Prep Baseball Report

Power 25: IHSA Playoff Update

By Diego Solares and Drew Locascio
Illinois Staff

With the IHSA playoffs starting to wind down and sectional play, as well as the state playoffs for some, set to start this week, we're taking a look at 'Power 25' teams in action across Illinois.

Below you'll get an update on teams currently in the 'Power 25', which teams were eliminated during regionals, and some marquee match ups to keep an eye on this week.


The top eight teams in the Power 25, all 3A/4A teams, all won a Regional Championship over the weekend. 

+ No. 1 Saint Viator (34-2) had a scare in the Regional Semifinals but were able to pull out an 8-7 win over Woodstock. Dylan Harer walked off the game for the Lions with a single, finishing the day 2-for-4 with a home run, two RBIs and a run. Arizona commit Tony Pluta went 3-for-5 with a home run, two RBIs and a run scored - also tossing 2.1 innings on the mound with no hits, no runs and three strikeouts. The Lions left no doubt in the Regional Championship knocking off Lake Forest 11-1. Viator will match up with Vernon Hills on Wednesday in the Sectional Semifinal at Grayslake Central.

+ No. 2 Lockport (33-3), No. 3 Brother Rice (32-5) and No. 4 Edwardsville (31-4) all captured their 4A Regional Championships with relative ease. The closest margin of victory was Lockport’s Regional Championship win over Andrew by a score of 9-6.

+ No. 5 Mundelein (25-5) and No. 14 Belleville East (27-8) had close calls to begin their playoff run. The Mustangs of Mundelein had a tight 6-5 Regional Championship win over Buffalo Grove while The Lancers of Belleville East won both their games by one run. The Lancers got past Collinsville 4-3 in the semifinal and Belleville West 5-4 to capture the Regional Championship.

+ No. 6 Huntley (30-4) and No. 7 St. Laurence (29-8) both went 3-0 on the week and breezed through their Regional in dominant fashion. Huntley outscored their opponents 38-1 in their two playoff games while St. Laurence outscored opponents 33-1. 

+ A trio of 3A teams hailing from the Central/Southern part of the state remain alive in their playoff run with their sites set on Joliet. No. 16 Triad (31-5) knocked off Waterloo 8-1 and Cahokia 15-1. No. 17 Glenwood (29-7) defeated Jacksonville 10-4 and Springfield Southeast 13-2. No. 20 Washington (31-5) put up double digit runs in both of their wins cruising to an 11-1 win and 14-0 win. 

+ No. 21 Hononegah (22-3) made a statement with a 4A Regional Championship win over a solid Hampshire squad with a score of 9-2. They also knocked out Rockford East 15-0. Hononegah draws McHenry on Wednesday, who earned the top seed in their respective regional and spent some time in the Power 25 this spring. 

+ No. 25 Riverside-Brookfield (30-5) did not allow a run in their two regional wins, their most impressive being a 3-0 victory over Whitney Young in the Regional Championship. One of the top draft prospects in the Midwest, RHP/INF Owen Murphy (Notre Dame commit), continued his storybook spring, twirling a complete game, one hitter, while striking out 15 in the Championship. 


10 teams in the Power 25 have already been knocked out of the playoffs. 

+ No. 9 Lincoln-Way East (23-8) fell to a quality Providence Catholic squad 5-2 in Saturday’s regional championship. The Griffins were in full control through five innings, but the Celtics’ offense plated five runs over the final two frames to take a late lead and capture a regional crown. 

+ In a 14 inning back-and-forth affair, Belleville West battled their way to a 5-4 upset of top-seeded No. 10 O’Fallon (25-8) in the first round of 4A regional play. The Maroons tied the game on an infield single in the seventh inning to force extras and, backed by two strong pitching performances from JD Kramer (2022) and Noah Emge (2024), quieted the Panthers’ offense as a result. They pushed four runs across in the top half of the final frame and fended off O’Fallon’s late rally en route to victory. 

+ No. 11 Yorkville (29-8) fell at the hands of Plainfield North on Saturday, with the Tigers pulling off the Power 25 fashion in 12-4 fashion. INF Ryan Nelson (2023) homered and drove in five, while LHP Luke Brown (2023) fired 5 ⅓ innings of two-run ball for Plainfield North. The Tigers draw a Neuqua Valley team that’s been hot as of late on Wednesday at Romeoville. 

+ Perhaps one of the biggest upsets from the first week came when eight-seeded Fremd blanked No. 12 Libertyville (27-10) 6-0 to take home the regional championship. LHP Thomas Plizga (2022) led the charge, punching out eight in a complete game effort and holding the Wildcats to just four hits in total. Fremd squares off with Warren on Wednesday at 1:00 p.m. 

+ An excellent matchup between two of Central Illinois’ finest clubs took place on Saturday, with the Champaign Central Maroons taking down No. 13 Normal University (30-7) in extra innings. The Maroons pushed a run across in the eighth inning on an error and retired the Pioneers in order to secure their spot in Wednesday’s sectional semifinals, where they’ll draw top-seeded No. 17 Glenwood

+ The top-ranked 2A team in the Power 25 fell in Saturday’s sectional championship, as RHP Jack Buckalew (Monticello, 2023) held No. 15 St. Joseph-Ogden (35-3) to one run across seven innings en route to a 7-1 victory for his squad. 

+ Two of the bigger upsets in the regional semifinal was Addison Trail taking down No. 18 South Elgin (25-4) 8-7 and No. 24 Willowbrook (25-5) losing a first-round matchup against Schaumburg 3-1. 

+ No. 19 Naperville Central (22-7) and No. 22 St. Charles East both had their hopes for a deep run in the playoffs squashed in the regional championship game. Central lost to Oswego 5-3 while St. Charles East lost to Glenbard West by the same score. 


+ A southern Illinois marquee matchup is set for Wednesday, with arguably two of the region’s top teams squaring off against each other: No. 4 Edwardsville and No. 14 Belleville East. The Tigers cruised through their regional, defeating Alton 16-4 and Quincy 13-3 to earn a spot in sectional play. Things came a bit tougher for Belleville East, as the Lancers scrapped their way to two one-run wins against Collinsville and Belleville West. These two teams split early on this spring in conference play and they’re ready for what should be an excellent third matchup, scheduled for 5:00 p.m. at SIUE. 

+ No. 5 Mundelein draws a Barrington team in Wednesday’s sectional semifinal that spent a handful of weeks in the Power 25 this spring. Mundelein squeaked past Buffalo Grove in Saturday’s regional final, while Barrington took down a quality Lake Zurich team 6-3 to secure their sectional spot. Mundelein’s strength lies on the mound with their dynamic power duo of RHP Ryan Geraghty (2023; Wichita State) and RHP Bennett Musser (2023) heading the charge. Surrounding them is a talented senior crop of position players, making the Mustangs a force on both sides of the ball - and a large reason why they were in the top-10 of the Power 25 for a large chunk of the spring. Barrington is a competitive, disciplined squad that took first in the Mid-Suburban West conference, and seemingly always competes deep into the IHSA playoffs. The winner of this matchup draws either Fremd or Warren in Saturday’s sectional championship. 

+ We highlighted the success that No. 6 Huntley had across their regional, with the Red Raiders capturing their sixth regional title in a row. Now Huntley draws quite the task, squaring off against arguably their biggest rival, and Fox Valley conference foe, Jacobs on Thursday. The Golden Eagles earned their spot here with victoires over Round Lake and Grant, setting up their third matchup of the season with Huntley. These two teams split their conference games earlier this spring, with Wednesday’s game being the most important bout to date. 

+ No. 7 St. Laurence throttled their opposition in last week’s regionals, exploding for 33 runs and allowing only one in two games. The same can be said for Marist, who they’ll play in Wednesday’s sectional semifinals, as the Redhawks cruised to 10-1 and 10-0 victories to take home their regional championship. These two teams met on April 29th in a non-conference matchup, where the Vikings won 3-2 despite being out-hit eight-to-three, and they’ll square off again at St. Laurence with the season on the line. Whoever advances faces another tall task, with the winner of Nazareth Academy and Lemont looming on Saturday. 

+ No. 8 Lincoln-Way West and Providence Catholic are set for what should be a thrilling matchup on Thursday in Lockport. The Warriors took down cross-town rival Lincoln-Way Central 5-2 yesterday, defeating Bloom Township 10-0 last week. Providence Catholic kick-started last week with an 8-3 win over Thornton Fractional South and, as we highlighted above, upset No. 9 Lincoln-Way East with five runs over the final two innings on Saturday. The Celtics are steering the ship in the right direction after a rough mid-season stretch, and their pitching staff has plenty of potency throughout. They’ll match up nicely with the Warriors’ fierce offense with the winner advancing to play either Lockport or Joliet West. 

+ Over at the 3A level, No. 16 Triad and Mount Vernon will duel it out on Wednesday in another Southern Illinois clash. The Knights entered postseason play on a five-game winning streak and outscored their playoff foes 23-to-2 en route to a regional championship. Things came a little differently for Mount Vernon, as the Rams squeaked past Olney Richland County 3-2 and Herrin 4-3 for a spot in Wednesday’s game. They enter this game with only 16 total games under their belt on the season, including victories over No. 14 Belleville East and their upcoming opponent earlier this spring. Expect this to be another hard-fought contest between these two squads, with the winner moving on to Saturday and playing either Effingham or Mascoutah. 

+ Mount Carmel and No. 25 Riverside-Brookfield square off Thursday in Burbank with a sectional championship appearance at stake. The Caravans took down Proviso East 14-1 in the semi-finals and rallied to an 11-8 victory over Kenwood to claim another regional title. We highlighted the Bulldogs’ regional success on the mound above, but how they fare against Mount Carmel’s lineup without Murphy on the mound will be an interesting dynamic in this game. The same can be said for Mount Carmel’s arms, as Riverside-Brookfield’s offense has rallied around Murphy’s explosive bat all season long. The winner of this game advances to the sectional championship on Saturday, drawing either Brother Rice or Lyons. 


2A Final Four: Richmond-Burton, Maroa-Forsyth, Columbia, Joliet Catholic Academy.

This year’s 2A ‘Final Four’ features a quartet of teams more than deserving of playing for a state championship in Peoria this weekend. Richmond-Burton made a statement on Monday, routing Timothy Christian 10-0 to win their 30th game this spring and punch their state playoffs ticket. Maroa-Forsyth defeated Monticello in extra-innings on a walk-off single from Kaiden Maurer (2024) to advance. Both Columbia and Joliet Catholic advanced to state in emphatic fashion, with the Eagles routing Freeburg 15-8 and the Hilltoppers taking down Brimfield 10-0 in five innings. 

1A Final Four: Mt. Sterling (Brown County), Ottawa (Marquette), North Clay, LeRoy.

This year’s 1A Final Four is set with no teams returning from the 2021 field. The team with the most recent state experience is Ottawa (Marquette), who took home the 2019 1A title after a 33-1 season. Ottawa (Marquette) had a number of close calls throughout the playoffs but made a statement in the Super-Sectional knocking off Newman Central Catholic 12-1. They will face Brown County who enters the final four after a 4-3 win over Carrollton in the Super-Sectionals. North Clay has racked up a number of impressive wins throughout the season and their tightest game of the playoffs was a 3-2 win over Stewardson-Strasburg in the Sectional Final. LeRoy has won consecutive one run games to make their way to Peoria for the state tournament on Friday.