Top 10 Stories of 2014: No. 10 South Elgin's Improbable Third-Place Run



By Ryan Quigley
Illinois Scouting Director

Over the next few weeks, in addition to highlighting the Top 10 Player Profiles of 2014, we will also highlight the Top Ten Stories in Illinois High School Baseball during the 2014 calendar year.

Today, we’ll take a look at No. 10: Ryan Nutof leads South Elgin to its first State Tournament Appearance. The Storm eventually dropped a 3-2 nail-biter to No. 1 St. Rita in the semi-finals, finishing a banner season 25-11-1 with a third-place trophy in 4A thanks to a 6-5 victory over Prairie Ridge. Let’s take a look at the State Championship preview article, highlighting South Elgin’s season turnaround.

Class 4A State Championship Preview

Ryan NutofThe equally surprising “Saga of the Storm” from South Elgin did not look to be a reality when the Storm sat at 6-7 after a loss to Geneva on April 30. A seven-game Upstate 8 Conference Valley Division winning-streak righted the ship and the Storm enter Friday’s semifinal on the winds of a 10-game winning streak.

The Storm breezed through the Hoffman Estates Regional and Schaumburg Sectional, outscoring their four opponents 39-4. Evanston gave the Storm a battle before falling 7-6 in Monday’s Schaumburg Supersectional.

The Storm is led by their University of Michigan-bound RHP Ryan Nutof. The future Wolverine hurler is 8-0 with a 0.39 ERA. Nutof has 102 punchouts in his 71 innings of work. Nutof adds a little pop at the plate with a .320 average with four bombs and a team-leading  21 RBI. Nutof is expected to toe the rubber against top-ranked St. Rita on Friday.

Junior Antonio Danesi has also plated 21 Storm runs with a .322 average while junior Dane Toppel leads the Storm attack with a .410 average with seven doubles and 17 RBI. 6-foot-3 junior Max Keough is the Storm’s solid No. 2 with a 5-1 record with a 1.66 ERA.

South Elgin Head Coach Jim Kating is in his eighth year at the Cook County school with a 146-115-2 mark. This is the Storm’s first trip to State.

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