Prep Baseball Report

IHSA Playoffs: 4A State Preview

By Taylor Castro
Illinois Staff

On Saturday, the IHSA 4A semifinals and championship game will take place at DuPage Medical Group Field in Joliet. Hononegah and Plainfield East will play in the first game of the day at 10 a.m., then Lake Park and O’Fallon will face off in the second semifinal at 1 p.m. The championship game will be played at 7 p.m. and the third place match up will take place at 4 p.m.

Hononegah and Plainfield East both had to take down No. 1 seeds in order to make it to Joliet. Plainfield East enters the state finals as a No. 13 seed. Lake Park, who has consistently been recognized as one of the state’s top teams this season, is a No. 1 seed, while Hononegah and O’Fallon are a pair of No. 2 seeds.

The lone No. 1 seed, Lake Park was the only team to earn a spot on the final edition of the PBR Illinois Power 25 Rankings, coming in at No. 6.

Here’s a breakdown of each team’s path to Joliet:

Hononegah Indians (26-2)

Making school history, this is the Indians’ first trip to the state finals. Hononegah won their sectional after a nine-inning nailbiter against Huntley, who was No. 1 in the PBR Illinois Power 25 Rankings.

Junior LHP Ryan Anderson was locked in on the mound during the sectional championship, but that’s no surprise to those who have been watching him all season. With a 9-0 record, Anderson boasts an impressive 0.48 ERA over 58 innings. Hononegah’s pitching rotation also features a pair of senior RHP in Scott Porter and Braden Sayles (Wabash Valley JC).

The Indians are able to take care of business at the plate as well, especially with senior C Noah Goddard (McHenry County JC). Goddard is batting .512 this season and leads the team with five home runs and 14 doubles. Senior SS Gabe Roessler (Madison JC) is also hitting an impressive .507. They are consistently joined in the lineup by Braden Sayles, Bryce Goodwine, Ethan Benjamin, Porter, Dylan Sayles and Ryan Whitledge.

Road to State:


  • Jefferson: 17-0

  • Guilford: 7-0


  • Lake Zurich: 7-4

  • Huntley: 3-2 (9 inn.)


  • Prospect: 9-7

Plainfield East Bengals (17-15)

Plainfield East is also making their first tournament appearance this year. Also similar to their semifinals opponent, the Bengals had to defeat a No. 1 seed to get here. As a No. 13 seed, they succeeded in overcoming No. 1 Brother Rice with a 3-0 win in the Crestwood Super-Sectional.

Sophomore LHP Brady Louck (Notre Dame) has been a key to the Bengal’s success this year. He sees the most action on the mound and holds the lowest ERA on the team with a 1.43. Another D-I commit, senior Gavin Schmitt (Illinois), and junior Christian Mitchelle also contribute to Plainfield East’s effective pitching rotation.

A pair of pitchers have also been able to get things done at the plate. Louck is batting .384 with two home runs. Mitchelle is sitting at .347 and leads the team in home runs with four. Position players Michael Bailey (Illinois Wesleyan), Caden Dyhr (Wisconsin-Oshkosh) and Jake Eason contribute to Plainfield East’s offense.

Road to State:


  • Oswego: 6-3

  • Plainfield Central: 4-2


  • Neuqua Valley: 8-4

  • Yorkville: 11-8


  • Brother Rice: 3-0

Lake Park (32-4)

The Lancers have been one of the favorites in Class 4A ever since they took two-of-three from St. Charles North during the regular season, leading to the DuKane conference title and a No. 6 ranking in the PBR Power 25. The Lancers have cruised through the playoffs with their toughest game coming against St. Charles East, by a score of 9-8 in the Sectional Semi-Final.

The Lancers are led by LHP Jackson Kent (Wisconsin-Milwaukee commit) who is 8-0 on the mound. Kent is a bonafide ace who pounds the zone with an upper-80’s fastball that can occasionally climb into the low-90’s. Kent is also a force at the plate with a loose, strong left-handed swing and pull-side power. Lake Park also has senior LHP/1B Tommy Klco to go alongside Kent on the mound, as well as sophomore Bryan Bergman and CF/LHP Mason Baer (UIC commit).

At the plate, senior SS Chris Worcester is one of the main offensive threats. Worcester, who also plays a smooth shortstop has hit over .500 this season with a number of extra base hits. CF Baer leads the way at the top of the order and sophomore Danny Rollins does the catching and hits out of the two-hole. Klco and Fanizza add physicality to the middle of the lineup while a number of others fill out one of the deepest, most potent lineups in the state.

Road to State:


  • Hoffman Estates: 5-3

  • Schaumburg: 10-3


  • St. Charles East: 9-8

  • St. Charles North: 12-2


  • New Trier: 7-2

O’Fallon Panthers (25-9)

The Panthers are making their way up to Joliet after a pair of third place finishes in 2006 and 2009. In his second season, head coach Joe Bauer has had a 25-9 record both years.

O’Fallon has a strong pitching rotation that features Kaden Joggerst (Missouri State) and Brandon Haake. The seniors have seen the most game time for the Panthers this season. Also on the mound frequently, junior RHP Mike Larson, who started and won the Super-Sectional contest against Providence Catholic. Larson boasts a 0.99 ERA over 35.1 innings.

Their offense is young and led by sophomore Will Millard, who is batting .388. Fellow sophomore Haidyn McGill leads the O’Fallon lineup with three home runs. Senior Kendall Brookins, along with juniors Kellen Scruggs and Connor Lindsey, each have two home runs on the season.

Road to State:


  • Quincy: 3-0

  • Granite City: 11-1


  • Edwardsville: 4-1

  • Joliet West: 6-3


  • Providence Catholic: 9-4

More information about the IHSA State Finals can be found on the official tournament webpage.