Prep Baseball Report

Preseason Power 25 Countdown: No. 6 Mount Carmel

By Andy Sroka
Staff Writer

The Illinois high school season kicks off on March 12th, the first day for regular season games.

Leading up to the opening week of games 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 will bring you a snapshot of what to expect along with top players and keys to success for that particular team.

Team: Mount Carmel
Preseason Rank: 6
2017 Record: 27-10
Conference: Chicago Catholic League (Blue)
IHSA Class: 4A
Head Coach: Brian Hurry
Playoff Run: Regional finals appearance
2017 Final Rank: 19
Returning Starters: 6
Returning Pitchers: 2


Bobby Seymour, 1B (Wake Forest)
Zion Pettigrew, SS (Iowa)
Seamus Sjostrom, OF (Millikin)
P.J. Maloney, INF (Millikin)
Cameron Hupe, RHP (Kalamazoo Valley CC)
Macauley Kilbane, OF


Name State School Class Pos Commitment
Alek Thomas
IL Mount Carmel 2018 CF Texas Christian
Anthony Herron, Jr.
IL Mount Carmel 2018 1B Missouri State
Jake Kapers
IL Mount Carmel 2018 C Valparaiso
Christian Lucio
IL Mount Carmel 2018 RHP/INF Eastern Kentucky
Diego Munoz
IL Mount Carmel 2018 RHP/INF Western Illinois
Joey Egan
IL Mount Carmel 2018 OF Loras College
Malik Peters
IL  Mount Carmel 2018  OF Northern Illinois
Kevin Dowling
IL  Mount Carmel 2019  OF Murray State
Ed Howard IV
IL Mount Carmel 2020 SS Oklahoma
Alec Gonzalez
IL Mount Carmel 2020 RHP/INF Tennessee
Anthony Livermore
IL Mount Carmel 2020 INF


If there is one underclassmen who could impact the look of the Caravan this spring, that will be new to varsity, it would have to be sophomore INF/RHP Alec Gonzalez. The recent Tennessee commit, has legitimate two-way talent and Mount Carmel will be looking for as much help as they can get on the mound this spring. Gonzalez goes right after hitters behind a mid-to-upper 80’s fastball and a tight breaking ball that he can throw for strikes. Besides his upside on the mound, Gonzalez may be best suited as a position player. If he proves he can handle varsity pitching, the talented infielder may press a number of upperclassmen for a spot on the infield. If Gonzalez can step in and make an impact at the varsity level, the Caravan will be better for it.

Alec Gonzalez (2.18.18)


An uber-talented Mount Carmel team was felled in last year’s regional final to an unlikely Reavis High School squad. It was simply a disappointment for a team with much higher hopes, seeking another state appearance and first since it was a runner-up in 2015. The Caravan’s heartbreaking 5-4 loss to the Rams hurt a little more considering the kind of talent that was on its way out. First baseman Bobby Seymour and shortstop Zion Pettigrew were two hurtful losses that the Caravan will be forced to address this spring.

With that said, Mount Carmel may have one of the most fear-inducing lineups in the entire state. The Caravan currently have nine division one commits on their roster and were selected to play in the prestigious USA Baseball NHSI tournament at the end of March. Batters one through nine should cause pre-game nightmares for opposing pitchers this season. Even with the losses of Pettigrew and Seymour, the Caravan have a special group of seniors in 2018, led by MLB-draft hopeful and Texas Christian commit Alek Thomas. He’s the top-ranked player in the state and No. 8 overall. He does this with an array of skills from game-breaking speed, advanced defensive instincts, and a bat that did nothing but square up the best pitchers in the country in a number of national events last year.

But, by no means is Thomas the only threat within this lineup. Anthony Herron, Jr., a senior committed to Missouri State, transferred in from Simeon and is eligible to compete this spring. Herron is the top-ranked first baseman in this Illinois class because of the easy might he wields at the plate. And despite his hulking, 6-foot-2, 245-pound frame, he moves well and with athleticism at first base. Senior catcher Jake Kapers, a Valparaiso commit, is more of a defensive prospect because of his strong arm and agility behind the plate, but he’s no slouch in the batter’s box either.

In addition to the three previously mentioned, the behemoth that is the Caravan’s lineup should also include Northern Illinois commit Malik Peters, Eastern Kentucky commit Christian Lucio, Western Illinois commit Diego Munoz, Murray State commit and junior Kevin Dowling, and sophomore shortstop Ed Howard IV, an Oklahoma commit. Pitchers will have no time to ease off the accelerator when they’re up against the Woodlawn neighborhood high school.

On the mound, there are a few more questions to be answered. They’ll miss the arm of Cameron Hupe in the rotation because, frankly, there isn’t too much depth here. RHPs Munoz and Lucio should move to the top of the rotation this season when not playing the infield. But they’re on the lookout for someone to help add to their rotation, too, and that mystery player could be the sophomore Gonzalez.


Mount Carmel is probably itching to erase the bad taste that last year’s regional final left in their mouth and they have the team to do it by force.

I think their weakness, however, is the same one that troubled them a year ago. If they come across a good pitcher on his best day, they’re extra susceptible to trouble. Last year, in their jarring loss to Reavis, their three best hitters, Thomas, Seymour, and Pettigrew, combined to go 0-for-9. They managed to score four runs nonetheless but it wasn’t enough that day. Since their pitching has just as many question marks surrounding the staff as it did last season, the worry is that the Caravan will meet a similar fate.

Mount Carmel will only get as far as their violent lineup takes them, which is certainly capable of a state championship berth.

Find more information on the 2018 Caravan below:

+ Full Schedule
Team Website
+ Gamechanger

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