Prep Baseball Report

Preseason Team Countdown: No. 13 Prairie Ridge

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: Prairie Ridge
Preseason Rank:  13
2014 Record: 24-18
Conference:  Fox Valley – Fox Division
IHSA Class: 4A 
Head Coach: Glen Pecoraro
Playoff Run:
Fourth-place in Class 4A
2014 Final Rank:
Returning Starters:
Returning Pitchers:

Name, Position, Class (College Commitment)
Ben Cilano
, RHP, 2015 (Bradley)
Cal Aldridge, 3B, 2015 (UW-Whitewater)
Dustin Thelander, C, 2015 (BYU)
Jon Tieman, RHP, 2016
Ethan Routzahn, RHP, 2016 (Dallas Baptist)
Chris Slack, OF, 2015
AJ Walters, LHP, 2015 (McHenry County College)
Connor Schneider, 2B, 2015
Matt Mohapp, RHP/OF, 2015
Carson Getzelman, OF, 2015

Ben Cilano.
The 6-foot-2, 195-pound Bradley recruit emerged last spring as the team’s ace.  He posted a 5-0 record – the most wins on the team – with a 0.65 ERA. In 53.2 innings, he struck of 57 and walked 33.

Scott Nygren
, a 6-foot-2 sophomore left-handed pitcher, features a low-80s fastball and effective curveball.

OF Austin Covers (Southern Illinois)

Before losing to Providence in the 4A state semifinals, the Wolves reeled off 10 straight wins en route to their surprising fourth-place finish. Making their second state trophy since 2008 that much more impressive was the team collectively hit only six home runs. 3B Cal Aldridge led the team with two homers.

Few expected Prairie Ridge to make a run to a fourth-place finish in Class 4A last spring – especially after they lost eight of their first 10 games of the season. With five starters and six pitchers returning, expectations are significantly higher to start the season. Venerable coach Glen Pecoraro has a deep and talented pitching staff, headlined by Bradley recruit Ben Cilano and junior Jon Tieman. Hard-throwing junior RHP Ethan Routzahn, who missed last season with an arm injury, should also add a boost and possibly give the Wolves another premium starter. Offensively, the team lacks power, but Pecoraro is one of the best at manufacturing runs. The Wolves feature good team speed and welcome back 3B Cal Aldridge and left-handed hitting C Dustin Thelander back to the middle of the lineup. Defensively, the Wolves are always rock-solid; this year’s team has good depth with a lot of different options.

Unlike last year, no one will be surprised if the Wolves make another postseason run to Joliet. At the minimum, they are the favorites to win the Fox Valley Conference Valley Division crown.

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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