Prep Baseball Report

Preseason Team Countdown: No. 28 Benet

By Sean Duncan
Executive Director

Leading up to the start of the high school season, we will count down the top 75 preseason teams every day as part of our comprehensive season coverage:

Team: Benet Academy
Preseason Rank:
2013 Record:
East Suburban Catholic
IHSA Class:
Head Coach:
Scott Lawler
Playoff Run: Lost in Regional Final
2013 Final Rank: Not Ranked

Returning Starters: 6
Returning Pitchers:


Chris Whelan, SS/RHP, 2014 (Bradley)
Joe Boyle, 3B/RHP, 2014 (Northern Illinois)
Pat Peterson, RHP/OF, 2014 (Dartmouth)
Ryan Raupach, OF, 2014 (DePauw)
Anthony Rendina, MIF, 2014 (Millikin)
Jon Kruppe, C/RHP, 2015 (Evansville)
Cole Channell, INF, 2015
Connor Hickey, OF, 2015

Pat Peterson
. The right-hander experienced a significant velocity jump over the summer to go along with a sharp breaking ball. If Peterson can be a shutdown ace for the Redwings to headline a deep pitching staff, then they will be tough to beat in the East Suburban Catholic.

Pat McInerney, 1B/RHP (Illinois)

Jon Kruppe
, a 6-foot-5, 210-pound two-way talent, posted a 5-2 record on the mound as a sophomore last spring. Kruppe, who recently committed to Evansville, also has big power potential at the plate.

The Redwings have the talent, depth and pitching to make a serious run in Class 3A. Coach Scott Lawler, who always has his teams prepared, returns six starters and has a stable of arms, headlined by Dartmouth recruit Pat Peterson. Defensively, Benet should be rock-solid in the infield with the return of three-year starting SS Chris Whelan, 3B Joe Boyle and junior Cole Channell, who started last year when Whelan was injured. Benet also features a solid junior class, spearheaded by Kruppe, left-handed hitting OF Connor Hickey, Channell and 1B Conor Hayes. Along with Peterson, Kruppe, Whelan and Boyle should provide steady innings on the mound. The graduation of Pat McInerney leaves a hole in the middle of the lineup, but the Redwings should be a scrappy offensive club.

Benet crept in and won the East Suburban Catholic championship at the end of the season, only to be unceremoniously bounced in the regional finals. Benet should once again be in the thick of the ESCC title hunt, along with defending 3A champion Joliet Catholic, Nazareth and Carmel. With its returning experience, Benet should make a significant playoff run in Class 3A.

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Season Countdown

+ Preseason Team Rankings

+ Updated Illinois 2015 Player Rankings

+ Updated Illinois 2014 Player Rankings

+ June Event Schedule

 2014 IL Top Prospect Slide