Preseason Team Countdown: No. 30 Loyola



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: Loyola
Preseason Rank:
30
2013 Record:
16-18
Conference:
Chicago Catholic Blue
IHSA Class:
4A
Head Coach:
Nick Bridich
Playoff Run: Lost in Regional Final (Oak Park)
2013 Final Rank: Not Ranked

Returning Starters: 4
Returning Pitchers:
4

TOP PLAYERS

Tommy Bordignon, RHP/INF, 2014 (Northwestern)
Andrew Owen, RHP/OF, 2014 (Villanova)
Jack Yalowitz, LHP/OF, 2015
Frank O’Malley, OF, 2014 (St. Thomas)
Jacob Frank, 1B, 2015
Travis Weber, C, 2014 (Lawrence)
Danny Kelly, INF, 2014

X-FACTOR
Jack Yalowitz.
While Bodignon and Owen are both established frontline pitchers, the left-handed Yalowitz will give the Ramblers three legit arms to compete in the Blue, to go along with a steady bat at the plate.

NEWCOMER TO WATCH
Jacob Frank, 1B, 2015

KEY PLAYERS LOST
Danny Rafferty, LHP/OF (Bucknell)
Danny Woodrow, OF

OUTLOOK
In his second year at Loyola, coach Nick Bridich has the Ramblers program going in the right direction. Although their record didn’t show it last year, they were highly competitive in the state’s toughest conference. While Loyola will have an extremely difficult time making a dent in the Catholic Blue this year, it should be one of the tougher teams in the Northern suburbs of Chicago. That’s because the Ramblers have a trio of frontline arms, headlined by Bordignon and Owen. Both right-handers work in the upper-80s, sometimes a tick higher. Yalowitz, too, should give opponents problems, as he is deceptively quick and has three-pitch command. The three pitchers should also serve as run-producers. Frank O’Malley is another left-handed hitter to look out for this season, and keep an eye on Jacob Frank to make an impact at the plate.

BOTTOM LINE
While vastly improved, the Ramblers’ road in the Chicago Catholic Blue is rugged, what with the likes of Mount Carmel, St. Rita, St. Laurence, Brother Rice and Providence. Their pitching should keep them in games, but the offense will need to produce in order to win games. With that said, they should have a much easier plight in the playoffs, as their sectional is significantly easier than their conference. Don’t be surprised if Loyola makes a surprising postseason push.

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Season Countdown

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+ Updated Illinois 2015 Player Rankings

+ Updated Illinois 2014 Player Rankings

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