Final Illinois Power 25 Rankings
June 13, 2018
With the conclusion of this past weekend’s Class 3A and 4A State Tournament, we’ve compiled our Illinois Power 25 Final Team Rankings. It’s important to note that our rankings are not necessarily a final reflection of what happened during the playoffs, but rather take into account the entire season, including conference races.
That being said, winning a state title can take precedence. No. 1 Plainfield North ran the table in the postseason and won their first baseball state title in school history. Four of the top five teams in the final rankings were preseason top 10 teams, including Plainfield North, who was No. 4.
Below we take a look at the Top 5 teams in Illinois come season’s end.
+ No. 1: Plainfield North (29-7-1) - The Tigers of Plainfield North, led by head coach John Darlington, have been one of the top programs in the state over the last handful of years and finally took home the elusive 4A State Title. The Tigers had one of the deepest pitching staffs in the state, led by senior RHP Brady Miller, a Western Michigan commit. Miller, who got the win in the state semi-final game, runs his fastball into the low-90’s and also hit in the middle of the order. Fellow Western Michigan commit, SS/RHP Gavin Doyle, anchored the defense and put up big offensive numbers for the Tigers. Heading into the state tournament Doyle was hitting .394 with 10 doubles, five triples and seven home runs. En-route to the state title, the Tigers went through some of the top teams in the state. Their final five postseason games were against Top 25 opponents, Plainfield East, Neuqua (No. 2 at the time), Brother Rice, Sandburg and finally Huntley in the championship game. Coach Darlington and the Tigers have now won 28+ games each of the last five seasons and there is no signs of slowing down anytime soon.
+ No. 2: Huntley (33-7) - The Red Raiders may have gone under appreciated throughout the season, floating in and out of the Power 25. They more than proved their worth in the playoff run that ended as the Class 4A runner-up. Head coach Andy Jakubowski, had a talented, well-schooled squad that did the little things right and did not beat themselves. Huntley made a number of late comebacks and consistently proved they were a team that would not quit. The toughest game of the playoffs may have come against fellow Fox Valley conference foe, McHenry. Huntley trailed in the bottom of the seventh and again in the eighth, rallying both times and eventually winning. The Red Raiders proved their worth once again in the Championship. Huntley trailed 4-1 entering the seventh and rallied to cut the lead to 4-3 but Plainfield North was able to hold them off. The Red Raiders had a quality one-two punch on the mound with seniors LHP Kyle Morgan (McHenry County JC) and RHP Nick Laxner (Miami OH commit). Despite losing his top two arms to graduation, Coach Jakubowski should be excited about the 2019 season as he brings a number of juniors back.
+ No. 3: Sandburg (28-8) - The Eagles, led by head coach Jim Morsovillo, were one of the most consistent teams in the state this spring. Heading into the state finals, the Eagles had only lost three times since April 10th, playing one of the toughest schedules in the state. Sandburg went a combined 6-0 playing some of the best competition in the Midwest at the “PBR Midwest Select” and the “Bajenski Tournament” this spring. They parlayed their regular season success into the playoffs, defeating No. 1 O’Fallon in the Super-Sectionals and a bevy of other talented teams along the way; Sandburg knocked off Providence Catholic, Lincoln-Way East and Marist in arguably the toughest Sectional in the state. Sandburg finished with a fourth place Class 4A trophy after a tough 7-3 loss to eventual champion Plainfield North in the State-semi. The Eagles had a dynamic offense led by seniors SS Branden Comia (Illinois commit) and C Ryan Hampe (Illinois-Chicago commit), who hit two-three in the order. On the mound, the Eagles got the job down by committee with a number of arms throwing quality and meaningful innings in the playoffs.
+ No. 4: O’Fallon (35-4-1) - The Panthers and head coach Jason Portz had one of the more complete teams in the state, led by an impressive crop of senior right-handed arms; Hayden Juenger (Missouri State), Braydon Arnold (Maryville), Logan Boente (McKendree), Jaysn Miller (Elmhurst) and Adam Drewry. Come playoff time, the Panthers got past Edwardsville in an epic Regional Championship game and looked to be rolling until they ran into the buzzsaw of Sandburg in the Champaign Super-Sectional. Sandburg stifled the talented offense, eventually winning 3-0. Despite the loss in the Super-Sectional it was an extremely impressive season for the Panthers who spent the last few weeks of the spring as the No. 1 team in the Power 25.
+ No. 5: Neuqua (31-4) - The Wildcats led by head coach Robin Renner, in his final season at the helm, never found themselves outside of the top two in the power 25 until now. The Wildcats headed into the postseason as one of the favorites to win it all in 4A but were ousted by Plainfield North in the Sectional Final. Despite the earlier than expected exit, Neuqua had an extremely impressive regular season which included winning the DuPage Valley Conference title with relative ease. Coach Renner’s club started off the season with 22 straight wins and held the No. 1 spot in the Power 25 for several weeks. The Wildcats were not only deep on the mound, they had top end arms as well, led by seniors LHP James Kulak (Purdue) and RHP Ricky Castro (Parkland JC). At the plate and in the field they were loaded with talented seniors, led by SS Ryan Wheeler, 3B Noah Herdman, OF’s Evan Ranneklev (Illinois Wesleyan), Jack Rigoni (SIU-Edwardsville) and Trevor Tesmond, among others.