Prep Baseball Report

Preseason Power 25 Countdown: No. 4 Brother Rice

By: Tyler Defibaugh
Area Scout & Content

The Illinois high school baseball season kicks off on March 11, opening day for regular season action under IHSA regulations. Over the next two weeks, leading up to opening day, we’ll be publishing our team previews ahead of the 2024 spring season, touching on programs spanning all state classifications, counting down through the official Prep Baseball Illinois Preseason Power 25 Rankings.

Perennially, we’ve submitted a preseason questionnaire to high school head coaches across the entire state. Their responses have been flooding in and we’re using the detailed insight they’ve provided in our team-by-team preseason analysis.

Our 2024 preseason coverage continues today.

High School: Brother Rice Crusaders
Preseason Rank: No. 4
Head Coach: Sean McBride
Classification: 4A
Conference: Chicago Catholic League Blue
2023 Record (Finish): 26-16 (4A State Runner-Up)
Key Players Lost: Amir Gray (Purdue), Bryce Nevils (Western Kentucky), Cole Van Assen (Purdue), Randall Nauden (Army Football)



No. of Returning Positional Starters: 6
No. of Returning Pitchers: 5
Team Strengths: Well-rounded and depth at every spot.

Chris Daugherty IL 2024 OF Lewis University
Ryan Hartz IL 2024 OF/RHP -
Rudy Perez IL 2024 1B/UTL -
Casey Giemzik IL 2024 RHP Heartland CC
Gavin Triezenberg IL 2025 INF Arizona
Jackson Natanek IL 2025 INF/RHP Illinois State
Aidan Nohava IL 2025 CIF Eastern Michigan
Derrick Holmes IL 2025 UTL -
Lance Moon IL 2025 OF -
Danny Sheehan IL 2025 LHP -
Caden Workman IL 2025 RHP -
Tadgh Callahan IL 2025 RHP -
Josh Torres IL 2025 C -
Conner Stack IL 2025 OF -
Xander Metke IL 2025 1B/RHP -
Nolan Ramoley IL 2026 OF/RHP -
Braydon McKenrick IL 2026 LHP/OF -
Treylan Webster IL 2026 C -
Charlie Rosynek IL 2026 INF -
Colin Campbell IL 2027 INF Louisville
Brady Cunningham IL 2027 INF/RHP -
Gavin Stanislawski IL 2027 INF/RHP -


RHP Casey Giemzik (2024; Heartland CC commit) enters 2024 as the potential ace of the Crusader staff. Last seen at a well-proportioned 6-foot-3, 220-pounds, the No. 116 player in the state had a stellar showing at last summer’s State Games: “[Giemzik] showed a repeatable delivery highlighted by a quick arm. Giemzik sat in the mid-80s throughout, touching 87.1 mph with plenty of carry (2525 RPM). Off his fastball, Giemzik used a mid-to-upper 70s slider as a secondary pitch that spun well (2634 RPM) with short movement.


OF/RHP Nolan Ramoley (2026) enters the spring as a top name to know in the state’s sophomore class. Currently ranked No. 7 in the state and No. 256 nationally, Ramoley will look to be a mainstay at the varsity level this spring in the outfield and potentially in the middle of the order for the Crusaders. He has continued to show some of the more advanced tools in the class as recently as February at the Preseason All-State Underclass event: “There is only one sophomore in the entire Prep Baseball system that owns a 100+ mph max exit velocity, runs faster than a 6.70 60, and has a max throwing velocity above 85 mph: OF Nolan Ramoley (Brother Rice, 2026). Packed with strength at 6-foot-1, 205-pounds, Ramoley’s tools legitimately beam off the charts. He ran a 6.52 in the 60-yard dash with a 1.58 10-yard split and reached a peak run speed of 20.7 mph, both of which were the event’s highest marks and are well above-average metrics for someone of any aged high schooler, let alone a sophomore. To add onto his physical profile as a whole, Ramoley jumped 33.9” in the vertical test and also recorded the second highest weighted grip strength marks with both his right (196 lbs) and left (177 lbs) hand. Turning to the plate, Ramoley blasted the day’s hardest batted ball (104.3 mph) and his average mark of 96.1 mph was the second highest mark of the event. Seven of his 10 batted balls came off his barrel at 95+ mph, including three at 100+ mph, and he averaged an estimated 280 feet per batted output, which nearly came in as the day’s top mark. Ramoley’s Blast Motion swing metrics are all off the charts as well - his peak hand speed (25.8 mph), average hand speed (23.8 mph), peak bat speed (84.5 mph), and average bat speed (81.6 mph) are all extremely advanced. To top it all off, Ramoley’s arm played plenty loud from the outfield, peaking at 92 mph on his firmest throw to the plate.


The Brother Rice Crusaders won 26 games last season en route to a second place finish in the state’s 4A class. Led by Head Coach Sean McBride, who enters his 6th season at the helm, the Crusaders bring back 11 players from that 2023 team. Brother Rice expects to be a well-rounded team entering the spring with a ton of depth throughout the roster.

Starting on the pitching side of things, outside of the previously mentioned Giemzik, the Crusaders will have a pair of juniors in LHP Danny Sheehan (2025) and RHP Caden Workman (2025) that will likely follow in the rotation. A pair of underclassmen could get starts over the course of the season as well in LHP Braydon McKendrick (2026) and RHP/INF Brady Cunningham (2027).

McKendrick is currently ranked No. 34 in the state and was a recent participant at the Preseason All-State: Underclass event where he showed a strong feel for the zone with his fastball playing at 84-85 mph (T86). To go with the fastball, McKendrick had three offspeed offerings with his changeup showing to be the best of the three, landing in the zone 50% of the time at 73-75 mph with arm-side run.

Cunningham is currently ranked No. 15 in the state and was seen as a big winner at the recent Preseason All-State event showing a ton of intrigue as a two-way player. Standing in at a strong 6-foot-2, 205-pounds, Cunningham sat 84-87 with his fastball at the event and also had a max EV of 92 mph during BP.

In the ‘pen look for a trio of two-ways to get innings throughout the season in INF/RHP Jackson Natanek (2025; Illinois State commit), 1B/RHP Xander Metke (2025), and the previously mentioned Ramoley. Seniors LHP Jayson Polickey (2024) and OF/RHP Ryan Hartz (2024; uncommitted) are another two arms to watch coming out of the ‘pen for the Crusaders in 2024.

Natanek was last seen running his fastball up to 87 mph to go with a sharp curveball/slider combo, and could make for a potential closer for Brother Rice in 2024.

The 2024 Crusaders lineup will be a veteran and experienced one, especially at the top with likely leadoff hitter and No. 124 player in the state, OF Chris Daugherty (2024; Lewis commit).

The top of the order will also feature two recent Future Games participants in the previously mentioned Natanek as well as INF Gavin Triezenberg (2025; Arizona commit).

Natanek is currently ranked No. 29 in the state and has shown to be a scrappy defender at both spots up the middle, while having a knack for finding the barrel at the plate.

Triezenberg is currently ranked No. 34 in the state and is another impressive defender up the middle who has the range and soft hands to stick there at the next level. Offensively, he works the middle part of the field with some barrel strength to pair (T94.5 mph EV).

CIF Aidan Nohava (2025; Eastern Michigan commit) is another strong defender on the infield for the Crusaders and has shown to have power from the right side of the dish as well (T97.3 mph EV).

UTL Derrick Holmes (2025) is an impressive uncommitted player for the Crusaders who could factor in at multiple spots throughout the season. Currently ranked No. 60 in the state, Holmes recently showed to have a strong arm from both the infield (T90 mph) and the outfield (T94 mph) at the Joliet Preseason ID.

A couple other upperclassmen to note for Brother Rice heading into the spring is 1B/UTL Rudy Perez (2024; uncommitted) and OF Lance Moon (2025).

Catching duties will likely be split between C Josh Torres (2025) and C Treylan Webster (2026), as both will be key in helping manage the Crusader pitching staff throughout the season.

A pair of freshmen to monitor for Brother Rice this season will be INF Colin Campbell (2027; Louisville commit) and INF/RHP Gavin Stanislawski (2027). Both are highly ranked within their respective grad class at the state and national level, and could potentially see time on varsity as the season progresses.


Brother Rice returns 11 players from a team that finished as State Runner-Up a season ago. Their offense appears to be deep and have depth at multiple spots, headlined by their middle infield duo of Natanek and Triezenberg. Outfield defense shouldn’t be an issue either with Daugherty, Hartz, Ramoley, Moon, and Holmes patrolling the air. Pitching looks deep as well, especially in the bullpen with a pitcher like Natanek to have on the back end of games. Giemzik will be crucial on the starting front after this team lost Cole Van Assen (Purdue) from last year, but there is intrigue in the guys that will follow him in the rotation as well with Sheehan, Workman, McKendrick, and Cunningham. Despite playing in a tough conference, the Crusaders look primed for another deep playoff run in 2024.

Find more information on the 2024 Brother Rice program below:

+ Follow them on X: @BR_Baseball
+ Visit the Prep Baseball Illinois Preseason Power 25 homepage

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