No. 27 Downers Grove South armed for success

By Sean Duncan

DOWNERS GROVE – No. 27 Downers Grove South very well may have the most exciting trio of junior pitching prospects I’ve ever seen on an Illinois roster. The Mustangs feature three Class of 2013 pitchers who work in the 87-91 mph range.

On Tuesday, the Mustangs unveiled one of their prized arms, junior right-hander Brian Glowicki, in their season-opener against Benet Academy. Glowicki looked dominant in four innings of relief during Downers Grove South’s 4-2 victory over the visiting Redwings (1-1).

The 6-foot, 170-pound Glowicki came in pumping 87-89 mph fastballs, topping at 90. He spotted everything he threw, including a 78-79 mph changeup that he used to strike out two in the sixth inning. In all, Glowicki struck out seven, yielded no earned runs, two infield hits, walked one and hit one batter.

“He’s the real deal,” said Downers Grove South coach Darren Orel. “I felt comfortable with him on the mound.”

Glowicki relieved senior left-hander Nick Vanek (3 IP, 2 H, 1 K) in the fourth inning. The situation was less than desirable: bases loaded, no outs. In short order, Glowicki proceeded to roll a 1-2-3 double play, then cheesed the next guy with an 89-mph fastball to preserve the Mustangs’ 4-0 lead.

“My adrenaline was going out there,” Glowicki said. “When I came into the game with the bases loaded, my heart was racing.”

Glowicki got the Mustangs out of a similar jam in the seventh inning. After a bad-hop single, Glowicki issued his only walk with one out. It appeared that he rolled a tailor-made double play to second base, but didn’t work out that way. With the bases loaded, he proceeded to hit Sam Santa Maria to make it 4-2 with the heart of Benet’s lineup coming up.

Glowicki mowed down the next two guys on strikes to cement the victory.

“That’s exactly what I thought we were,” said Orel. “Good pitching, a little shaky defense, and struggle to score runs.”

Downers South only mustered two hits against a Benet club that had defeated No. 9 St. Rita on Sunday. The Mustangs jumped out to a quick 3-0 advantage in the first inning thanks to a two-run homer by junior Dan Mayer, who is one of the other prized pitchers. Mayer’s line-shot blast wrapped around the left-field foul pole after a walk to Vanek. Downers South earlier scored on a passed ball in which Travis Hill scored from second base.

“Dan Mayer is the one guy in the lineup who has not been affected by the BBCOR bats,” said Orel.

The 6-foot-4 Mayer, who is committed to the University of the Pacific, is currently ranked No. 8 in the Class of 2013. Teammate Zach Burdi, a 6-foot-3 right-hander, is ranked No. 3 after he earned top prospect honors at the PBR Preseason All-State Showcase. At the event, Burdi showed an electric 89-90 mph fastball from a 3/4 arm slot.

“We all get each other better,” Glowicki said of his fellow pitchers.

Benet senior right-hander Bobby Hayes showed well himself. In 4.2 innings, Hayes struck out seven, walked three and yielded two hits. Sophomore shortstop Chris Whelan led off the game with an opposite-field double, walked and reached on an error. Senior second baseman Chris Stout also doubled in the second inning and walked for the Redwings.

2012 Season Preview Slide