PBR Illinois Diamond Notes: Week 2

By Andy Sroka
Illinois and Wisconsin Assistant Director

Each week, IHSA coaches around the state submit to us their nominations for our weekly PBR Illinois Player of the Week honor. On Wednesday, we awarded the Week 2 POTW honor to UTL/RHP Luke Brabham (Nazareth Academy, 2022), who led the Roadrunners to a 6-0 week – and 10 straight victories to start their season – by collecting 15 hits, six doubles, seven RBIs, and a win from the rubber. 

There were a number of other impressive performances that were in the mix for the award and deserve recognition. Here’s a look at some of the most notable.


Luke Sefcik INF / Marist, IL / 2021

The Marist senior tallied 10 hits across five games for the Redhawks, including a pair of doubles, three RBIs, and eight runs scored. The Central Michigan recruit also earned the win over Sandburg, striking out six batters in 3.2 innings, allowing no runs, one hit, and no walks.

Jack Ryan C / Ridgewood, IL / 2021

For the second consecutive week, Ridgewood’s senior catcher Ryan has earned a spot on Diamond Notes. Ryan slugged three homers last week – and has four total this spring – which has helped him drive in 19 runs on 15 hits. Including those four homers, eight of Ryan’s 15 hits in the first two weeks went for extra bases (three triples, one double).

Ryan Coon OF / Freeport, IL / 2024

Freshman Ryan Coon made the most of his varsity debut. He hit lead-off for the Pretzels and sparked his team offensively en route to a 7-4 win over Dakota, going 3-for-4 with a triple, stolen base, and he scored three times and drove in three. The left/left freshman showcased his athleticism this past winter by running a 6.76 at a PBR Wisconsin event, and he’s continuing to look like a freshman in the area to monitor.

Joseph Mendiola 3B / RHP / Belleville East , IL / 2023

From Belleville East, sophomore Mendiola was red-hot from the right-handed batter’s box last week, collecting eight hits total. With the help of a triple and a home run, Mendiola drove in six runs and reach base a couple more times via the walk. His three-run homer came at a clutch moment, with two away, in the Lancers’ extra-inning win against Freeburg on April 21, too.

Owen Brock C / Prairie Ridge, IL / 2021

Prairie Ridge senior Owen Brock recorded a big game last weekend against Wauconda, in which he went 4-for-4 at the plate with a double and four RBIs, all while operating excellently behind the plate. He also nabbed a pair of baserunners in the Wolves’ narrow 4-2 loss against top-ranked St. Charles North, too, culminating in a clutch week for the senior catcher.

Gavin Dobbels 2B / RHP / Yorkville, IL / 2022

It’s the second straight week a Yorkville junior has earned a spot amongst this list. Dobbels hit in the two-hole for the Foxes last week and combined for a 7-for-12 week at the plate. He slugged a homer, doubled twice, and drove in eight runs – and he also walked twice without striking out a single time. Dobbels also played a very reliable second base, according to his coach, and he hopped on the mound and tossed two scoreless innings of relief against Joliet Central.

Hayden Brazelton OF / LHP / St. Joseph-Ogden , IL / 2022

SJO is one of the hottest teams in the state and Brazelton has been a primary contributor. His team played four games in Week 2 and Brazelton went 8-for-15 over that stretch, and his five extra-base hits allowed him to score eight times on his own and he drove in five runs, too. He recorded three doubles, a triple, and one home run. Brazelton also took the mound against Tri-Valley and denied them a hit through five innings, and he K’d five along the way. His most clutch performance came against Teutopolis, when he went a perfect 5-for-5, falling just a homer shy of the cycle.

Eli Hensley INF / Normal West, IL / 2022

Normal West’s lead-off catalyst spurred his squad to a 4-0 week in Week 2 play. Hensley, uncommitted, went 8-for-13 with three walks, which allowed him to touch home five times. The junior doubled and tripled over the course of the week which translated to four RBIs from the top of the order as well. He’s a top-80-ranked player in his state’s 2022 class, worth checking in on.

Landen Looper RHP / Lincoln-Way East, IL / 2021

The senior Louisville recruit has been a large part of LWE’s early season dominance, even amidst a tough schedule. Looper combined for nine effective innings against two of the state’s best programs – Marist and Providence Catholic – in which he limited the two teams to one run on four hits, and he struck out nine. Additionally, Looper connected for a timely two-out, two-run double against another premier squad, Brother Rice, that gave his team some breathing room for a 3-0 lead. On the spring, Looper has groomed a 0.58 ERA with 17 strikeouts in 12 innings, and he’s allowed only five hits.

Donovan McIntyre OF / LHP / Marian Catholic, IL / 2021

This Marian Catholic senior had a critical week for his team, going 8-for-12 with four doubles. McIntyre’s patience at the plate has also paid off, as he earned six walks last week as well, and his premium speed led to six stolen bases as well, and eventually eight runs scored. McIntyre also launched a clutch home run against Joliet Catholic to further star for the No. 25-ranked team on the state’s Power 25.