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updated: 7/8/2011 2:01 AM

Letto getting it done for Indians

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  • Warren's Alex Letto takes a swing against St. Viator last spring.

      Warren's Alex Letto takes a swing against St. Viator last spring.
    George LeClaire | Staff Photographer


Mundelein pitching coach Clay Kovac won't need a scouting report on Warren catcher Alex Letto next spring.

Kovac has seen lots of Letto this summer, up close, as the incoming senior has shined for Kovac's Lake County-based 17U Indians Baseball travel team.

Letto was Warren's starting catcher during the spring and earned honorable mention all-conference honors.

"He's hit (several) bombs this summer (between Warren's summer team and travel)," said Kovac, head coach of the Indians, who used to be called the Kenosha Indians. "He's going to be one to watch out for next year. At Mundelein, he's a guy we're going to be pitching around, that's for sure."

Letto, who had 2 homers and was hitting .429 through the Indians' first 14 games, celebrated a birthday Thursday, and that's not the only thing he's had the opportunity to enjoy lately. Letto and several other Lake County products recently helped the Indians go 7-0 in a USSSA tournament in Ann Arbor, Mich. The championship secured a berth for the Indians in the CABA World Series at the end of the month.

"We're hitting the heck out of the ball," Kovac said after the Indians opened a tournament at Bowling Green State University in Ohio on Thursday with an 7-3 win over the Strike Zone Spiders. The Indians followed with a 10-8 victory over Shamrock Baseball at nearby Owens Community College to improve to 14-3.

"We're stealing bases, hitting and running and executing at the plate," Kovac added.

A pair of Chrises -- shortstop Chris Maranto (Mundelein) and pitcher/outfielder Chris Hoffman (Lakes) -- are two other incoming seniors who starred on varsity during the spring for their respective high school teams and now excelling for the Indians. Maranto had 4 homers and was hitting a team-best .444 through 14 games, while Hoffman had a pair of home runs and was impressing on the mound with his fastball.

Maranto, who was an all-conference selection in the spring, has been pitching well (2-0 record, 0.00 ERA in 7 innings), too. Hoffman was named honorable mention all-conference for Lakes.

The Indians have also received strong play from third baseman Mark Lynam (Zion-Benton, .400 batting average). Two of Kovac's pitchers during the high school season, Matt Langlie (save) and Jared Mandel (3-0, 2.58 ERA) have thrown effectively.

Shawn Sundquist (Wauconda) had 3 homers in 14 games, and had notched 2 saves.

The Indians welcomed Anthony Mack (Libertyville) last week. He had been sidelined with a broken leg suffered during the high school season.

"He's been playing second base, stealing bases," Kovac said.

The Indians continue tournament play at Bowling Green and the University of Toledo through the weekend.