Preseason Team Countdown: No. 59 Gibault



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: Gibault
Preseason Rank:
59
2013 Record:
25-11
IHSA Class:
1A
Head Coach:
Andy Skaer
Playoff Run: 1A State Champion
2013 Final Rank: Not Ranked

Returning Starters: 6
Returning Pitchers:
5

TOP PLAYERS
Name, Position, Class (College Commitment)
Zach Neff, LHP, 2014 (Austin Peay)
Wes Degener, SS, 2014 (Lindenwood)
Jordan McFarland, INF, 2016
Augie Ward, INF/RHP, 2014
Ryley Wallin, C/INF, 2014
Austin Beccue, RHP, 2014

X-FACTOR
Zach Neff.
The 6-foot-1 Austin Peay recruit threw a five-hitter with eight strikeouts in the 1A state championship game, so the Hawks know they have a big-game pitcher on their side. Neff finished the season 7-2 with a 2.00 ERA.

STAT RAT
The left-handed hitting Wes Degener is the straw that stirs the offense. As a junior, he batted .479 with 9 doubles, 4 triples, 1 homer, scored 35 runs and drove in 25. And he did more of the same during the state semifinals.

OUTLOOK
Gibault, located in Waterloo, won its first baseball championship by defeating Putnam County 6-2 last June. And there’s no reason why the Hawks can’t do the same again this spring. Most of the biggest contributors return, including their ace pitcher (Neff) and top hitter and defender (Wegener). Also look for sophomore Jordan McFarland to make a significant impact this year. McFarland is a highly ranked 2016 prospect and batted .294 in 34 plate appearances as a freshman last year. McFarland swings an impact bat and should be one of the most heavily recruited sophomores in Illinois. For a school of 242 students, to have three heavily recruited prospects is impressive. Ryley Wallin tallied 12 doubles and 2 homers as a junior last year, and Augie Ward batted .355.

BOTTOM LINE

The Hawks should be the favorite to repeat in Class 1A this season.

Season Countdown

+ Preseason Team Rankings

+ Updated Illinois 2014 Player Rankings

+ June Event Schedule

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