Prep Baseball Report

Preseason Power 25 Countdown: No. 23 Lyons Township

By Josh Schoenberg
PBR Illinois Staff

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.

Team: Lyons Township
Preseason Rank: No. 23
2022 Record: 18-15
Conference: West Suburban
IHSA Class: 4A
Head Coach: Kevin Diete


Frederick Ragsdale III OF Lyons Township 2023 Kent State
Troy Stukenberg MIF Lyons Township 2023 Saint Xavier
Sam Viniard CIF Lyons Township 2023 Wisconsin-La Crosse
Jack Falls INF/RHP Lyons Township 2023 -
James Georgelos OF Lyons Township 2023 -
Conor Mulcrone RHP Lyons Township 2023 Loras College
Xzavier Vargas RHP Lyons Township 2023 Wisconsin-Parkside
Nathan Anderson LHP Lyons Township 2024 -
Brady Chambers RHP Lyons Township 2024 Michigan State
Tucker King RHP Lyons Township 2025 -
Luke Nicholaus LHP/UTL Lyons Township 2025 -


+ C Jack McNamara (2022; UW-Oshkosh) 
+ RHP Adam Severson (2022; Coe College)
+ OF Cooper Ohlson (2022; John A. Logan)
+ OF Charlie Breen (2022; UW-Platteville)


+ RHP Tucker King (2025) is currently one of the top uncommitted arms in the state’s sophomore class. The 6-foot-3, 195-pound righty caught the attention of our staff after multiple impressive performances across the offseason. For his high school this spring, it’s not clear if he’ll see starting opportunities right out of the gate, but he has the talent to grow into a more considerable role as the season goes on.

Read below for what we had to say about him following his ‘pen at Preseason All-State:

'[King] is making the most out of his preseason opportunities, clearly looking to show off some serious work put in this off season. The Preseason All-State was King’s second event of the preseason after attending the O’Hare Preseason ID earlier in February, and he was even better this go around. King is looking like the top uncommitted arm in the class with some characteristics of a young Tanner Houck (Collinsville, 2014). King has some similar fastball traits working out of a ¾ to low ¾ slot and getting heavy run on a 89-91 mph fastball (up from 84 mph in the fall). He didn’t show the best command of his breaking ball on this day, but the characteristics for swing and miss stuff is definitely there. He throws it hard (75-77 mph) and gets over 2200 rpm and 16 inches of horizontal action, while leaving most of them to the arm side in this outing. Should be a must-see arm early this spring and summer."

Tucker King (2/12/23)


+ The athletic left/left OF Frederick Ragsdale III (2023), who's the No. 33-ranked senior in the state, is a prototypical leadoff hitter and he will again be a spark plug atop the Lions’ lineup this year. The Kent State commit was the Lions’ second leading hitter a year ago, sporting a .389 average to go along with more walks than strikeouts, in addition to 22 stolen bases. A 2019 PBR Junior Future Games participant, our staff has had the opportunity to become more than familiar with Ragsdale’s game over the course of his prep career. Take a look at what we had to say after a performance of his last spring season:

"At the plate, prototypical leadoff hitter; stays within himself, short and direct to the ball, uses the whole field with a line-drive approach. Loose, quick hands, flashes bat speed and stays on top of the ball. Doubled down the left-field line in his third at bat. Laid down a bunt in his final at-bat and was 4.07 down-the-line. Also, reached on an error in his second at-bat and was 4.20 down-the-line. Aggressive on the bases, always looking to take the extra 90 feet and stole a base. Plays the game with infectious energy and high-motor. Quality look at one of the top center fielders in the state."


Coming off a Regional championship last year, the Lions return six position players and five members of the pitching staff. Despite a young rotation that may lack overall experience, the top two arms for the Lions are both upwards-trending 2024s that were able to get their feet wet at the varsity level last spring. These are the two top-100-ranked juniors who are set to spearhead the top of the rotation: LHP Nathan Anderson and RHP Brady Chambers (Michigan State commit).

Nathan Anderson (8/10/22)

Anderson, the No. 90-ranked player in the state’s 2024 class, will be the team’s first option on the mound for a second consecutive spring. The combination of previous varsity experience and an uptick in velocity should result in a successful junior campaign on the bump for the southpaw. He offers a mid-80s fastball with late arm-side life and mixes in a low-70s breaking ball that he’s displayed feel for in the past. Chambers, the No. 60-ranked junior in the state, is a physically imposing presence on the bump at 6-foot-6, 205 pounds. Working with intent, Chambers possesses a mid-80s fastball that plays with occasional tilt and backspin from an over the top slot, flashing carry through the zone. He mixes in a sweeping breaking ball in the low-70s that should help him miss barrels this spring.

RHP Conor Mulcrone (2023; Loras College) and RHP Xzavier Vargas (2023; UW-Parkside) are two more key seniors out of the bullpen for the Lions. Mulcrone’s arsenal includes a low-80s fastball with above-average spin and some carry, a pair of breaking balls, and a fading changeup. Vargas offers a rise-and-run fastball in the mid-80s, peaking at 87 mph in our looks. He’s shown feel for a curveball with 11/5 shape and a changeup with heavy fading action towards his arm-side.

Additionally, a pair of sophomores will contribute to the pitching staff with the aforementioned Tucker King and LHP/UTL Luke Nicholaus. Nicholaus offers a projectable 6-foot, 165-pound frame and left-handed depth out of the 'pen.

Anderson’s experience gained as a sophomore, and the positive steps in development Chambers has shown our staff since last spring, paint an optimistic picture of Lyons’ pitching staff. Meanwhile, their daily lineup has both experience and the kind of returning talent that should allow the youth on staff the time and run support to more comfortably acclimate to the 2023 season.

MIF Troy Stukenberg (2023; Saint Xavier commit) is a compact athlete who will be relied upon heavily in the heart of the order. The No. 100-ranked member of Illinois’ senior class posted an OPS north of 1.000 last spring while he recorded nearly twice as many walks than strike outs. Here’s what our staff had to say about the Lions’ shortstop after his appearance at August's Illinois State Games: 

“[Stukenberg] barrelled baseballs all afternoon on day one, doubling to left-field and then going on to hit a laser directly to the right-fielder. In his second game, Stukenberg continued to swing it well with a double to the left-center gap. The talented Saint Xavier commit, picked up at least one hit in every game finishing the week 4-for-7 with three doubles, two walks, two RBIs and a run to pace Team 3. Stukenberg is a candidate for the position player MVP from the week.”

OF James Georgelos (2023) and INF/RHP Jack Falls (2023) combined for 47 RBIs last season and are poised to take on run-producing roles once again this spring. Georgelos, who earned all-conference honors last spring, as well as this past fall for football, offers a compact left-handed stroke that played well at last year’s PBRT Illinois Summer Championships. Falls is a strong 6-foot-3, 205-pound two-way that has present bat speed and has repeated hard contact in our previous looks. The two uncommitted seniors will play key parts of the Lions offense that does need to make up for several since-graduated members who have moved on.

Left-handed-hitting CIF Sam Viniard (2023; UW-La Crosse) is another returning member of the lineup for Lyons. During his junior campaign, Viniard impressed offensively with his plate discipline and a .938 OPS. Given his heavy barrel and varsity experience, he should play an important role for a balanced lineup this spring.


The Lions boast an athletic and talented lineup with plenty of contributors from last year’s Regional championship team, but the pitching staff is still unproven. With that said, they're led by two highly-touted juniors who did see plenty of varsity action a season ago, and there's also the promise of one of the top sophomore arms who might earn himself a big role to play as the season rolls on. The offense should manufacture enough runs in the meantime, allowing its staff to click just in time for postseason action, making the Lions capable of a push inside the West Suburban Conference and beyond.

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

Find more information on the 2023 Lions below:

+ Team Website
+ Team Schedule
+ Team Twitter