Prep Baseball Report

Illinois Power 25: Update

By Illinois Scouting Staff

With the season starting a mere two weeks ago and a number of teams having less than a handful of games under their belt, it does not warrant an update to the Power 25. Instead, we will take a brief look at the Preseason Power 25 teams and how they have started their 2022 campaign. A handful of teams have started hot and remain undefeated, while others have had a few bumps in the road. Others just simply have not played enough, if at all, to get a feel their club. Below is a breakdown of some hot teams, cold teams, a few teams who have been up-and-down and some teams to watch outside the Power 25.


+ No. 2 Brother Rice (7-0): The Crusaders, the Preseason No. 2 in the state, have officially put the rest of Illinois and 4A on notice with a 7-0 start to the season. The strong start includes bringing home the Championship at the National High School Select Tournament at LakePoint in Emerson, GA. Brother Rice opened the event with an early “Game of the Year” candidate, rallying in the seventh to force extra innings, ultimately walking off IMG Academy (No. 2 ranked team in Florida) 7-5 thanks to a two-run, opposite field home run by senior OF Jack Lausch (Northwestern football commit). Brother Rice proceeded to finish 4-0 in the event with wins over Baylor School 2-1, Montverde Academy 7-3 and Riverdale 8-6. They were also 3-0 before heading to Georgia with wins over No. 4 Homewood-Flossmoor 11-1, St. Patrick 8-0 and Sandburg 16-0. The Crusaders are not only looking like the top team in the state, but also the country, with their impressive undefeated start to the 2022 campaign. 

+ No. 7 Saint Viator (5-0): The Lions got off to a 1-0 start with an 11-7 win over Crystal Lake South before heading to Alabama for four games. They swept their Alabama trip going a perfect 4-0 which included a 3-1 win over Van Buren HS who won the Arkansas state championship in 2021. Senior SS/RHP Casey Hintz threw 3.2 innings, striking out six without allowing a hit in the win. Offensively, senior Tony Pluta (Arizona commit) has been on a tear going 9-for-10 with three home runs, three doubles and nine RBIs over the first couple of games leading to him being mentioned in our weekly Diamond Notes story. 

+ No. 11 Edwardsville (6-0): The Tigers did not back down at the Metro East Kickoff Classic playing arguably the toughest schedule of the event, with four total games, including a game against No. 1 Huntley and No. 19 New Trier. The Tigers rallied late against both Power 25 teams walking them off by scores of 5-4 and 7-6. They also knocked off St. Charles North 14-3 and Benet 3-1 at the Kickoff Classic. Outside the Kickoff Classic, the Tigers have a 10-0 win over Vianney (MO) and Granite City 14-4. The Tigers have gotten contributions up-and-down their lineup this season with 3B/RHP Spencer Stearns delivering the walk-off single against New Trier. Edwardsville is one of the hotter teams in the state and are bound to shoot up the Power 25 if they have another impressive week.

+ No. 13 Lincoln-Way East (5-0): The Griffins are back at it in 2022 after going 27-3 in 2021. The highlight win so far was an 8-1 win over No. 15 Marist. They also have wins over Dundee Crown 8-1, Hersey 12-1, Jacksonville 19-4 and Peotone 16-4. One of the top prospects in the 2022 class, OF/RHP Alex Stanwich (Tennessee commit) carried the load offensively this past week going 12-for-14 with three home runs, three doubles, one triple, 12 RBIs and 10 runs scored. Those video game type numbers will put Stanwich in the running for this week’s Player Of The Week, rolled out every Wednesday. Looking ahead, the Griffins are scheduled to face No. 11 Edwardsville, Belleville West, No. 24 Oswego East and Maine South this week.   

+ No. 14 St. Laurence (6-0): St. Laurence is on a roll to start the 2022 season, winning all six of their games thus far, including a perfect 4-0 trip in Oklahoma. Coach Lotus’ squad has scored 72 runs this season and allowed just 23. They’re hot at the right time, with conference play starting this week and a tough April schedule ahead. Senior OF Angelo Luna (Illinois-Springfield) has been key for the Vikings going 8-for-17 with two doubles, a home run, 10 RBIs and nine runs scored in five games last week. He also earned tournament MCP at the Choctaw Festival Tournament in Oklahoma. 


+ No. 3 Normal University (1-3): Expectations for the Pioneers were high after a 32-4 2021 season, including a trip to 2A state. The Pioneers won their first game of the season 11-0 against Sacred Heart-Griffin and looked like they had not missed a beat but have struggled since. Losses to Sacred Heart Griffin 11-1, Mount Vernon 14-2 and Oak Forest 5-3 have the Pioneers at 1-3 to start the season. The Pioneers arms, who was looked at as a strength of the squad in 2022, need to turn things around entering the third week of the season.  

+ No. 17 Mount Carmel (1-3): The Caravan are coming off a 2021 Sectional run and return one of the top pitching staffs in 2022. Those arms were on display in the first game of the season with LHPs Shane Curtin and Julien Hachem leading them to a 4-1 win over 2021 Class 2A State Champion Freeburg. However, the Caravan have lost three straight since, including a 1-0 pitchers duel against No. 25 Belleville East. A 12-11 loss to Simeon and 8-2 loss to Andrew have the Caravan at 1-3 entering week 3. The Caravan have a busy week ahead with eight games on the schedule, including matchups against Lane Tech, No. 21 Oak Park-River Forest and others. 

+ No. 19 New Trier (0-2): It is hard to say the Trevians are cold but two one-run losses have the Trevians at 0-2 to start the season. Coach Napoleon's club outplayed No. 11 Edwardsville for the majority of the game but gave up four runs in the seventh, getting walked off by a score of 7-6. They showed fight against Triad in the second game of the season, getting four-runs via a Graham Mastros (2023; St. Louis commit) grand slam in the top of the seventh to tie it up at seven. However, Triad was able to scratch across a run in the bottom half to walk off the Trevians 8-7, the second walk-off in as many games. Despite the tough start, their roster has some highly talented players such as St. Louis commits Brendan Stressler (2023) and Mastros - not to mention their senior captain and DePauw commit, Louis Florida. The stock is still high with this club despite the two tough losses to begin the season. 


+ No. 9 O’Fallon (5-2): The Panthers have been dominant in their five wins on the season out-scoring their opponents by a 35-4 margin. However they have a 6-1 loss to McCracken County (KY) and 6-4 loss to SLUH (Missouri). The Panthers are local this week with some tough tests against Triad, Highland and Mater Dei on the schedule. 

+ No. 15 Marist (2-2): At No. 15 on our preseason rankings, the Redhawks have a deep, talented roster that justifiably had us high on them from the start. They took their first two games of the season taking down Buffalo Grove 4-3 and Richards 4-0 before dropping a contest to Joliet Catholic in walk-off fashion and losing to Lincoln-Way East by seven runs. Talent and track record have Marist pointed in the right direction, but things aren’t getting easier with a tough April schedule on the horizon. 

+ No. 16 Plainfield East (2-2): The Bengals surprised many around the Illinois baseball scene with their incredible run to the 4A State Title and bring back a number of the same pieces in 2022. The start to this season has been inconsistent with wins over Harlem 12-7 and Jacksonville 10-3 but losses to No. 10 Providence Catholic 14-6 and Geneseo 4-0 have them at .500 entering week 3 play. Good thing for the Bengals is they still have one of the best big game arms in the state, LHP Brady Louck (Notre Dame commit, 2023), on their roster, who also does damage on the offensive side of the ball. 


+ Lockport (6-0): Six straight wins to start the spring for Lockport, including a highly-impressive 4-3 win over No. 24 Oswego East and the vaunted two-headed monster perched atop their rotation; ‘22s LHP Noah Schultz (Vanderbilt) and RHP Ashton Izzi (Wichita State). They also defeated a tough Joliet Catholic squad 9-6 on Friday in less-than-deal playing conditions, and won their first four games by scoring 43 runs to their opponents’ eight. The Porters are rolling to start the season. Keep an eye out for 1B Victor Izquierdo (Navy, ‘22) who is coming off a Second Team All-State campaign in 2021. He is one of the top bats in the entire state and could be a “Player of the Year” candidate if he continues to build off his impressive junior season. 

+ Glenwood (4-0): Two 3-2 wins at the Kickoff Classic started things off on the right track for Glenwood, as the Titans knocked off St. Charles North and Father McGivney - two competitive clubs. Glenwood took another key win against Triad the following week and exploded for 30 runs against Springfield Southeast this Saturday, putting them at 4-0 so far. They’re led by ace Parker Detmers (2023; Louisville), C Will Plattner (2022; Wabash Valley), INF Nolan McMasters (2022; Illinois-Springfield), and a roster of talented players from top-to-bottom. Glenwood has the pieces to be one of the top clubs in all of Central Illinois this spring.

+ Naperville Central (3-0): The Redhawks are proving that their 22-5 season was no fluke and they are back with what seems to be just as talented of a club, if not more talented in 2022. A 3-0 start with wins over Batavia 6-1, Salem 12-1 and a wild extra-inning 13-12 win over Triad have Central pointed in the right direction. The Redhawks are deeper on the mound than originally thought and a plethora of talented juniors, including C Colin Barczi (Vanderbilt), SS/RHP Pambo Nicoloudes (Illinois-Chicago), C/1B Andrew Gallegos, OF Clay Schrader, among others should help carry the offensive load. 

+ Breese Central (5-0): The Cougars were one of the more impressive 2A clubs we got our eyes on at the Kickoff Classic and should be a force to reckon with throughout the spring. They’re off to a 5-0 start with a 15-7 win over 3A Benet highlighting their wins so far. They have balance up-and-down the lineup with senior Easton Rakers (Lindenwood) being a force out of the leadoff spot and at shortstop. Senior John A. Logan JC commit, RHP Landon Geragosian is an ace with polish and stuff to beat anyone in the state come playoff time. The Cougars are yet another team in Southern Illinois to keep an eye on this spring. 

+ Plainfield Central (6-0): Things are looking good for the Wildcats, as they’ve started their season off with six straight wins, including a perfect 4-0 spring trip in which they allowed just one run in total and scored 39 of their own. Prior to that, Plainfield Central beat a quality Downers Grove North team on the road 5-4 and defeated Yorkville Christian at home by 10 runs. They’re led by Carter Prochaska (2022; Triton JC), LHP Josh Stratton (2022; Luther College) and LHP/OF Tanner Wagnon (2022) on the mound, with Wagnon, OF Caleb Coberley (2023), MIF Taylor Kujak (2023), and others anchoring the offense. The Wildcats return home to a tough schedule, with games against Minooka, Oswego East, Yorkville, and Joliet West in the coming weeks. 

+ Mount Vernon (6-1): The Rams are off to a stellar start to their 2022 season, coming into this week with an overall record of 6-1 and yet another Southern Illinois team making some noise. Their most dominant and impressive win came against No. 3 Normal University, where they cruised to a commanding 14-2 victory over the Pioneers. With some scrappy hitters throughout the entirety of their lineup, the Rams are not a team you want to take lightly.

+ Minooka (2-0): The Indians rattled off big wins against Joliet Catholic 10-4 and Coal City 18-0 to start their season with an interesting roster worth following. They have a top-of-the-rotation type arm in RHP Ryan Anderson (2024) and quality offensive pieces, like INF Caleb Parker (2022; Maryville University of St. Louis), C Ivan Dahlberg (2022; Illinois-Springfield), OF Mitch Thomas (2022), and C/INF Andrew Mack (2023). Dahlberg, in particular, was mentioned in our weekly “Diamond Notes” story for his impressive first week. The Illinois-Springfield commit put together, arguably, the most dominant single inning of the first week, collecting two home runs in the same inning against Coal City. Dahlberg finished the week hitting .667 with two home runs and seven RBIs in just six at-bats.

+ Stevenson (5-1): The Patriots are off to a strong start which featured a road trip to Tennessee where they took home the Final Flight Baseball Classic championship in Union City. Stevenson also has two big wins back in Illinois with an 11-0 win over 2021 3A state champion Springfield and a 2-1 win over Deerfield. The Patriots have been led offensively by senior Owen Housinger (Wisconsin-Oshkosh). Housinger led Stevenson offensively to a 4-1 week, hitting .500/.444/.833 with a double, home run and 12 RBIs. 2B, HR, 12 RBI. Housinger is their leader on and off the field and is in-line for a breakout senior season.

+ Evanston (2-0): The Wildkits are coming off a 23-12-1 season that ended with a Sectional Semi-final 7-6 loss to Oak Park-River Forest. The Wildkits won the first matchup of 2022 with NO. 21 OPRF by a score of 9-3. They also have a 10-6 win over Conant to start this spring. Evanston has one of the more underrated one-two punches leading them on the mound - with junior right-handers Hank Liss  and Jared Lortie. Already off to a 2-0 start this spring, these two arms will give Evanston a very realistic chance of winning every time they take the ball. They also have a number of valuable position pieces to add strength to the roster, such as C Brandon Brokowski (2023) and Alex Vasquez (2022; Denison University). Keep an eye on the Wildkits in 2022.

There are a number of other teams throughout the state that we will be sure to touch on as teams start to accumulate more total games under their belt. 


RECORD (3/28) 
1 Huntley 4A 3-1
2 Brother Rice 4A 7-0
3 Normal University 3A 1-3
4 Homewood-Flossmoor 4A 3-1
5 Nazareth Academy 3A 3-1
6 Mundelein 4A 4-1
7 Saint Viator 3A 5-0 
8 Hinsdale Central 4A 1-0
9 O'Fallon 4A 5-2
10 Providence Catholic 4A 2-0