four hits, no runs, no walks and 13 strikeouts.

Jake Zitella 3B / SS / St. Charles East, IL / 2023

The Illinois commit went a combined 7-for-9 over a three game stretch last week; collecting two home runs, two doubles and four RBIs. Locked in a pitchers duel with Lake Park and tied at no runs apiece, Zitella stepped in and delivered a two-run blast to put the game away and seal the 2-0 victory. 

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