Preseason Team Countdown: No. 24 Cary Grove



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: Cary-Grove
Preseason Rank: 24
2014 Record: 20-14
Conference: Fox Valley Conference – Valley Division
IHSA Class: 4A
Head Coach: Don Sutherland
Playoff Run: Lost in Sectionals to Jacobs
2014 Final Rank: Not Ranked
Returning Starters: 6
Returning Pitchers: 2

TOP PLAYERS
Name, Position, Class (College Commitment)
Jimmy Perkins, RHP/OF, 2015 (Western Illinois)
Wyatt Mascarella, C, 2015 (Illinois-Chicago)
Larkin Hanselmann, LHP/OF, 2015
Matt Sutherland, INF, 2015
Zack Forney, C, 2015 (Eastern Illinois)
Connor Leach, DH, 2015
Mark Smith, RHP, 2016
Nick Kirk, INF/OF, 2016
Matt McCumber, RHP, 2017
Tyler Pennington, C/INF, 2017

X-FACTOR
Jimmy Perkins. The 5-foot-11, 175-pound Western Illinois recruit is a premier two-way athlete.  He features elite speed, running a 6.70 60 at a past PBR event, while being clocked at 89 mph from the outfield. Perkins has also emerged as a frontline arm for the Trojans, as he pitches in the 86-88 mph range to go along with a solid curveball.

NEWCOMER TO WATCH
Matt McCumber. The wiry, athletic 6-foot-3, 180-pound right-hander is one of the top 2017 prospects in Illinois and should be a factor on the mound this spring. At a PBR event in the fall, he pitched in the 82-83 mph range with the makings of a solid slider.

KEY PLAYER LOST
RHP Andrew Splitt (UW-Platteville)

STAT RAT
Wyatt Mascarella possesses a top-level arm behind the plate. At a past PBR event, Mascarella was clocked at 81 mph from the crouch, delivering 1.99-2.04 pop times.

OUTLOOK
With six starters back in the fold, the Trojans are poised to bounce back after having a somewhat down year for their standards, finishing third in the Valley Division. Venerable coach Don Sutherland’s club features good team speed and solid defense, led by OF/RHP Jimmy Perkins, C Wyatt Mascarella and INF Matt Sutherland up the middle. LHP Larkin Hanselmann returns to anchor a staff that includes Perkins and Mark Smith. Look for a pair of sophomores – RHP Matt McCumber and C/INF Tyler Pennington – to make impacts this spring. Pennington, a physical left-handed hitter, possesses pop at the plate.

BOTTOM LINE
With a lot of returning experience, the Trojans should once again vie for the Fox Valley, Valley Division championship. But with the like of Jacobs, McHenry and Crystal Lake South, it will not be easy.

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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