Prep Baseball Report

Preseason Power 25 Countdown: No. 8 Lemont

By: Peter Hamot
Area Scout, Staff Writer

The Illinois high school baseball season kicks off on March 13, 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 2023 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 2023 preseason coverage continues today.

Preseason Rank: No. 8
2022 Record: 25-9
Conference: South Suburban (Blue)
IHSA Class: 3A
Head Coach: Brian Storako

Roster Preview

Brandon Johnson RHP
Lemont 2023 Lake Land JC
Carter Storti SS/RHP Lemont 2023 Wisconsin-Parkside
Patrick Gardner LHP/1B Lemont 2023 Heartland CC
Luke Wallace OF Lemont 2023 Southeastern CC
Dylan Swanstrom OF Lemont 2023 -
Joe Pender C Lemont 2023 College of DuPage
Gavin Kelby  INF Lemont 2023 -
Conor Murray  INF Lemont 2023 -
Ryan Klukas LHP Lemont 2023 Wisconsin-Parkside
Mike Biscan RHP Lemont 2023 College of DuPage
Sean Hollendoner RHP Lemont 2023 Illinois-Wesleyan
Noah Tomaras C Lemont 2024 -


+ OF/RHP Brady Small (2022; Iowa Western JC) 


+ LHP/1B Patrick Gardner (2023; Heartland CC) made his name known within the state over the summer, taking home the Most Valuable Player award from the inaugural Illinois State Games after his dominant performance on both sides of the ball. Listed at a physical 6-foot-4, 230-pounds, Gardner swings a strong right-handed bat that looks to be a cornerstone in Lemont’s lineup. He will also serve as a reliable arm on the mound, with a fastball that works in the low 80s and quality off-speed to pair. Garnder’s versatility to be an impact player on both sides of the ball could certainly be the difference maker for this Lemont club.

(Patrick Gardner, 8/9/22) 

Newcomer to watch

+ LHP Cannon Madej (2026) will be a new face for Lemont this coming spring. The 6-foot-2 southpaw can work his fastball just under 80 mph with above-average off-speed, and will look to add some depth to an already deep pitching staff. He also swings an above-average left-handed bat with a mature presence in the box to pair. Still maturing and growing, look for Madej to make some impressive strides in his first season in a Lemont uniform. 

Stat Rat 

(18): Lemont is returning the most players to their roster since 2014, with 18 seniors set to come back for their final year. If you want to talk about an experienced group with a hard-nosed attitude, look no further; as Lemont will be one of the more senior-heavy teams in the state and look to use that to their advantage.


As previously mentioned, Lemont will bring a plethora of senior leadership to the field, and a large amount of these players will be relied on heavily to produce. 

One of the strong-points for Lemont will be their rotation, as they are returning their top four arms from last season. RHP Brandon Johnson (2023; Lake Land JC), currently the No. 264 ranked player in the state, returns the most innings from last year’s squad – boasting a 5-1 record with 39.2, a sparkling 0.88 ERA, 57 strikeouts and 16 walks.  

One arm that has been on the rise is LHP Ryan Klukas (2023; Wisconsin-Parkside). Currently the No. 223 ranked player in the state, Klukas has that “here it is, try and hit it” mentality that you just can’t teach as well as the stuff to pair - with recent reports that his velocity has jumped up to 87-90 mph. He returns a solid chunk of innings as well, tossing 27.1 last season with a 5-2 record and 35 strikeouts. He can also handle the bat, hitting .333 in 18 at-bats last season with only one strikeout. 

(Ryan Klukas, 8/9/22) 

Fellow Wisconsin-Parkside commit SS/RHP Carter Storti (2023) will add some quality depth to the rotation, coming off a strong season last year where he turned in a 7-3 record with 33.2 innings, a 2.49 ERA, 49 strikeouts and just 15 walks. Currently ranked No. 194 in the state, Storti has been working his fastball recently in the 86-88 mph range with quality off-speed to pair.  

(Carter Storti, 8/9/22) 

RHP Mike Biscan (2023; College of DuPage JC) was another arm Lemont relied on last season, turning in 25 innings with a 2.80 ERA.  

The aforementioned Patrick Gardner is set to see a good amount of innings for Lemont and fill out the already deep rotation, with other names such as RHP Sean Hollendoner (2023; Illinois-Wesleyan), RHP Adam Malley (2023), RHP Cannon Madej (2026), RHP Brett Eslinger (2023) and RHP Marty Kreil set to see innings as well.

Lemont’s lineup should be a tough matchup up and down the order and supply pressure on opposing teams with the overall speed they possess.  

OF Luke Wallace (2023; Southeastern CC), currently the No. 148 player in the state, was one of Lemont’s top hitters last season - turning in a .356 batting average in 104 at-bats with eight doubles, 24 RBIs and 39 runs scored. Listed at 6-foot-1, 180 pounds, Wallace will be a nightmare for opposing teams on the base paths as a 6.46 60-runner. He swiped an eye-opening 36 bases last season, and will surely look to put up a similar number this spring.  

(Luke Wallace, 8/9/22) 

OF Dylan Swanstrom (2023) returns to the lineup after putting up a quality season at the dish in 2022, with a .354 batting average in 79 at-bats with 11 doubles, 18 RBIs and 32 runs scored. Swanstrom is another sub-7.00 runner Lemont has at their disposal, swiping 24 bags last season. He is yet another member of the lineup that will apply all sorts of pressure on opposing defenses when he is on base.  

(Dylan Swanstrom, 8/9/22)

Another key bat from last year set to return is OF Joe Pender (2023; College of DuPage JC). The right-handed hitter recorded a .314 batting average last season in 86 at-bats with five doubles, 22 RBIs and 18 runs scored.  

INF Gavin Kelby (2023) and the already mentioned Brandon Johnson are two more top returners for Lemont, both hitting .300 or better last season – while Gardner, Storti and INF Conor Murray (2023) will add even more depth to the lineup.  

Lemont as a team swiped 214 bases last season, with four players swiping 20 or more, and four players having 10 or more stolen bases. With an abundance of the speed from last year’s team returning, Lemont will be a nightmare for opposing teams on the base paths and apply pressure to defenses all game long. 

Bottom Line

Lemont will be returning one of the oldest and most experienced teams in the state, and this will surely give them an advantage out of the gate. Their rotation is plenty deep, setting them up well for playoff format with some quality arms waiting in the 'pen. Their lineup is nothing to scoff at either, with a good chunk of the returners hitting well over .300 last season. Lemont has always been a hard-nosed program and typically a team you don't want to face down the stretch, and this team is no different.

Make sure to follow @PBRIllinois on Twitter for the most up-to-date coverage throughout the 2023 season.

Find more information on the 2023 team below:

Team Website
Team Schedule
Team Twitter