Latz and Couch locked into a pitchers duel as JCA beats Lemont 3-2

By Steve Nielsen
Scouting Director - Illinois

Joliet Catholic Academy 3, Lemont 2

Joliet Catholic had their hands full against Lemont facing one of the top southpaws in the state and LSU recruit, Jake Latz (Lemont, 2014). However, the Hilltoppers had their own ace up their sleeve in senior right-hander Sam Couch (Lewis University).

Couch and Latz went back in forth, as Couch surrendered two early runs to Lemont in the second, JCA struck back and got to Latz for a run in both the second and the third as he started to struggle with his command. Offense was hard to come by for both teams as both pitchers had swing and miss stuff. Latz recorded seven strikeouts in his four innings of work while Couch posted 10 in six innings.

After scoreless fourth and fifth innings Hilltopper senior first baseman Ryan Peter hit a double in the sixth to get things started and wound up scoring the winning run on a sac fly by Jon Trotto, putting the Hlltoppers up 3-2.

Sophomore Nick Dalesandro came in relief of Couch’s spectacular outing to record the save in the seventh.

Scouting Notes

+ LHP Jake Latz, Lemont HS(2014), LSU recruit, fastball touched 90 mph in the first inning. Sat at 84-87 for the game, touching 88 mph multiple times. Curveball has sharp bite, works on 11/5 plane 71-73 mph, has plus action. Change up showed excellent deception in warmups, used sparingly in game. Extremely clean arm action, projectable build, high follow for 2014 draft.

+ RHP Sam Couch, Joliet Catholic (2013), Lewis University recruit. Fastball sat 82-84 all game, showed arm side run. Slider had plus command, showed confidence to throw in any count in any spot (72-73 mph), sweeping action. Slider was deceptive coming out of fastball window. Pitched exclusively from the stretch, competitor, controls the game well. 

+ Nick Dalesandro, Joliet Catholic (2015) Purdue recruit. Closed game, one inning pitched, got the save. Lean frame, projectable. Quick arm action, delivery lacks repeatability, works quickly. Fastball touched 87 mph, sat 84-86 mph. Breaking ball changes arm slot, 65-71 mph, loose, inconsistent action, has potential.

+ Marc Tokarski, Lemont HS (2013), unsigned senior, can pick it at a high level. Missed a lot of his junior year due to injury. Sure handed shortstop proved he has the ability to make all the routine plays. Soft hands and a quick release. He can go to his backhand efficiently and get rid of the baseball with ease. Arm action is short and quick, release is quick. Needs to be quicker getting the ball out on underhand flip to second base.

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