Prep Baseball Report

PBR Illinois Limited Series: Quick Hits Day 1

By Illinois Scouting Staff

Our weekend will be spent at Duffy Bass Field in Normal, Illinois watching some of the best 15U and 16U teams in Illinois compete in the inaugural PBR Limited Series. The eight team tournament provides PBR with the opportunity to see high-level talent under a much smaller scope. Our Illinois staff will be on-hand throughout the weekend to keep tabs on some of the elite talent in the state.

At the end of each day, we’ll be showcasing the day’s top highlights. Below are the biggest takeaways from Day 1.



Top Tier 16U played a pair of games that ended in walk-offs. The first, ended in a walk-off 6-5 win over White Sox Elite. With the game tied at five in the bottom of the fifth, SS Ethan Bowers (Vernon Hills, 2021) lined a one-out triple over the center fielders head. Frank Magnelli (Ridgewood, 2021) followed up with a line-drive over the center fielders head, scoring Bowers for the walk-off winner. 

The second of the walk-offs did not end as favorable for Top Tier, as Pro Player Canes, scored three runs in the bottom of the seventh to come from behind and win 3-2. Joshua Notriano (Johnsburg, 2021) led off the seventh with a solo home run to right field and Stone Gomberg (Stevenson, 2021) delivered the final blow a walk-off, two-run double to left-center field. 

Pro Player finished 2-0 on the day and have only allowed two runs so far. 


+ In the first game of the day, Decatur Commodores rolled to 15-1 win. 2021 RHP Matthew Hunzinger (Dietrich) started on the mound and got the win going 4 innings, scattering two hits, one run, striking out six and walking two. The 6-foot, 155-pound, lean, projectable right-hander has a smooth, directional delivery that he repeated well throughout. His arm works clean and over-the-top with minimal effort. He primarily pitched off his fastball throughout, which sat 81-83 mph, touching 84. One of the rare breaking balls thrown on the day was 67 mph, with depth and 11/5 shape. Hunzinger is a 2021 with seemingly plenty more in the tank.

+ Charlie Cmiel (York, 2021) put together one of the best starts on day one of the event. The Top Tier 16U uncommitted left-handed pitcher, kept the Pro Player offense at bay for six innings, striking out nine and allowed two hits in that span. Cmiel pounded the conrners of the zone with a fastball that sat 80-82 mph throughout and mixed in a sweeping breaking ball at 66-68 mph. The 5-foot-11, 165-pound, loose-armed, left-hander should see his velocity continue to spike over the next few years. 

+ RHSP Ethan Patera (Downers Grove South) continued to see his stock rise in the 2022 class in game two of the day as Top Tier 15U took on Chicago Elite. An imposing frame at 6-foot-4, 200-pound, Patera pushed his heater up to 89 mph, ranging it anywhere between 82-86 mph. He also showed signs of a tight spinning slider sitting 71-72 mph with depth when he stayed on top of it.

+ LHP Adam Dowler (Oswego East), one of the top prospects in the 2021 class, recently committed to Louisville and got the start in the White Sox Elite’s first game of the day. Dowler has an extra-large, strong, 6-foot-3, 200-pound frame and  showcased swing-and-miss stuff throughout his start. In his three innings of work Dowler struck out eight. Dowler used a steady fastball/slider mix throughout, showing extreme confidence in a late, hard-biting slider that he throws with conviction at 76-80 mph. Dowlers fastball sat 84-86 mph, touching 87 a couple of times. 

+ Chicago Elite had two southpaws come out of the pen and the two couldn’t have been more opposite in stature, while both being 2021 follows. Ethan Pequette (Manteno, 2021) is a tad undersized at 5-foot-9, 150-pounds, but that doesn’t tell the story of his overall pitchability. He sports a clean and easy delivery with a controlled finish as Pequette tossed an inning out of the pen sitting his fastball at 79-82 mph with control of both sides of the dish. He also threw an effective change at 73-76 while maintaining arm speed. Keagan Bobbitt (Lincoln-Way West, 2021) on the other hand is 6-foot-5, 180-pounds and utilized his frame in his delivery getting tilt towards the bottom of the zone. He commanded a two pitch mix in a heater sitting at 76-78 mph, topping 82 mph and a depthy curve at 63-64 mph. 

In the night cap, RHSP Cole Collander (Oswego East, 2021) coasted his team to a 15-0 victory. The 6-foot-1, 195-pound physical right-hander utilized his frame and short, quick arm action to create angle in his three innings of work. He sat his fastball between 78-81 mph, topping 83 mph with tilt and finish through the zone, while working both sides of the dish. He also showed progression on his slider, which was a tight, sweeping offering that generated a handful of swings and misses at 69-71 mph. He allowed only three hits while fanning six.

+ RHSP Tyler Castro (Huntley, 2021) was the bright spot in game four of the day as he pitched Pro Player Canes to a 4-0 shutout victory over Chicago White Sox Ace. Castro is thin in stature at 6-foot-1, 140-pounds, but has plenty overall upside as his arm works loose and easy with repeatable actions when he toed the rubber. Castro utilized a quick tempo paired with fastball control to both sides of the plate that kept hitters off balance all game. His fastball sat 76-79 mph, topping 81 mph with signs of a 11/5 shaped curve that he dropped in for K’s when needed. He attacked all game walking none in his 6.1 IP allowing three hits with two punch outs. 

+ LHSP Adan Vega (Solorio, 2021) tossed five innings of solid baseball for Chicago White Sox Ace showing an athletic and controlled delivery throughout his outing. He has a short, loose arm action that plays out of a high ¾ slot. The fastball ranged between 75-79 mph with occasional tile down, but the command lacked as his pitch count rose. Vega showed an ability to spin a 12/6 curveball at 66-68 mph with fastball arm speed. In his 5 IP, Vega allowed three hits, three runs, one earned, on four walks with two strikeouts. 


+ The loudest swing of the day came from Joshua Notriano (Johnsburg, 2021) in the walk-off win for Pro Player. As mentioned above, Notriano, smoked a no-doubt home run over the right field fence in the seventh inning. Notriano is a 6-foot-1, 185-pound, left-handed hitter who hits in the four-hole and will be one to keep an eye on the rest of the weekend. 

+ White Sox Elite SS Tylor Phommachanhom (Plainfield South, 2021) continues to impress with the bat everytime we see him. The recent Dayton commit, seemingly finds a way to barrel everything thrown his way and consistently hits the ball on a line. The right-handed hitter takes competitive at-bats, has advanced hand/eye, an eye for the strike zone and rarely swing-and-misses. In the first game of the day he finished 3-for-4 with a run scored. 

+ Decatur Commodore two-hole hitter, Brady Thomas (Athens, 2021) had a big first game of the tournament for the Commodores. Thomas finished 2-for-4 with four RBI, two runs scored and a double. 

+ Besides, Phommachanhom, who hits at the top of the White Sox Elite order, Alex Calarco (New Trier) and Nick Demarco (St. Charles North) are two of the top bats from the day. Calarco, a Northwestern commit, is a 6-foot-4, 205-pound, left-handed hitter who swings the bat with aggressiveness and the ball jumps off the barrel. Demarco, a Notre Dame commit, is a right-handed hitter who brings physicality to the plate and he showcased it in his last at-bat in the first game, barreling a double off the left-field wall.

+ Chicago Elite INF Kevin McCormick (St. Laurence, 2021) hits with a clear-cut approach at the plate. The left-handed hitter seems to prefer lifting the ball to the opposite field as he did so in all three at-bats on the day. He finished 1-for-3 with an RBI  and a line drive single through the left side.

+ There was an offensive explosion for White Sox Elite in the night cap. Nick DeMarco (St. Charles North, 2021), Adam Dowler (Oswego East, 2021) , Matt Felske (Westosha Central, 2021) and Cain Headrick (Providence, 2021) all collected multiple hits in the game resulting in a 15-0 final against White Sox Ace after three innings of play.