Preseason Team Countdown: No. 44 Pleasant Plains



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: Pleasant Plains
Preseason Rank:
2014 Record: 30-11
Conference:  Sangamo (7-1)
IHSA Class: 2A   
Head Coach: Dave Greer
Playoff Run: Class 2A State Champions
2014 Final Rank: 25 

Returning Starters: 8
Returning Pitchers: 5

TOP PLAYERS
Name, Position, Class (College Commitment)
Cole Hamilton, 3B, 2015
Dylan Bee, 1B, 2015 (Parkland JC)
Cole Greer, SS, 2016
Johnny Steinwart, C, 2016
Chad Weller, RHP, 2015
Mitch Koehler, RHP, 2015

X-FACTOR
Senior 3B Cole Hamilton hit .419 in 2014 with 39 runs scored, 22 RBI, and 35 stolen bases. Senior 1B Dylan Bee shows athleticism for a corner infielder, stealing 52 bases last year, and also hit .371 with 45 runs scored and 28 RBI.

KEY PLAYER LOST
T.J. Steinwart, RHP/INF

STAT RAT
Senior RHPs Chad Weller and Mitch Koehler combined to go 16-4 in 2014 and should provide one of the top 1-2 punches in Class 2A. Weller punched out 85 hitters to 26 walks, while registering a 1.33 ERA. Koehler went 10-2 with a 2.33 ERA, with 60 strikeouts against 22 walks.

OUTLOOK
Hall of Fame Coach Dave Greer’s teams love to run, and the Cardinals have been one of the most consistent small-school programs in the state and will look to defend their Class 2A State title this spring. With eight starters and five pitchers returning Greer’s squad should be primed to repeat in 2014. Greer stated that leadership, speed, and pitching will once again be the Cardinals strengths in 2015. Class 2A reigning Player of the Year Cole Hamilton will lead the way, while Greer’s son Cole hit .361 with 3 homers, 28 RBI, and 44 stolen bases in 2014. Catcher Johnny Steinwart hit .330 last season with 22 RBI and is experienced in handling the pitching staff.

BOTTOM LINE
With Greer at the helm, expect the Cardinals to make another run to repeat in 2A. They will likely run into St. Joseph-Ogden again in the supersectionals.

Preseason Countdown

+ Top 50 Preseason Countdown Rankings

+ Updated Illinois 2015 Rankings

+ June Event Schedule

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