Prep Baseball Report

Preseason Team Countdown: No. 11 St. Laurence

By Sean Duncan
Executive Director

Leading up to the start of the high school season, we will count down the Top 50 preseason teams every day as part of our comprehensive season coverage:

Team: St. Laurence
Preseason Rank: 11
2014 Record: 32-6
Conference: Chicago Catholic Blue
IHSA Class:  4A
Head Coach:  Pete Lotus
Playoff Run: Lost in Sectional Semifinals
2014 Final Rank: 5
Returning Starters: 4
Returning Pitchers: 2

Name, Position, Class (College Commitment)
Frank Greco, RHP/INF, 2015
John Riordan, RHP/3B, 2015 (St. Francis)
Sean Burnette, RHP/OF, (Black Hawk JC)
Anthony Rios, C, 2016
Jack Cavanaugh, RHP/INF, 2016
Tommy Farrell, LHP/1B, 2017
Jimmy Burnette, LHP/OF, 2017
Anthony Chimera, LHP/OF, 2015
Nick Verta, INF/RHP, 2015
Mike Finger, OF, 2015
Zach Erdman, RHP, 2015 (Black Hawk JC)

Frank Greco.
The 6-foot-2, 180-pound two-way talent will need to step as the team’s ace after the graduation of the Vikings’ top three arms. As a junior, Greco posted a 7-0 record and recorded 34 strikeouts in 39 innings. He will also be counted on to deliver at the plate.

Anthony Rios
. The 5-foot-10, 190-pound junior catcher will step in for T.J. Marik, who is now at Austin Peay.  At the Preseason All-State Showcase in February, Rios showed well, throwing consistent pop times ranging between 1.94-2.01. Rios is currently ranked No. 150 in Illinois’ 2016 class. 

RHP/INF Mike Kornacker (Purdue)
RHP/SS Brad Wood (Northern Illinois)
C T.J. Marik (Austin Peay)
RHP Alex Hitney (Heartland CC)
OF Mike Miller (Hawaii)
INF Nate Tholl (John A. Logan JC)
OF Kevin White (UW-Whitewater)
1B Roger Wilson (St. Francis)
RHP Robert Gutierrez (Kentucky Wesleyan)

Two-way talent John Riordan posted a 4-1-1 record on the mound with a 1.99 ERA last spring, while batting .293 with two home runs at the plate.

The Vikings have a slightly different look this year, in the sense the Burbank school doesn’t have a logjam of high-end Division 1 prospects all over the field like years past. However, don’t expect St. Laurence to have a steep drop-off despite graduating a talented class that sent nine players off to the next level last year. Coach Pete Lotus returns four starters from last year’s 32-6 club that won the rugged Chicago Catholic Blue championship for the second straight year. Despite losing a lot of talent on the mound, most notably four-year standout Mike Kornacker, the Vikings still have plenty of pitching options. RHPs Frank Greco and John Riordan headline a deep staff, one that lacks a dominant ace, but one that has plenty of options from the left and right sides. St. Laurence should also be rock-solid defensively across the diamond. Look for a pair of sophomores, LHP/1B Tommy Farrell and LHP/OF Jimmy Burnette, to make impacts this spring. Sean Burnette, Jimmy’s older brother, is also a two-way standout.

While the Vikings aren’t ranked in the top 5 in the state, as they have been over the last five years, they still have the talent to vie for another Chicago Catholic Blue championship. Only this year, they will play the role of underdog … at least in the CCL Blue.

Preseason Countdown

+ Top 50 Preseason Countdown Rankings

+ 2015 Schedules Released

+ Updated Illinois 2016 Rankings

+ Updated Illinois 2015 Rankings

+ June Event Schedule

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