Prep Baseball Report

Weekly Diamond Notes

By Andy Sroka
Staff Writer

Brother Rice's third baseman, Sam Jones (Indiana commit), was dubbed the the PBR Illinois Player of the Week  after propelling the Crusaders' offense during their trip down to Kentucky where they met a couple of the state's best programs: St. Xavier and Christian Academy. Jones went 7-for-13 with a home run, a triple, two doubles, three RBIs, and he scored four times.

Each week, we’ll acknowledge some of the best performers who fell just short of being named the Player of the Week. Let’s take a look at 2018’s latest edition of Diamond Notes in the section below. Last week’s weather helped teams around the state get plenty of games in, which produced a ton of stand-out performances. Here’s a look at some of the most notable.

Week 4 Performances

Marcus Karl, OF, Staunton, 2018
Staunton managed to get in two games during last week’s lengthy stretch of bitter cold and it was Marcus Karl who helped get them going offensively. He hit a home run and drove in four runs, scored twice, and stole two bases in an all-around effort.

Alec Pruitt, C, Fairfield, 2019
Continued his hot start to the season by going 4-for-7 last week with two walks, a double, five RBIs, and two runs scored. Defensively, he picked off a baserunner at first, too. He’s hitting over .500 this season.

Cade Carter, INF, Fairfield, 2020
Carter is off to another quick start in his sophomore campaign and had a big week last week, joining teammate Pruitt on this list. He was also 4-for-7 with two walks and scored five runs, aided by two steals of third base. He’s hitting over .600 this year.

Jason Volpe, C, Lakes, 2019
The junior catcher was clutch against Grayslake North last week. He went 3-for-3 with two walks and two RBIs in their huge win. He’s ranked No. 23 at his position in Illinois’ junior class.

Frank Napleton, 1B, St. Rita, 2018
The senior first baseman was the offensive catalyst on St. Rita’s trip to Charleston, South Carolina, last week. He was 6-for-15 and drove in five runs in four games on the trip.

Dan Brannigan, RHP, St. Rita, 2019
Brannigan was used as an emergency starter for the Mustangs during their South Carolina trip and he came in clutch during his team’s 3-2 win over James River (VA). He pitched six innings and allowed one run on two hits, scattered five walks, and struck out a pair.

Riley Gowens, RHP, Libertyville, 2018
Gowens was his usual dominant self in his one start last week against Warren. He pitched six shutout innings and allowed just three hits, two walks, and struck out nine. Gowens is an Illinois commit and is ranked No. 22 in the Illinois’ 2018 class.

Tim Jean, 3B, Libertyville, 2018
Gowens’ teammate Jean (Heartland CC) has been the biggest force within Libertyville’s lineup all season long so far. He kept it up in the Wildcats’ one game last week, going 2-for-3 with a homer, double, and three more RBIs.

Nathan Walker, OF, Carrollton, 2019
The junior outfielder from southwest Illinois had a huge day in a doubleheader sweep over Pleasant Hill. He hit for the cycle in the first game and went 5-for-5 on the day, with three walks, and drove in nine runs.

John Colucci, RHP, Hinsdale South, 2018
The senior and four-year varsity starter pitched a complete game shutout over Willbrook last Monday; he allowed just five hits, one walk, and struck out six in seven innings of work. The win allowed the Hornets to get back to .500 at the time at 4-4.