Prep Baseball Report

Preseason Power 25 Countdown: No. 17 Mount Carmel

By: Peter Hamot
Area Scout

The Illinois high school baseball season kicks off on April 12, opening day for regular season action under IHSA regulations. Over the next several weeks, leading up to opening day, we’ll be publishing our team previews ahead of the 2021 spring season, touching on programs spanning all state classifications, leading into a countdown 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 2021 preseason coverage continues today.

Team: Mount Carmel
Preseason Rank: 17
2019 Record: 22-11
Conference: Catholic League Blue
IHSA Class: 4A
Head Coach: Brian Hurry


Shane Curtin LHP 2022 Creighton
Elias Hachem RHP 2022 Evansville
Julien Hachem LHP 2022 Oklahoma
Brandon Rogers OF 2022 Oklahoma
Michael Kelly LHP 2023 Western Michigan
Colin Horneman C/OF 2022 Lincoln Trail JC
Elijah Rompala-Matthews RHP 2022 Webster
Colin Small MIF 2022 Heidelberg College
Jorgie Vazquez MIF 2022 Triton JC
Jacob White INF 2022 Benedictine (IL)
Myles Supurgeci OF 2022 -
Marcus Milianti OF 2022 -
Austin Mallee INF 2023 -
Luka Romic CIF 2023 -
Joey Russo C 2023 -
Blainey Dowling OF 2023 -
Jaime Luna INF/C 2024 -


+ RHP Tommy Egan (Iowa Western CC)


+ Brandon Rogers, OF (2022; Oklahoma commit): After missing the 2021 season due to injury, Rogers will be making his much anticipated debut inside the Caravan lineup this spring. Standing at an athletic, physical 5-foot-11, 195 pounds, Rogers seemed to have added on a noticeable amount of strength over the offseason, especially in his lower half. With this newly added strength, the right-handed hitter routinely batted balls over 90 mph, topping out at 100 at the Preseason ProCase while leading the event in max batted distance (382 feet). It's a loose/confident swing that moves athletically into a loose/uphill path, creating extension through impact and should easily play in-game against high-level pitching. Almost equally impressive from the event was Rogers' outfield session; playing light on his feet with an easy first step and athletic actions. Rogers pairs an extremely strong arm with with fluid defense, topping out at 92 mph with noticeable life out of the hand. Equipped with plus foot speed too, it is hard to find many players in the state who can replicate Rogers' toolset, and he will be extremely exciting to watch him in the Chicago Catholic League this year.


The Caravan have the luxury of turning the ball over to a number of talented arms, like seniors LHP Julien Hachem (Oklahoma), RHP Elias Hachem (Evansville), LHP Michael Kelly (Western Michigan) and LHP Shane Curtin (Creighton). With the four-headed monster that sits atop their pitching staff, it will be difficult for teams to match their rotation depth, which will particularly come in handy inside the state's most competitive conference.

The Hachem twins, Julien and Elias, have long been regarded as two of the top hurlers in the 2022 class. Elias, a 6-foot-7, 235-pound right-hander features a fastball that tops out at 90 mph while also boasting well above-average spin metrics (2,418 rpm max). After seeing time in the Caravan rotation in 2021, his experience should only add to his already impressive arm in helping to lead the Caravan on the mound. Julien on the other hand stands at an eye-popping 6-foot-8, 260-pounds, and is currently ranked as the No. 2 left-handed pitcher in the state, behind only Noah Schultz, one of the top pitching prospects in the country. The southpaw possesses a fastball that works into the low-90s with plus spin (2,532 rpm max) and he also saw a notable amount of time on the mound for the Caravan as a junior. With his already extensive varsity service time and electric arm, he provides the Caravan with one of the most intimidating at-bats their opponents will see all season.

Julien Hachem (7/6/21)

Kelly provides a noteworthy amount of varsity experience to the rotation as well. From an athletic 6-foot, 180-pound frame, the southpaw runs his fastball up to 89 mph (2,533 rpm max) to set up a changeup/curveball combination that is sure to keep hitters guessing and give the Caravan a very realistic chance of winning every time he takes the mound.

The Creighton recruit Curtin has a chance to be the staff's most effective arm when it's all said and done, bringing a bulldog mentality to the mound with mid- to upper-80s stuff and a mature three-pitch mix that he demonstrates advanced feel for. He's also bringing with him varsity experience, Curtin will be a very reliable piece in the Caravan rotation as a consistent strike-thrower with a competitive edge.

Shane Curtin (8/4/20)

Other pitchers such as RHP Elijah Rompala-Matthews (Webster, 2022), RHP Owen Wilinski (2022), LHP RJ Bergren (2023), RHP Dennis Furlong (2023), LHP Daniel Quintero (2022) and RHP TJ Boyd (2022) will be counted on late in games out of the bullpen for the Caravan.

Mount Carmel's defense as a whole will be one of their strong-suits headed into the 2022 season. C Colin Horneman (Lincoln Trail CC, 2022) will be the one leading the stacked Caravan pitching staff behind the plate. As an athletic backstop with upside to all parts of his game, Horneman also shows to have steady/receptive hands that should have no trouble handling the high-level velocity the Caravan will be rolling out. Also a 6.97 60-runner with a max exit velocity of 95 mph, Horneman will be looked to for added depth in an already potent lineup; proving to be an important lineup piece during their 2021 campaign after he recorded a .329 batting average on top of six doubles. 

With the aforementioned Rogers playing along-side Myles Supurgeci (2022), Mount Carmel will have one of the most athletic duos in perhaps the entire state roaming the outfield. Supurgeci is a spark plug when he gets between the white lines; as a 6.45 runner in the 60, the right-handed hitter is twitchy at the plate, spraying line-drives to the whole field while acting as an opposing team's worst nightmare on the base-paths.

You can expect to see MIF Colin Small (2022; Heidelberg College) and MIF Jorgie Vazquez (2022; Triton JC) returning to the lineup for this coming spring. Small, an athletic and sure-handed defender brings his senior experience to the playing field while also providing a reliable right-handed swing at the plate. Vazquez, a more physical right-handed hitter, will be expected to supply some extra power in the middle of the Caravan lineup after proving to be a reliable bat in 2021; slashing a .348 batting average with two home runs and seven doubles.

INF Austin Mallee (2023) will also be a key returning player for this Caravan this coming spring. Mallee saw a notable amount of time on varsity last year as only a sophomore; putting up an eye-popping .400 batting average to go along with eight home runs, eight doubles and 31 RBIs. As a key component in the Caravan lineup last year, they will likely look to him once again to lead their offense headed into the 2022 season.

INF/C Jaime Luna (2024) has a chance to regularly crack this lineup in 2022, as only a sophomore. The 5-foot-11, 185-pound Luna plays well above his years with a strong left-handed stroke and advanced actions on the infield. 

Other names such as CIF Jacob White (2022; Benedictine), OF Marus Milianti (2022), CIF Luka Romic (2023), C/1B Joey Russo (2023) and OF Blainey Dowling (2023) will be looked to for added depth in the lineup as well.

bottom line

The Caravan are set for another successful season, returning almost all of their key pieces from their 2021 team while adding Rogers into the lineup, injecting it with some much-needed firepower. Their depth on the mound will be very difficult to compete with, both in conference play and come playoff time. There are very few teams that will be able to compete with the skill and overall depth that the Caravan will be rolling out one after another. 

Head coach Brian Hurry also possesses the luxury of having a number of players he can swap in and out of the lineup at any given time, providing one of the deepest depth charts in the state. With a solid defense behind them and an offense that is expected to be tough outs top to bottom, it would be no surprise to see Mount Carmel shoot up the rankings and even ultimately make the trip to Joliet in the state finals this spring.

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

Find more information on the 2022 Caravan below:

Team Website
Team Schedule
Team Twitter