Weekly Diamond Notes


By Andy Sroka & Drew Locascio
Illinois Staff

In our seventh edition of the season’s Weekly Diamond Notes, a collection of submissions for the PBR Illinois Player of the Week honor, we have a handful of prospects who fell just short of the POTW award. Ultimately, we crowned 1B/OF Adam Snedden, from Princeville HS, with our latest honor. Last week, Snedden hit four home-runs in a double header and was on the front end of an IHSA record, in which Princeville, hit five consecutive home runs. All-in-all, Snedden went 7-for-12 (.583 BA), with four home runs, three doubles, seven RBI’s, eight runs scored and an RBI. Thanks to all of his extra-base hits throughout the week, it resulted in an astronomical 1.833 SLG % and a 2.449 OPS.

There were a handful of impressive performances that were in the mix for the award and deserve recognition. Here’s a look at the submissions from across the state.

WEEKLY DIAMOND NOTES

MARIST

Kendal Ewell, OF, Marist, 2019
Eastern Kentucky commit, currently ranked No. 4 in the Illinois’ 2019 class. Ewell had an impressive week during Marist’s 3-1 week. Ewell went 5-for-12 (.417 BA) with a double, two home runs, six RBI and eight runs scored. The Redhawks are hot at the right time, winners of 10 of their last 11 games.

LIBERTYVILLE

The Wildcats have been playing better baseball as of late and went 4-1 last week. Below were two of their top performers on the week.

Andrew Kim, OF, Libertyville, 2019
Illinois commit, currently ranked No. 48 in the Illinois’ 2019 class. Kim went 6-for-14 (.428 BA) with a double, triple, and two home runs. He also drove in five, scored six runs, walked four times and stole three bases. One of the stolen bases was a straight steal of home.

Ryan Klainos, RHP, Libertyville, 2019
Valparaiso commit, currently ranked No. 117 in the Illinois’ 2019 class. Twirled a no-hitter against conference-foe Lake Forest. In the 1-0 win, Klainos went seven innings, on 106 pitches (63% strikes), did not allow a run, struck out 11 and walked three.

WHEATON NORTH

Andy Nelson, SS/RHP, Wheaton North, 2020
Iowa commit, currently ranked No. 42 in the Illinois’ 2020 class. If not for Snedden’s remarkable week, Nelson would arguably had the strongest case to win the award. In a huge week for Wheaton North, in which they went 7-0, Nelson collected 18 hits. His 18 hits, equated to a .545 BA with two doubles, three triples and two home runs. Nelson also scored 14 runs, knocked in seven and had a .970 SLG %. On top of that Nelson had two starts on the mound, going 1-0 with 10 strikeouts.

NEUQUA VALLEY

Three Neuqua Valley players earn mentions in this week’s Diamond Notes, helping the Wildcats go 4-0 last week.

Nick Taylor, SS, Neuqua Valley, 2019
Taylor operated as his team’s catalyst, tallying nine hits in the top of the lineup, scoring seven runs. Of his nine hits, two were doubles and he also stole three bags to further energize Neuqua on the basepaths.

Justin Blazek, 3B, Neuqua Valley, 2019
The bat primarily driving Taylor around the bases to score was Blazek. He went 7-for-14 last week with three doubles and six RBIs. He also stepped on home five times himself during his team’s undefeated week.

Jake Karaba, RHP, Neuqua Valley, 2019
Karaba, a Lewis commit, got the start against Waubonsie Valley last week and come out of the gates firing, striking out eight of the first nine batters of the ballgame. He finished with 11 punch-outs and limited Waubonsie to just one earned run in six innings of work, sealing the victory.

LAKE ZURICH

A 3-1 week last week, featuring two wins over Mundelein, starred a couple of Lake Zurich stand-outs.

Tyler Snep, C, Lake Zurich, 2019
The Iowa-committed backstop, Snep, has three home runs in his last five games, with five walks and five RBIs, across that stretch. In between intentional walks (he was handed four of those free passes), Snep managed to launch a walk-off homer in the bottom of the seventh against Mundelein on May 7.

Jake Green, RHP, Lake Zurich, 2019
LZ’s senior righty Green shut out the Mustangs for his five innings of work in the same game that required a Snep walk-off. Green allowed just three hits, two walks, and struck out six against Mundelein before handing it over to the bullpen with a 5-0 lead. While the bullpen let it slip, that’s where Snep’s heroics came in.

HARRISBURG

Isaac Crabb, C, Harrisburg, 2020
Crabb is arguably the top uncommitted backstop in the state’s junior class, ranked No. 46 on our 2020 board, and was brought it on both sides of the ball for the Bulldogs last week. Harrisburg won all five of their games, which included Crabb’s no-hitter against Marion on May 8. The Bulldogs won 13-0 and Crabb allowed just one baserunner all game, a walk, and struck out six batters. In the five games at the plate, he went 8-for-10 with three doubles.

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