Prep Baseball Report

Preseason Power 25 Countdown: No. 12 St. Rita

 By Drew Locascio
Illinois Scouting Director

The Illinois high school season kicks off on March 13, the first day for regular season games.

Over the next several weeks, leading up to opening day, we will be rolling out team previews of high school teams all across the state and  across all classifications, eventually launching our Preseason Power 25.

We have been sending out our annual Preseason Questionnaire to coaches all across the state and as the responses flood in we will bring you a snapshot of what to expect along with top players and keys to success for that particular team.

Team: St. Rita
Preseason Rank: 12
2016 Record: 29-9
Conference: Chicago Catholic League - Blue
IHSA Class:
Head Coach:
Mike Zunica
Playoff Run:
Lost to Brother Rice in the Sectionals
2016 Final Rank:
Returning Starters:
5 `
Returning Pitchers:

Top Players

Name State School Class Pos Commitment
Killian O’Hanlon
St. Rita 2017 RHP Iowa Western CC
Steven Washilewski
IL St. Rita
2017 LHP
Colan Fitzgerald
IL St. Rita
2017 OF
Matt Verdun
IL St. Rita
2017 INF/RHP Lewis University
Tyler Woynerowski
IL St. Rita
2017 1B Benedictine
Charlie Rodriguez
IL St. Rita
2017 OF
Jake Zylman IL St. Rita
2018 C  
Blake Soria
IL St. Rita
2017 C  
David Gleaves
IL St. Rita
2018 OF  
Logan Strutz
IL St. Rita
2019 RHP  
Jalen Greer
IL St. Rita
2019 SS  
Joseph Trezek
IL St. Rita
2017 OF  Benedictine

Cal Greenfield, C, 2017 (Florida) - Moved to Florida
Danny Gleaves, OF, 2016 (Michigan State) 
Mateo Zunica, OF, 2016 (Kansas) 
Dominic Sarro, SS, 2016 (Villanova)
Max Franklin, RHP, 2016 (Heartland CC) 

LHP Steven Washilewski (2017). Washilewski, a Kansas commit, is the top returning arm for the Mustangs and will be looked at as the ace of the staff. Last season Washilewski was named player of the week in early April after two impressive performances and two wins on the mound in one week. His stat line in the two starts were as follows: 5 IP, 0 R, 3 H, 5 K, BB and 7 IP, 0 R, 3 H, 10 K and 0 BB’s.  For the week he threw 12 innings, struck out 15, gave up six hits, no earned runs, walked one and recorded two wins.

Junior catcher Jake Zylman. Zylman, got a little taste of varsity in the second half of 2016, mostly as a DH. This year he should be a key contributor in the middle of the order for the Mustangs. Zylman recently attended the Preseason All-State and was ranked the top catcher from the event. At the plate, he has present bat speed and made a lot of hard contact in BP.

Jake Zylman (2.19.17)

2017 marks Mike Zunica’s final season as the skipper for the Mustangs. Coach Zunica, who is set to retire following this spring, has been under the helm at St. Rita since 1997. Zunica currently sits at 607 wins in his career, good for No. 30 on the IHSA All-time wins list. St. Rita has been a perennial powerhouse under Coach Zunica and a mainstay at the top of the state rankings for more than a decade. Although the Mustangs graduated quality positional talent, which includes PBR All-State Selection OF Mateo Zunica, a Kansas commit and multiple Division I commits, they have a strong senior class and depth on the mound. Senior LHP Steven Washilewski should be the ace of the staff and accumulate a lot of wins behind a solid three-pitch mix and mid-80s fastball. Junior RHP Killian O’Hanlon who is coming off Tommy John is working his way back and has a chance to throw at some point this spring. O’Hanlon is a physical right-hander known for a firm, heavy fastball. Senior RHP Matt Verdun is undersized but has a live arm and sharp slider that gets a lot of swings-and-misses. Verdun also should be a valuable bat for the Mustangs. Sophomore RHP Logan Strutz may still be a year away from valuable varsity innings but he has a high upside and is one to keep an eye on moving forward. Offensively, they have a senior-laden lineup. Senior’s OF Colan Fitzgerald, INF Matt Verdun, 1B Tyler Woynerowski, OF Charlie Rodriguez, C Blake Soria and OF Joseph Trezek should all play a role in the lineup. The best hitter in the lineup may be junior C Jake Zylman who saw some time last year on varsity at the end of the season. Zylman is a physical right-handed hitter with bat speed and loose hands. Infielder Jalen Greer is a high-end sophomore who will be competing for a spot this spring. Greer, currently ranked No. 8 in the 2019 class, has advanced defensive actions and can handle the bat.

The Mustangs have a lot of senior leadership and plenty of pitching to make a run at the 4A state title. To do so, they will once again have to make their way through, year in and year out, the toughest sectional in state. 

Make sure to follow @pbrillinois on Twitter for the most up-to-date coverage throughout the season.

preseason countdown