Preseason Team Countdown: No. 6 Libertyville



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: Libertyville
Preseason Rank:
6
2013 Record:
28-12-1
Conference:
North Suburban Lake
IHSA Class:
4A
Head Coach:
Jim Schurr
Playoff Run: 4A state runner-up
2013 Final Rank: 3

Returning Starters: 7
Returning Pitchers:
8

TOP PLAYERS

Evan Skoug, C, 2014 (Texas Christian)
Jeff Barton, RHP, 2014
Jimmy Govern, SS, 2015
Mitch Townsend, LHP, 2015
Conor Simpson, OF, 2014
Matt Reed, OF/P, 2014
Andrew Mack, RHP, 2014 (Grinnell)
Noah Greenberg, INF, 2014 (Concordia, WI)
Nick Rossetti, OF, 2015

X-FACTOR
Evan Skoug.
The left-handed hitting Skoug powered Libertyville to a surprising runner-up finish in Class 4A. A top-level defensive catcher, few challenged Skoug’s arm, but he regularly back-picked runners. While his defense was exemplary, it was the powerful left-handed bat that landed the 5-foot-11, 205-pounder on the first-team All-State team in a crowded catching class. Skoug finished with 8 homers, 13 doubles, 3 triples, 45 RBI and 51 hits. He also was walked 27 times and had a .545 on-base percentage. And on the state’s biggest stage, Skoug showed his immense abilities by hammering a grand slam that left Silver Cross Field in right field. The blast propelled Libertyville into the championship game. For the tournament, Skoug went 3-for-5 with four RBI. Skoug continued his torrid hitting on the national stage, as well, and is now considered one of the premier left-handed hitters in the country.

KEY PLAYER LOST
Matt Vogt, 1B/C (Minnesota-Duluth)

STAT RAT
The 6-foot-4, 190-pound Jeff Barton is coming off a stellar junior campaign in which he posted an 8-2 record with a 2.45 ERA. He notched 45 strikeouts and walked 9.

OUTLOOK
The Wildcats snuck up on many last season en route to finishing runner-up in Class 4A, losing a 2-1 heartbreaker to Mount Carmel in the championship game. Libertyville will not sneak up on anyone this season. Coach Jim Schurr welcomes back seven starters and eight pitchers from last year’s club that finished the season ranked No. 3 in the state. And all the major contributors are back, led by Skoug. SS Jimmy Govern is coming off a strong sophomore campaign in which he batted .374 with 10 doubles and 20 RBI while playing a stellar defensive shortstop. Conor Simpson and Matt Reed are both highly athletic outfielders with good speed. Libertyville features plenty of pitching depth, headlined by Barton and junior Mitch Townsend

BOTTOM LINE
The Wildcats claimed the school’s second state trophy in school history last year. They have the talent, depth and experience to make another trip to Joliet come June.

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