Prep Baseball Report

Weekly Diamond Notes

By Drew Locascio and Andy Sroka
Illinois Scouting Staff

Warren’s junior middle infielder Mikey Kocen was dubbed our latest PBR Illinois Player of the Week after one of the best single-game offensive performances in recent memory. IN a 17-8 win over Palatine, Kocen went 4-for-5 with a grand slam, three-run home run, two doubles, nine RBI’s and a stolen base.

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 2019’s first edition of Diamond Notes in the section below. Good weather across the state had each and every squad fit in as many games as possible, making way for a number of great performances, too. Here’s a look at some of the most notable.




The Porters have already played 10 times this spring and they’ve won nine of them. With a start like that, there’s bound to be some big performances along the way, and three players last week stuck out in particular.

Ryan Moerman, SS, Lockport, 2021
Lockport’s sophomore shortstop and top-of-the-order motor has done an excellent job at setting the table for the Porters, as evidenced by his nine runs scored last week. The Illinois commit was 10-for-18 at the dish and was on base in 62 percent of his plate appearances. Three of his 10 hits were doubles and he also drove in a pair of runs on his own.

Jake Kampf, RHP/INF, Lockport, 2020
Kampf is a lanky, uncommitted junior who looked sharp on the mound over the offseason but has been offering the Porters more value at the plate during their 9-1 start to the spring. Last week, Kampf went 6-for-12 with a couple doubles, two RBIs, and two runs scored.

John Weis, INF, Lockport, 2019
Weis has been a staple inside the middle of Lockport’s lineup and has been integral to the team’s fast start. In the last week, Weis, a Saint Xavier commit for golf, went 6-for-12 with a couple of extra-base hits, pair of RBIs, and he earned four walks.


Andrew Osing, LHP, Morton, 2020
Last week, Osing went 2-0 on the mound for the Potters. Osing twirled 8.2 innings, allowed one earned run, struck out five and walked one.

Nick Guerra, INF, Morton, 2019
Maryville commit, currently ranked no. 162 in the Illinois’ 2019 class. Guerra, a left-handed hitter went 5-for-7 (.714 BA) at the plate with five walks, good for an on base percentage of .846. He also scored five runs and had four RBI’s.


Two Vikings earned mentions in this week’s Diamond Notes after stringing together a couple of noteworthy performances that helped their team get off to a fast start in 2019. They’re currently the No. 4-ranked team in the state and played like it all last week, cruising to four wins over Simeon, Maine South, Jones, and Brooks. They added wins over Lincoln-Way Central and Cicero Morton this week, too.

Matt McCormick, C, St. Laurence, 2019
McCormick, a West Virginia commit, is one of the best pure bats in the region and his steady production is what has helped the Vikings leap out to a 6-0 start this spring. He went 5-for-8 last week with two doubles and also drove in four runs, scored four times, and used his patient approach to draw five walks. McCormick is a smart ballplayer and, while he’s not exactly known as a burner on the bases, he still snagged five bases. He also earned a save in his one appearance on the mound last week.

Max Engstrom, LHP, St. Laurence, 2019
Engstrom took the ball in the team’s third game of the spring, last Thursday against Jones Prep. He did the heavy lifting en route to a team shutout, their second in consecutive days. Engstrom tossed 6.1 innings of one-hit ball in which he K’d 11 batters before being relieved with a 5-0 lead intact.


+ Tyler Butler, INF/P, Benton, 2020
Benton junior INF/P Tyler Butler, had a huge week on the mound and at the plate. In four games last week Butler went 7-for-15 with five RBI’s, eight runs scored and three home runs. He also threw a six innings of no hit baseball in an 8-1 win over Salem.

+ Aidan Chapman, RHP, Whitney Young, 2020
The Dolphins are off to a 4-0 start this spring and Chapman has been a fixture along the way – with both the bat and from the rubber. Last week, he went 4-for-7 in Whitney Young’s wins over Juarez and Kennedy and he started that Kennedy game, too. He tallied two doubles and a triple with three RBIs, four runs, and added a couple of walks. In his start against Kennedy, he tossed four hitless, scoreless innings and struck out four batters along the way.

+ Chase Duncan, INF, Richmond-Burton, 2019
The Rockets got off to a 2-1 start this spring and Duncan was at the center of the action in the team’s wins over Rockford Boylan and North Boone. He had three big hits from the nine-hole with a combined five RBIs in the two victories.

Jalen Greer, SS, St. Rita, 2019
Missouri commit and currently ranked No.24 in the Illinois’ 2019 class. St. Rita went 4-0 last week and Greer played a huge role offensively. In the four games Greer went 9-for-15 with a double, two triples and seven RBI’s.

Jake Kmiecik, INF/RHP, Metea Valley, 2019
Kmiecik led off for Metea Valley in the team’s three games last week, helping push them to a 6-0 mark on the young season. From the batter’s box, he went 7-for-12 with three doubles, two triples, and scored eight times. He made an appearance on the mound, too, and struck out six in three innings of work without allowing a run. Kmiecik also stole five bases and tallied five RBIs completing and all-around excellent week for the Heartland CC commit.

Chase VanDerGinst, OF/RHP, Alleman, 2019
Western Illinois commit, currently ranked No. 179 in the Illinois’ 2019 class. From Saturday March 16th until Saturday March 23rd, Alleman went 7-1 and VanDerGinst was the catalyst at the plate. Over the eight games, VanDerGinst went .391 with four doubles, three home runs, 11 RBI’s and five stolen bases. He also threw three innings, struck out four and picked up a save.

+ Anthony Vitale, INF, Ridgewood, 2020
Vitale tallied nine hits last week, good for a .643 average in the team’s four games. Of those nine hits, four went for extra bases – two doubles and two triples. The extra-base knocks helped Vitale drive in a total of nine runs, too.

Nathan Walker, OF/LHP, Carrollton, 2019
Walker has started the season off hot for Carrollton. Last week Walker went 13-for-21 (.619 BA) with 10 runs scored and eight RBI’s. Walker had a double, 2 triples, and a homer to go with 4 stolen bases. He also pitched 7.2 innings, all in relief, giving up one run on one hit while striking out 15. The Hawks are 7-0.

Garrett Weiner, OF, Alton Marquette, 2019
Weiner, a Missouri S&T commit, helped the Explorers go 4-0 last week from the plate. He tallied a total of seven hits, including a pair of home runs, and drove in a whopping nine runs on his own in the team’s 18-3 win over Gillespie. He recorded 13 RBIs in the four games combined, helping Marquette rebound from a three-game losing streak in the week prior.