Prep Baseball Report

Preseason Power 25 Countdown: No. 6 Mundelein

By Diego Solares
Staff Writer, Associate Scout

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 continues today. 

Team: Mundelein
Preseason Rank: No. 6
2021 Record: 23-5-1
Conference: North Suburban
IHSA Class: 4A
Head Coach: Randy Lerner


Jacob Buysse CIF/DH 2022 Wisconsin-Eau Claire
Caden Morton RHP
2022 -
Daniel Pacella 1B 2022 Illinois State
Jonny Patel RHP 2022 -
Tommy Stricklin CIF 2022 -
CJ Weik INF 2022 Wisconsin-Eau Claire
Drew Wellington OF 2022 Eastern Illinois
Danny Connelly C 2023 -
Michael Farina INF 2023 -
Ryan Geraghty RHP/OF 2023 Wichita State
Bennett Musser RHP
2023 -


+ INF/RHP Jack Bikus (2021)
+ C Michael Rastrelli (2021)
+ OF Matthew Peterson (2021) 



+ INF Michael Farina (2023): Transferring in from conference rival Stevenson, Farina brings plenty of positives to the table for the Mustangs. The 6-foot-1, 160-pound junior has plenty of upside to offer offensively and, most importantly, gives this Mundelein pitching staff a sure-handed glove at one of the infield’s up-the-middle spots. He also adds another quality contributor to one of the state’s toughest lineups, further bolstering the offensive force that we’re expecting the Mustangs to be. 



+ RHP/OF Ryan Geraghty (2023; Wichita State): Another new face to the Mustangs this spring, Geraghty owns one of the livest arms in the entire state. At 6-foot-1, 190-pounds, Geraghty regularly runs his fastball into the low-90s and we’ve heard reports of that number climbing as the off-season has rolled on. He compliments it with a tight, bullet-spin slider that’s still developing consistency but has flashed sharp swing-and-miss action in the past. Geragthy represented Team Illinois at the Future Games this past summer and committed to Wichita State shortly afterwards - a major win for the Shockers from a recruiting standpoint. If he’s able to hone in his high-octane arsenal, the Mustangs could have a true weapon capable of winning them games at their disposal. 


Success has become quite the norm for Mundelein and last year was no different, as the Mustangs took home a share of the North Suburban Conference title, won 23 games, and nearly upset perennial powerhouse Huntley in the sectional semi-final. While they lost a few pieces from that team, including ace RHP Jack Bikus (2021) and top-of-the-order type OF Matthew Peterson (2021), a large chunk of that group returns with a couple of fresh faces eager to make an impact. 

We’re expecting, on a game-to-game basis, for head coach Randy Lerner’s lineup to be one of the state’s most potent units. They have few holes and return several key pieces from last year, including one of the state’s loudest left-handed bats: OF/1B Daniel Pacella (2022; Illinois State). The 6-foot-3, 235-pound Pacella punished baseballs all of last spring, slashing . 419/.534/.865 with nine home runs and a team-high 21 walks. A nationally-ranked name, Pacella has consistently proven to our staff he’s capable of leaving the yard at any given time and should have zero anchoring this team from a run production standpoint. 

Daniel Pacella (7/19/21)

Hitting around Pacella in this lineup are several seniors, all of which saw time at the varsity level last season. OF Drew Wellington (2022; Eastern Illinois) is a dynamic athlete that brings an intriguing blend of power and speed to the top of this lineup. Wellington paced the Mustangs in batting average (.449) and on-base percentage (.569) last season, finishing the year with eight triples and 35 runs scored, too. He’s likely to patrol center field for them as well, making him that much more important to their success this season. INF Tommy Stricklin (2022) wields a powerful right-handed stroke, flashing well advanced raw power at the Unsigned Senior Showcase this February. The ultra-physical 6-foot-2, 215-pound uncommitted senior performed all of 2021, slashing .321/.471/.526 with three home runs in 102 plate appearances. Another middle-of-the-order thumper to note is 6-foot-3, 200-pound CIF Jacob Buysse (2022; Wisconsin-Eau Claire). The Blugold signee saw limited time on varsity last spring, but he’s a physical right-handed hitter that, behind Pacella and Stricklin, adds even more juice to this lineup. 

Drew Wellington (8/10/21)

There will be some fresh faces that are expected to step in and contribute from the very beginning. We touched on Farina in the ‘Newcomer To Watch’ section, but 1B Christopher Callas (2023) and C Daniel Connelly (2023) are likely to see everyday roles on this team. Callas has comparable size to those around him in this order, standing at 6-foot-2, 220-pounds, and adds another potential power bat to the bottom of this lineup. Connelly impressed us recently at the Joliet Preseason ID, barreling his hardest hit ball up at 94.6 mph with a peak batted distance of 349 feet – adding even more power to a team that oozes it. His most important role will be behind the dish, however, as he’ll handle this pitching staff on a regular basis as this team’s starting catcher. MIF Connor Weik (2022; Wisconsin-Eau Claire) saw some run on varsity last spring and is expected to occupy one of the team’s up-the-middle infield spots in his senior season.

Daniel Connelly (7/14/21)

Pairing up with Geraghty in this rotation is another dynamic arm that’ll make for a powerful one-two junior punch: RHP Bennett Musser (2023). Musser led the Mustangs in innings pitched last season, tossing 42 frames in his first season of varsity action. He made eight starts and punched out 47 batters, posting a 2.50 ERA and 0.93 WHIP. The 6-foot-1, 182-pound uncommitted junior recently popped up at our Preseason All-State: Upperclass event, running his fastball up to 90 mph with a swing-and-miss slider in his arsenal. RHP Caden Morton (2022), RHP Jonny Patel (2022), and Callas will all see time on the mound, too. 


Even though the Mustangs did lose a handful of impact contributors from a team that nearly played for a sectional championship last season, they’re still extremely talented and prepped for a return to the IHSA state playoffs. The additions of Geraghty and Farina factored into a strong group of upperclassmen have the Mustangs set up nicely in 2022. 

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

Find more information on the 2022 Mustangs below:

+ Team Website
+ Team Schedule
+ Team Twitter