Prep Baseball Report

Preseason Team Countdown: No. 2 Lincoln-Way North

By Ryan Quigley
Illinois Scouting 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: Lincoln-Way North
Preseason Rank: 2
2014 Record: 28-3
Conference: Southwest Suburban (1st Place in 2014)
IHSA Class: 4A
Head Coach: Mitch Nowicki
Playoff Run:
Lost in Sectional Final to eventual State Champion Providence Catholic
2014 Final Rank:
Returning Starters:
Returning Pitchers:

Name, Position, Class (College Commitment)
Kyle Ostrowski, LHP, 2015 (Purdue)

Liam Jenkins, RHP, 2015 (Arizona State)
Josh Mutter, LHP/OF, 2015 (Northern Illinois)
Ben Troike, SS, 2016 (Illinois)
Austin Konagel, 2B, 2015
Nick Pedraza, 1B/C, 2015
Tommy Szczasny, 3B, 2016
Tyler Laux, RHP, 2016
Tyler Strzelczyk, 3B/1B, 2016
Nick Figus, CF, 2016
Brandon Butler, C, 2015

Kyle Ostrowski
proved to be an ace last spring, and will assume that role once again this year. The Purdue commit has a chance to be one of the first Illinois high school prospects selected in the June MLB draft thanks to his athleticism and fastball that has touched 92 mph.

Head Coach Mitch Nowicki has high hopes for junior third baseman Tommy Szczasny, who has impressed as one of the top left-handed hitters in the 2016 class this summer and fall on the travel ball circuit. Junior OF Nick Figus and junior 1B/3B Tyler Strzelczyk have impressed with their speed and power potential respectively. Junior RHP Tyler Laux, a transfer from Marian Catholic, is also fielding offers from Division-I programs, and boast a fastball that can reach the mid-to-upper 80’s.

David Calderon, RHP (Morehead State)
Joey Fredrickson, RHP (Black Hawk College)
DJ Lee, 2B (Richmond)
Connor Grove, C (Judson)

Lincoln-Way North has had an amazing two-year run, going a combined 61-6-1 over the past two seasons. Ostrowski was was 5-0 with a 0.56 ERA, allowing just 18 hits, 12 walks and three earned runs while striking out 71 over 40 2/3 innings in 2014.

The last two years have been extremely successful, and with one of the deepest pitching staffs in the state Lincoln-Way North is the favorite to bring home the Class 4A State Title this spring. Liam Jenkins struggled with command at times last spring, but pounded the strike zone this winter at the Super 60 with a 91-93 mph fastball. Ostrowski, Jenkins, and LHP/OF Josh Mutter give Lincoln-Way North quite possibly the deepest pitching staff in the state. They all have great stuff, but still must replace the quality innings thrown last season by graduated RHP’s David Calderon and Joey Fredrickson. Both Ostrowski and Jenkins could hear their names called this June during the MLB draft.

Junior SS Ben Troike committed to Illinois this fall, and is one of the top defenders up the middle in the state of Illinois. He’ll form a solid double-play combination with senior 2B Austin Konagel, who hit .390 last season.

The Phoenix’s incredible run over the past two seasons, which has included being ranked No. 1 in the state at various times by PBR, can only be capped by a State Championship. With several experienced arms rivaling any pitching staff in the state, the only question is if the lineup will produce runs.

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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