Prep Baseball Report

Preseason Power 25 Countdown: No. 24 Oswego East

By: Diego Solares
Associate Scout, Staff Writer

The Illinois high school baseball season kicks off on March 14, opening day for regular season action under IHSA regulations. Over the next two weeks, leading up to opening day, we’ll be publishing our team previews ahead of the 2022 spring season, touching on programs spanning all state classifications, counting down through the official PBR Illinois Preseason Power 25 Rankings.

Perennially, we’ve submitted a Preseason Questionnaire to high school head coaches across the entire state. Their responses have been flooding in and we’re using the detailed insight they’ve provided in our team-by-team preseason analysis.

Our 2022 preseason coverage begins today.

Team: Oswego East
Preseason Rank: No. 24
2021 Record
: 11-11
Southwest Prairie
IHSA Class: 4A
Head Coach: Brian Schaeffer


Noah Schultz
2022 Vanderbilt
Ashton Izzi
RHP 2022 Wichita State
Noah Dowler
RHP 2022 -
Carter South
2022 Luther College
Christian Battista
C/RHP 2022 Dubuque
Nathan Edders
2022 Danville Area CC
Josh Polubinski
2023 -
Mike Polubinski
2023 -
Zach Polubinski 1B 2023 -
Griffin Sleyko RHP 2023 -


3B/OF Josh Polubinski (2023): An early winner from our winter showcase circuit, the Wolves will likely rely on him for key offensive contributions throughout the 2022 campaign. He looks the part of a middle-of-the-order cog with plenty of physicality attached to an ultra-physical 6-foot-3, 195-pound frame and loud right-handed stroke. His hardest hit ball screamed off his barrel at 101.1 mph this winter and he consistently showed the ability to square the ball up at 95+ mph in BP. One of a handful of players on this roster with experience at the varsity level, how Polubinski performs may ultimately sway the direction of this offense.

Josh Polubinski


Coming off a season where they finished at the .500 mark, this Oswego East team enters the 2022 campaign hungry for more success. They’ll have a new face under their helm, as Brian Schaeffer inherits a dangerous varsity squad in his 10th year with the program.

The talk-of-the-town for Oswego East throughout the entirety of this season will be the historically good two-headed monster that’s perched atop their rotation in LHP Noah Schultz (Vanderbilt, 2022) and RHP Ashton Izzi (Wichita State, 2022).

Schultz is currently the top prospect in a deep Illinois’ senior class and is also one of the country’s top pitching prospects, currently etched at No. 16 overall on our national rankings. He’s an outlier in multiple ways when on the mound, starting with a long, lanky 6-foot-9, 225-pound frame. Schultz’s ability to sync up his levers downhill, especially given his age, is highly impressive and his consistency has certainly improved over the last calendar year. Adding onto his size, which already makes for an uncomfortable at-bat, Schultz releases from a short, tight, deceptive ¾ slot. We’ve seen his fastball up to 94 mph, sitting mostly at 90-93 mph, with corner-to-corner accuracy when he’s at his best. Schultz’s main offering, however, is a 3,000+ RPM swing-and-miss slider with heavy sweeping action and it’s a weapon he has at his disposal that’ll earn plenty of whiffs on a game-to-game basis. He’s an ace in every sense of the word and the Wolves will certainly have a chance to win each game their star southpaw toes the rubber.

Noah Schultz

Oswego East has the luxury of pairing Schultz up with another ace, however, as Izzi is not too far behind his high school counterpart on our state rankings. He’s steadily ascended up our board over the last 12 months and is now, unquestionably, one of the area’s most intriguing draft follows as we head into the spring. Built at a wiry 6-foot-3, 175-pounds with explosive fibers, Izzi repeatedly ran his fastball up into the 92-94 mph range throughout the summer and we’ve heard reports that he’s reached a few ticks higher on the radar gun a handful of times this off-season. Though he’s still developing his secondaries, few arms across the IHSA rival Izzi’s arm talent and his fastball alone is going to miss plenty of bats regardless of opponent. With these two at the top of their rotation, Oswego East is set up nicely to compete in a large chunk of their games.

Ashton Izzi

The Wolves will lean heavily on their elite duo to pace them throughout the season, especially because a handful of their expected everyday players don’t have much varsity experience under their belts. Most of last year’s squad was made up of seniors and, with that 2021 class gone, several new faces will be asked to take that next step.

C/INF Carter South (2022; Luther College) and C/RHP Christian Battista (2022; Dubuque) are returners that’ll be key pieces to this team. Both are expected to see time behind the plate, which is noteworthy considering the caliber of arms this team has to offer. South will see time on the infield when he’s not catching, while Battista is an experienced arm they’ll use out of the ‘pen. INF/OF Nathan Edders (2022; Danville Area CC) was a spot starter last year and is expected to slot into an everyday role both on the infield and outfield. On the mound, RHP Noah Dowler (2022) returns senior experience to the mound and RHP Griffin Sleyko (2023) is another arm expected to contribute a starter's workload for the Wolves.

The Polubinski triplets, 3B Josh Polubinski (2023), OF Mike Polubinski (2023), and 1B/RHP Zach Polubinski (2023), are three players who are all expected to see time at the varsity level this season. We highlighted Josh above as a mainstay in this offense, but the Wolves are likely to call upon both of his brothers for reliable run production as well. Mike is a 6.88 runner with juice attached to his bat, like both his brothers, that’ll patrol the outfield for this squad while Zach should log innings both at first base and on the mound.


The potency that Oswego East has at the top of this rotation is likely to be the heart-and-soul of their squad and success throughout this IHSA season. Schultz and Izzi are proven high school stars and they’ll definitely have a competitive advantage each time one of them takes the mound.

How far this program can go in head coach Brian Schaeffer’s first season, however, revolves around how well the surrounding pieces fit into this puzzle. They’ll call upon several young players with little-to-no varsity experience to fill important positions on the field and how successful they are may ultimately be the deciding factor for this Oswego East team. 

Make sure to follow @PBRIllinois on Twitter for the most up-to-date coverage throughout the 2022 season.

Find more information on the 2022 Wolves below:

+ Team Website
+ Team Schedule
+ Team Twitter