Prep Baseball Report

Preseason Top 25 Team Countdown: No. 8 Brother Rice

By Sean Duncan
Executive Director

Leading up to the start of the high school season, we will count down the Top 25 preseason teams every day as part of our comprehensive season coverage:

Ryan Kutt
             RHP Ryan Kutt

Team: Brother Rice
Preseason Rank:
2015 Record:
Chicago Catholic League
IHSA Class:
Head Coach:
John McCarthy
Playoff Run: Lost in the Regional Championship
2015 Final Rank: 18
Returning Starters: 6
Returning Pitchers:

Name, Position, Class (College Commitment)
Andrew Dyke, OF, 2016 (Illinois)
Mike Massey, SS/2B, 2016 (Illinois)
Ryan Kutt, RHP/1B, 2017 (Illinois)
Ryan King, 2B/SS, 2017 (Michigan State)
Jack Guzek, RHP/3B, 2017 (Indiana State)
Jack Nelligan, RHP, 2016
Dylan Rusniak, OF, 2016 (Wisconsin-Oshkosh)
Andy Lopez, C, 2017
Jake Ridgway, OF, 2017
Brett Bagus, OF, 2017
Joey Preusser, LHP/OF,.2016

Ryan Kutt. The 6-foot-2 junior has been a big-game pitcher since his freshman year. As a sophomore, the Illinois recruit pitched most of Brother Rice’s big games and hit in the middle of the order. Armed with an upper-80s and a wipeout slider at times, Kutt posted a 6-6 record with a 2.20 ERA last spring. In 63.2 innings, he struck out 58 and tossed two complete games. Offensively, he tallied six doubles, two triples, three home runs, 26 RBI while batting .333.

Brett Bagus
. The 5-foot-11, 175-pound junior possesses excellent speed. At the PBR Preseason All-State Showcase in February, he ran an event-best 6.76 laser-timed 60.

RHP Michael Schalasky (Indianapolis)

Senior OF Andrew Dyke is a four-year impact player for the Crusaders. As a junior last spring, the 6-foot, 190-pound Illinois recruit batted .440 with eight doubles, two triples, four home runs, 35 RBI, 37 runs and seven stolen bases. He walked 18 times and finished with a .537 on-base percentage.

The Crusaders have been building toward this season for the last four years, ever since this senior class was freshmen. But Brother Rice is not just comprised of a talented senior class; coach John McCarthy has high-end talent throughout the entire program. Brother Rice features excellent team speed, arguably the state’s best double play combination in senior SS Michael Massey (Illinois) and junior 2B Ryan King (Michigan State), and an offense that should produce a lot of runs. The left-handed hitting Massey is a top-level defender who hit five homers, six doubles and swiped 12 bases last spring. King is a 6.6 runner with a strong arm; as a sophomore he stole 17 bases and batted .369. CF Andrew Dyke and RHP/1B Ryan Kutt provide pop in the middle of the lineup. In all, the Crusaders return six starters from last year’s 26-win club. Kutt headlines a pitching staff that welcomes back three pitchers with experience. Kutt gives Brother Rice a bona fide No. 1 pitcher, one with big-game experience. He will be joined by junior RHP/3B Jack Guzek, an Indiana State recruit who posted a 4-2 record as a sophomore. Senior RHP Jack Nelligan is coming off a solid junior campaign in which he went 3-0 with a 0.82 record. While McCarthy should have several other pitching options, his bullpen is a big question.


The Crusaders have the talent and experience to make a run at the Chicago Catholic Blue title and make a deep postseason run. How far they go, however, will depend on how well some of the more inexperienced pitchers perform.

Make sure to follow @pbrillinois on Twitter for the most up-to-date coverage throughout the season.


Preseason Top 25 Team Countdown Previews 

Updated Illinois 2016 Rankings

Complete Illinois High School Schedules