Preseason Team Countdown: No. 71 Pleasant Plains



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: Pleasant Plains
Preseason Rank:
71
2013 Record:
28-10
Conference:
Sangamo
IHSA Class:
2A
Head Coach:
Dave Greer
Playoff Run: State Runner-up in 2A
2013 Final Rank: Not Ranked

Returning Starters: 4
Returning Pitchers:
5

TOP PLAYERS

Name, Position, Class (College Commitment)
Chad Weller, RHP, 2015
Dylan Bee, 1B/OF/RHP, 2015
Cole Hamilton, OF/MIF, 2015
T.J. Steinwart, RHP/INF, 2014
Johnny Steinwart, RHP/C, 2016
Cole Greer, MIF, 2016

KEY PLAYER LOST
Ben Sprague, RHP (8-2, 0.88 ERA, 71.1 IP)

STAT RAT
Speedy MIF/OF Cole Hamilton batted .324 with 45 runs, 36 hits, 4 doubles, 2 triples and 12 RBI as a sophomore last year.

OUTLOOK
Under the guidance of Hall of Fame coach Dave Greer, the Cardinals have been one of the most consistent small-school programs in the state. Pleasant Plains made its sixth trip to the state tournament since 1995 last spring. The young Cardinals squad fell to Lisle in the 2A championship game, 10-1. Greer has several pieces returning from last year’s club, but graduated his top two arms - Ben Sprague and Taylor Staff, who combined for 14 wins last year. The Cardinals still have pitching, though, headlined by junior RHP Chad Weller, who went 3-1 with a 1.50 ERA last year. Chad is the younger brother of Kyle Weller, a 2012 graduate who signed with Parkland. T.J Steinwart (3-0) and junior Mitch Koehler (4-2) also have varsity wins under their belts. Look for junior Dylan Bee to make an impact this season. The 6-foot, 190-pound Bee features good speed and power potential at the plate. Junior Cole Hamilton also returns at the top of the lineup that features good team speed.

BOTTOM LINE
With Greer at the helm, expect the Cardinals to make another run in 2A. They will likely run into St. Joseph-Ogden again in the supersectionals. Last year, Pleasant Plains won the matchup, 10-2.

Season Countdown

+ Preseason Team Rankings

+ Updated Illinois 2014 Player Rankings

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