Prep Baseball Report

Updated Illinois Power 25 Rankings

By: Diego Solares
Area Scout, Illinois & Missouri

Today marks the ninth Power 25 update of the season after yet another busy week of games. 

There’s a new face at the second spot on our rankings, as Lockport ascends two ticks to their highest ranking of the season after putting the finishing touches on a 31-win year with five straight wins. 

Lincoln-Way East vaults into the top-10 for the first time in a few weeks, while Normal U-High and Triad reach their highest respective rankings since the preseason. 

Check out the rest of the movement in the Power 25 below.


+ No. 2 Lockport (31-3) - Rising up to their highest ranking this season, the Porters sit at No. 2 overall after tallying five more wins last week, including the DISW title. Lockport swept through Bolingbrook to start things off, and took down Lyons, St. Laurence, and Sandburg en route to the tournament’s crown. They’ve won 16 straight games and haven’t lost since April 28th, proving capable of winning games in all different sorts of ways in that span. 1B Victor Izquierdo (2022; Navy), 3B Anthony Martinez (2023) and OF/RHP Lucas Pajeau (2022; Illinois-Springfield) anchor the middle of this lineup, while RHP C.J. Byrdak (2022; Iowa Central CC) and RHP David Zaragoza (2022; South Suburban JC) lead the way on the mound. The Porters are playing their best baseball at the right time and have cemented themselves atop the 4A postseason bracket. 

+ No. 9 Lincoln-Way East (22-6) - The Griffins climb into the top 10 for the second time this season after a 3-1 stretch saw them claim their first three-peat of the SWSC conference title for the first time in school history. They rebounded nicely after an early 4-3 loss to Homewood-Flossmoor, defeating the Vikings 9-6 the following day after grabbing a late lead. Their offense exploded for 23 runs on 20 hits in Friday’s win over Neuqua Valley and won a tight-knit contest against Yorkville, a team previously in the top 10 of our Power 25. Lincoln-Way East has firepower, on both sides of the ball, and they’re starting to put it all together. They’ve won 10 of their last 11 games and don’t appear to be slowing down anytime soon with the playoffs rapidly approaching. Winning a regional for Lincoln-Way East means defeating Joliet Central in round one and then up-ending the winner of Providence Catholic and Thornton Fractional. 

+ No. 13 Normal University (29-6) - After sliding a bit due to an early season rough patch, the Pioneers are back at their highest ranking since the preseason, climbing three spots to 13th overall. They pummeled Metamora and La-Salle Peru to start and end the week, respectively, and defeated Moline and Morton sandwiched between. Though U-High’s pitching staff was touted highly by our evaluators early in the year, it’s been the Pioneers’ offense that’s shined bright as of late. They scored 47 runs in their four games last week, all of which were wins, and have put up 10 or more runs in 19 of their 35 games this spring. That obviously bodes well for U-High’s championship aspirations, as that level of run support for RHP Jake Swartz (2022; Illinois), RHP Matt Sauser (2022; Iowa), RHP Jack Bach (2022; Central Michigan), and LHP Chase Adams (2022; Southern Miss) makes the Pioneers a legitimate threat at the 3A level. 

+ No. 16 Triad (29-5) - The Knights rise three spots after winning all three of their games last week, slotting comfortably in at 16th on our board. Triad is a team that’s been hovering around Power 25 contention for a large chunk of the spring, breaking into the rankings in late April and earning their highest slotting of the season thus far in this update. They outscored their opponents 16-4 in that trio of wins, and have won 11 of their last 12 games. Led by OF/LHP Connor Bain (2022; Drury), C Jake Radosevich (2022; Lewis & Clark CC), RHP/INF Brady Coon (2024), and RHP Austin Brown (2023), Triad comfortably took home the Mississippi Valley crown and will look to make a deep push into the 3A IHSA playoffs. 

+ No. 18 South Elgin (24-3) - After landing on the Power 25 for the first time this spring last week, the Storm rose two spots after winning all three of their games, quietly improving to 24-3 on the year. They swept through a two-game set with Glenbard East and finished off a season sweep of Fenton with a 16-0 win. The Storm do have some firepower to play with in their senior class, as C Jackson Bessette (2022; Illinois-Chicago) and OF Ben Karpowicz (2022; Illinois State) are both high-end prospects in the state’s 2022 class. South Elgin has been amongst the hottest teams at the 4A level, as the Storm have won 12 straight games. 


+ No. 11 Yorkville (28-6) - A .500 week has the Foxes falling out of the top-10 in this update after spending the previous two updates at ninth overall. They won’t drop too low, however, as Yorkville now sits at 11th overall and are certainly still a talented ball club in our eyes. They nearly swept conference rival Oswego, taking both of their games rather convincingly (6-0 and 11-1) and falling a run short of a third victory. They failed to mount a late rally in Saturday’s non-conference 9-8 loss to Lincoln-Way East, dropping them to an even 2-2 record on the week. Nonetheless, the Foxes were essentially two runs away from an undefeated four-game stretch that likely results in a rise rather than a slide. They’re gearing up for a deep playoff push and certainly have a roster capable of doing so. Yorkville is the top seed in their regional and will host, facing the winner of Bolingbrook and East Aurora on Wednesday. 

+ No. 14 Belleville East (25-7) - It’s been a bit of a slide for Belleville East since they inched everso closely to the state’s top spot, dropping to 10th last week and now sitting at 14th in this update. The Lancers only played two games last week, splitting with cross-town rival Belleville West in two tight-knit contests. Even with the slide, the Lancers are more than geared up from a talent perspective to make some noise at the 4A level. 3B Joseph Mendiola (2023) is pacing this offense with a ridiculous .485/.545/.727 slash line and several others are chipping in, such as OF/LHP Kannon Walker (2022; Lake Land JC), MIF Micah Georgian (2022), and C Patrick Mendiola (2023). Perhaps their biggest strength lies on the mound, where the Lancers have as deep of a rotation as anyone in the state. Four of their arms have logged 35+ innings, with three of them posting ERAs below the 2.50 mark. RHP Dylan Mannino (2023; Western Kentucky) and RHP Owen Kelly (2023) have teamed up with Walker to make a dynamic duo atop this pitching staff. Don’t forget about RHP Zander Mueth (2023; Ole Miss), who’s the state’s top-ranked junior prospect and is steadily working his innings count up at the right time. The Lancers will be challenged in the O’Fallon regional, but they’re a team perfectly capable of stepping up to the task. 

+ No. 19 Naperville Central (20-6) - The Redhawks slide is more a result of other teams ascending, as they only played one game last week. They did drop that contest, but the success that Naperville Central had this season is certainly impressive. They’re 20-game winners and earned a share of the DuPage Valley conference title in the process. With the junior duo of C Colin Barczi (2023; Vanderbilt) and Charalambos Nicoloudes (2023; Illinois-Chicago) heading the charge, the Redhawks will definitely look to make some noise early on in playoff action. 

+ No. 22 St. Charles East (20-6-1) - The Saints have been steadily descending over the last few weeks, reaching as high as sixth on our rankings in that span and now sitting at 22nd overall. They did have a positive week, finishing off a season sweep of conference foe Wheaton North before dropping a game to Benet Academy last Wednesday. Even with their recent slide, St. Charles East does have some firepower on this roster. RHP Nathan Hayes (2022; North Dakota State football) has strung together a handful of quality starts in a row and both INF Jake Zitella (2023; Illinois) and OF Clay Jensen (2023) are two loud bats nestled in the middle of this order. The Saints own the top seed in their respective regional, drawing the winner of Wheaton Warrenville South and West Chicago on Wednesday for their first playoff game. 


+ No. 21 Hononegah (20-3) - Hononegah jumps back into the Power 25 after a brief stretch off it, slotting into the same spot they debuted at, 21st overall. The Indians had a loud all-around team showing at the plate, scoring 43 runs in a series sweep of Jefferson and defeating Guilford 7-3 as well. They repeated as Northern Illinois conference champs this past week, something that’s become a bit of the norm for the Indians over the past few seasons, and will host the winner of Rockford Auburn and Rockford East on Wednesday for playoff action. 

+ No. 24 Willowbrook (25-4) - Debuting on the Power 25 for the first time are the Warriors, who have been playing quality baseball throughout the season. Winners of 15 straight games at one point, Willowbrook finished the regular season on a high note by sweeping all four of their games last week. They cruised to a three-game sweep of Proviso East, outscoring them 49-to-1, and defeated No. 8 Lincoln-Way West 9-6 on Friday to cap the week off. Their success earned them the second seed in the South Elgin sectional and they’ll face Schaumburg in round one of the IHSA playoffs. 

+ No. 25 Riverside-Brookfield (27-4) - Behind the historic season that 3B/RHP Owen Murphy (2022; Notre Dame) is having, the Bulldogs have been one of the state’s most successful 4A programs in 2022. They’ve won 27 games in total and held an 18-game win streak at one point this season. They’re in the midst of six straight victories right now, including five wins last week to land them on the Power 25 for the first time. A 9-3 win over De La Salle and 15-2 routing of Westmont got them on the right track early, with convincing wins over Saint Ignatius and Richards to follow - capping the week off with a 5-3 win over Oak Lawn. They’ll face Nazareth Academy in a non-conference game on Monday before regional play begins this week. The Bulldogs square off against Argo on Wednesday and will play the winner of Oak Park-River Forest and Whitney Young on Saturday for a shot at the regional championship if they advance. 


+ Breese Central (29-5)
+ Stevenson (25-9)
+ McHenry (24-8)


+ Champaign Central (29-6)
+ Nazareth (25-7)
+ Mascoutah (25-6)
+ Quincy Notre Dame (29-2)
+ Springfield (26-8)
+ Grayslake Central (27-7)
+ Dixon (22-2)
+ Sycamore (24-6)
+ Mahomet-Seymour (23-5)


RECORD (5/16) 
1 1 Saint Viator
3A 32-1
2 4
4A 31-3
3 2
Brother Rice
4A 30-5
4 3
4A 28-4
5 5
4A 23-3
6 6
4A 27-4
7 7
St. Laurence
3A 26-8
8 8 Lincoln-Way West
4A 21-5-1
9 12
Lincoln-Way East
4A 22-6
10 11
4A 25-6

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