Updated Team Rankings and Week in Review

By Sean Duncan
Executive Director

We thought the weather couldn’t get any worse. We were wrong. This spring we have seen it all. Now we can add widespread flooding to the list of one of the worst springs in recent memory. Biblical-like rain and frigid temps wiped out a lot of baseball last week, but not all.

A quick recap of the week that was:

+ Lincoln-Way North still holds the top spot in the state after improving to 14-0 last week. North’s success is simple: pitching. As a staff, the Phoenix holds an astounding 0.81 ERA with an equally impressive 0.91 WHIP. North features three frontline arms: senior right-hander Kevin Smith (Creighton recruit), senior right-hander Mike Miller (SIU-Edwardsville) and sophomore left-hander Kyle Ostrowski (Purdue recruit). Miller (3-0), who tossed complete-game shutouts against Lyons and Sandburg, has a 0.00 ERA, having allowed 11 hits in 27 innings. Smith, who’s also hitting .500, has a 4-0 record with a 0.32 ERA. Ostrowski, who’s one of the top sophomores in the state, has a 4-0 mark with a 0.78 ERA.

+ No. 2 Mundelein stayed perfect, improving to 15-0.

+ St. Rita (19-2) continues to roll, holding firm at No. 3. The Mustangs have received stellar pitching from junior LHP Mike Costanzo (6-0), unsigned senior RHP Dominic Fosco (4-1, 3 saves), and senior RHP Pat Henry.

+ No. 4 Rock Island Alleman stays perfect at 15-0. The Pioneers, who have moved up to Class 3A this year, have a big doubleheader Saturday against Galesburg for Western Big 6 supremacy.

+ No. 5 St. Laurence (14-3), which hammered Providence in the Chicago Catholic Blue opener on Saturday, looks extremely formidable. No. 6 Mount Carmel (16-3) is also hot. Three of the top six teams in state hail from the Catholic Blue. Providence, too, moved as high as No. 2, but has since dropped out of the top 25.

+ No. 7 Normal West (13-3) is one of the hottest teams in the state. The Wildcats, who have shown impressive pitching depth, jumped up nine spots in the rankings. Unsigned senior RHP Nick Hieb has provided critical innings for coach Chris Hawkins.

+ No. 8 Naperville Central (9-3) jumps 10 spots and moves into the top 10 again. No. 9 Huntley (13-1) fell from the ranks of unbeaten on Saturday, losing a slugfest to Prairie Ridge on Saturday.

+ No. 10 Sandburg (10-3) dropped five spots but remains in the top 10 after stumbling against Lincoln-Way Central and Joliet West. Sandburg has a big two-game series with No. 25 Lockport on Monday and Wednesday this week.

+ No. 11 Joliet West (10-3) continues to knock off ranked opponents, and climbed 10 spots in the rankings. No. 12 Wheaton North (12-2) also moves up 10 spots. The Falcons have received solid pitching and should battle Naperville Central for DuPage Valley Conference supremacy.

+ Two Class 2A teams – No. 13 Teutopolis (13-2) and No. 14 Harrisburg (18-3) – could challenge any team in the state with its frontline pitching. No player in the state is hotter than Harrisburg RHP/SS Ryne Roper, an Illinois recruit who has a 36 inning scoreless streak.

+ No. 15 Plainfield South (11-2) is one of the season’s biggest surprises. Junior LHP Trevor Henderson has established himself as one of the more projectable prospects in the 2014 class.

+ Speaking of surprises, No. 15 Lincoln-Way East continues to accrue quality victories. On Saturday, LWE upended No. 25 Lockport (9-5), which dropped from No. 6.

+ No. 17 Glenbrook South (11-2) dropped a pitchers’ duel, 1-0, to Central Suburban South rival New Trier last week.

+ No. 19 Downers Grove North (10-2) and No. 20 Downers Grove South (14-3) both climb up the rankings. While DGN has opened many eyes this season – especially after taking two of three from Lyons Township – South is no surprise. The Mustangs have the frontline pitching to be extremely dangerous. If they continue to hit and pick up the baseball, look out.

+ No. 21 Cary-Grove (12-3), No. 23 Carmel (9-2) and No. 24 Libertyville (11-2-1) all move into the top 25. Carmel swept a doubleheader from Joliet Catholic on Saturday, while Libertyville moves back into top 25 after falling out the previous week.

+ Teams that just missed the cut include: Crystal Lake South (10-1), Jacobs (11-3), Lake Park (11-2), Prairie Ridge (14-5), Metamora (14-4), Edwardsville (13-6).

+ Teams who dropped out of the top 25: Providence, Jacobs, Batavia, Metamora, Neuqua Valley.

CLICK HERE to view Top 25 Rankings

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