Prep Baseball Report

Preseason Team Countdown: No. 25 Peoria Notre Dame

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: Peoria Notre Dame
Preseason Rank: 25
2014 Record: 24-11
Conference: Big 12
IHSA Class: 3A 
Head Coach: Michael Broadhurst
Playoff Run: Lost in Sectional championship game to Metamora
2014 Final Rank: Not Ranked
Returning Starters:
Returning Pitchers: 6

Name, Position, Class (College Commitment)
Andy Shadid, C/OF, 2015 (Bradley)
Jake Hurst, LHP/1B, 2015 (Bradley)
Luke Shadid, SS, 2016 (Bradley)
Truman Ralph, RHP/OF, 2016
Bryce Hinton, C, 2016
Alex Skibba, RHP/INF, 2017
Braedon Blackford, INF, 2017

Andy Shadid.
The physical 6-foot, 185-pound catcher/outfielder is a dynamic athlete, one who earned Peoria-area football player of the year in the fall. On the baseball field, the Bradley recruit is a three-year starter who earned PBR third-team All-State honors as a sophomore. Shadid ran a 6.75 60 and features a strong arm behind the plate and on the mound. In his career, he has tallied 34 doubles, 10 triples, 11 homers and 68 RBI while batting .442.

Alex Skibba
. The 5-foot-10, 135-pound sophomore is one to watch in the coming years. Currently ranked No. 48 in Illinois’ 2017 class, Skibba is a two-way talent who should see mound time this spring.

Jarrod Watkins. The left-handed hitting shortstop transferred to Washington HS after he earned Peoria Journal Star Player of the Year honors last spring. Watkins, who’s ranked No. 69 in Illinois’ 2015 class, is committed to Central Michigan University.

Jake Hurst
led the Irish with 38 RBI last spring. The 6-foot-4, 210-pound left-handed hitter also notched nine doubles and batted .402. On the mound, he went 1-1 with three saves in 20.2 innings.

A lot has changed for the Irish since they advanced to the sectional finals last spring. For starters, they have a new head coach with Michael Broadhurst. They also changed conferences, moving to the much tougher Big 12 from the Mid-State 6 (which they won last year). One thing, however, has remained the same: talent. The Irish have Division 1 athletes all over the field, even with the transfer of standout SS Jarrod Watkins to Washington. The Shadid brothers are both committed to Bradley and are both high-level athletes. The duo should wreak havoc on the bases for the Irish. Jake Hurst is another Bradley recruit who should provide middle-of-the-lineup thump and delivery on the mound as well. Frontline pitching may be a point of concern for the Irish. Along with Hurst, look for junior RHP Truman Ralph to build on a solid sophomore campaign.

The Irish should once again be one of the top teams in the Peoria area, though they will face a much sterner test in the Big 12. They also have to deal with Metamora in the Class 3A playoffs.

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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