Jake Bigos Crystal Lake South
This junior leadoff man fired up the CL South scoring machine by hitting .403 (48-for-119) with an on-base percentage of .517. He drew 24 walks in 119 plate appearances, was hit by 5 pitches, stole 14 bases in 18 attempts and scored a team-high 37 runs, the second highest total area wide. "He did a great job getting on base and was a great table setter," Crystal Lake South coach Brian Bogda said. "He's just a tremendous kid who works real hard and goes out and gives it his all out there." The left fielder hit 6 doubles, 3 triples, a home run and drove in 15 runs.
Zac Camacho Jacobs
The area's leading closer converted 6 of 7 save opportunities to help the Golden Eagles win 19 games and make an appearance in a regional title game. He allowed only 3 earned runs in 28 innings pitched, all in a spot start on short notice against Cary-Grove. Nevertheless, he finished the season with a 0.96 ERA. Camacho struck out 27 and walked 6. "We wanted to have someone at the end of the game who is ice cold, and Zac has the same even keel on the mound whether the bases or empty or loaded with one out," Jacobs coach Jamie Murray said. "He was never afraid to pitch to contact and trust his defense." Camacho also played steady third base when not pitching, and he hit .302 (20-for-86) with 6 doubles, a triple, 4 home runs and 19 RBI.
Richie Gorski Streamwood
A two-time all-area pick, the reputation of this hard-hitting University of Illinois recruit preceded him due to a .405 batting average in 2011. Because opposing pitchers pitched around him early in the season, Gorski was moved to the leadoff spot to provide him with more opportunities. Despite the opponent's best efforts, the senior shortstop still hit .383 (46-for-120) with 8 doubles, an area-best 5 triples, a home run and 16 RBI. He got on base at a .432 clip and slugged .558. "He was our most consistent player all season all-around," Streamwood coach Steve Diversey said. "He was a leader on the field and off. He stepped up on the mound for us after we lost a lot from last year." Gorski's 2-4 pitching record belied his team-best ERA of 1.38 in 45 innings. He struck out 25, walked 5 and did not allow a home run.
Ray Hunnicutt Burlington Central
Also an all-area basketball selection, this fleet-footed center fielder was a terror on the basepaths. Hunnicutt drew 38 walks in 145 plate appearances and hit .308 (32-for-104) to forge a .510 on-base percentage. The area stolen base king swiped 34 bags in 34 attempts and scored a team-best 41 runs. Hunnicutt was caught stealing just once in three varsity seasons, against Centralia in the 2011 season opener. "He's a fantastic defensive outfielder, and he did a great job at the plate this year," Burlington Central coach Kyle Nelson said. "He set a school record for walks, and that was something for a guy who can steal bases." Hunnicutt also hit 5 doubles, a triple, 3 home runs and drove in 19. He was drafted by the Baltimore Orioles in the 40th round of the MLB First-Year Player draft on Wednesday.
Riley Jensen Burlington Central
This senior stepped into the void left by two graduated starting pitchers and became the ace for Central's first sectional championship team. Jensen finished the season 10-2 with 69 strikeouts, 20 walks, a 1.28 ERA and 1.06 WHIP in 71 innings. He went 2-0 in the postseason, including a 4-2, complete-game victory over Freeport in a Class 3A sectional title game. "He just did a fantastic job of really getting better on the mound, at the plate and in the field," Burlington Central coach Kyle Nelson said. "We needed him to step up big this year, and he did that by filing a huge hole for us at the top of the rotation." At the plate, Jensen hit .273 (27-for-99) doubled twice, drove in 11 and scored 16 runs.
Ryan Kaveney Cary-Grove
Cary-Grove's senior ace went 9-2 with a 1.95 ERA and 1.10 WHIP in 71 innings. He struck out 75 and walked 20 and was also the only pitcher in the area to win a head-to-head matchup against Crystal Lake South ace Jordan Van Dyck. He pitched the Trojans to wins over Fremd, Lockport, Carmel and Jacobs, among others. "If we were playing a big game, I'd want Kaveney pitching," Cary-Grove coach Don Sutherland said. "He pitched so well. He's really not an overpowering lefty that throws it by you. He has a plan and he executes his plan. He's really a very intelligent pitcher, which is why he won so many games."
Jacob Koehring St. Edward
This junior was a consistent performer with his bat and his arm. On the mound, he went 7-3 with 62 strikeouts, 20 walks and a 1.25 ERA in 67 innings. Koehring saved his best for last, a 3-2, complete-game victory over Westminster Christian in a Class 2A regional semifinal. At the plate, he hit .389 (42-for-108) with 11 doubles, 2 triples, 2 home runs and slugged .583. He drove in 25 runs and scored 29 times. "Jacob had an awesome year both off and on the mound," St. Edward coach Tim Dovichi said. "He really battled against the tougher conference teams. He was like night and day compared to last year because he really developed that off-season work ethic and came back stronger."
Tighe Koehring St. Edward
This sophomore returned for his second varsity baseball campaign despite suffering a torn ACL late in the football season. He rehabbed his way back into the lineup on time and went on to lead the area with 18 doubles in 35 games, setting a new school record. He led the Green Wave in batting average (. 396, 44-for-111) and RBI (30) and homered once. "He didn't hit over .250 as a freshman, so it was a great improvement in one year," St. Edward coach Tim Dovichi said. "For a guy to come off an ACL tear and hit .398, you can't ask more from a player than to do that." As a catcher, Koehring gunned out 13 of 24 baserunners attempting to steal.
Colin Lyman Huntley
A two-time all-area pick already committed to Louisville, this junior was a run-producer in the leadoff spot for the Red Raiders. He led Huntley in hitting (. 431, 47-for-109), doubles (13), triples (4), runs (29), on-base (. 516) and slugging (. 679). The speedy center fielder also hit 2 home runs, drove in 17, drew 12 walks and stole a team-high 28 bases in 30 attempts. "The new bats did not faze him," Huntley coach Andy Jakubowski said. "Colin was still able to hit for power, he got on base and he scored 50 percent of the time. Fortunately, we have him for one more year."
Zach Marszal Cary-Grove
Also an all-area football player, this junior enjoyed a productive season on the mound and at the plate. The right-hander went 6-2 with an ERA of 2.32 in 48 innings. He struck out 33, walked 14 and pitched 4 straight complete games between April 19 and May 10. "He really, really pitched well all season long," Cary-Grove coach Don Sutherland said. "He was surprisingly good. He pitched well and he batted well for us. That's pretty good." Marszal hit .279 (29-for-104) with 7 doubles and 15 RBI and scored 21 runs.
Max Meitzler Crystal Lake South
This junior first baseman supplied the power for the best hitting lineup in the area. He hit .374 (43-for-115) and led the Gators in doubles (14), home runs (6), RBI (39), total bases (75) and slugging (. 652). His RBI total set a single-season school record. Meitzler also drew 9 walks and scored 19 runs for a team that finished tied for its first title in the Fox Valley Conference since 1996 and won its first regional title since 2008. "He's a second-year starter and we're looking forward to having him back next year in the middle of our lineup," CL South coach Brian Bogda said. "He defied the new BBCOR bats by hitting for power and driving in the runners on ahead of him."
Colin Nowak Bartlett
This junior went 7-2 by limiting opponents to 17 earned runs in 68 innings (2.55 ERA). He finished the season with 59 strikeouts and 20 walks. Nowak was at his best in regional play. He held Streamwood to 2 runs in the play-in game victory, and he went the distance against Lake Park in a 5-3 regional title-game win, the Hawks' first in a decade. "Any time Colin took the mound we had a chance to win," Bartlett coach Chris Pemberton said. "He was dominant at times. He got bigger physically and improved over the summer so much it was like he was a third-year varsity player." At the plate, Nowak hit .303 (30-for-99) with 6 doubles, 5 home runs and a team-best 24 RBI.
David Palmer South Elgin
This junior was a leading pitcher and hitter for a team that won a Class 4A regional title and reached a sectional title-game for the first time. The right-hander went 6-3 with 47 strikeouts, 23 walks and a 3.48 ERA in 52 innings. At the plate, Palmer led the Storm in batting average (. 385, 35-for-91) and tied for the team lead in doubles (10). He also tripled once, drove in 14 runs and scored 14. "I was very pleasantly surprised at David's hitting," South Elgin coach Jim Kating said. "He hit better than I thought he would after working hard to improve. It's nice to have him back next year. He's a competitor. He wants the ball, and that's the kind of pitcher you want to play behind."
Ryan Perez Westminster Christian
A three-time all-area pick, this ambidextrous senior was limited to pitching left-handed only while his right arm healed from Tommy John surgery. Still, he led the area in strikeouts (142) and issued only 17 walks. He finished 7-1 with a 0.92 ERA and 0.55 WHIP in 68 innings. "He was more mature this year," Westminster Christian coach Jeff Moeller said. "He called his own pitches the second half of the season. He knows what to throw in what situation. He's a very good competitor." Also a solid hitter, Perez batted .337 (28-for-96), slugged .554, led the Warriors in doubles (9) and triples (3) and tied for the team lead in RBI (24). He is committed to Judson University.
Jake Perkins Huntley
This senior left-hander went 4-1 and converted 5 of 5 save opportunities in 16 appearances for a team that won 21 games. Perkins led the Red Raiders in ERA (1.66) and strikeouts (76). He issued only 13 walks and limited opponents to 28 hits in 46 innings, finishing with a stellar 0.88 WHIP. He notched saves against DeKalb, Crystal Lake Central, Hampshire, Cary-Grove and Glenbard West. "Jake really elevated his game on the mound," Huntley coach Andy Jakubowski said. "Whether starting or coming into a game in a tight situation, he was a person hitters did not want to see. He grew by leaps and bounds this season." Perkins will pitch next year for Elgin Community College.
Zach Ranney Burlington Central
This senior right-hander was a pitching and hitting force for a team that shared the Big Northern East title and won its first Class 3A sectional championship. Ranney finished 9-2 with 58 strikeouts, 19 walks and a 2.81 ERA in 74 innings. He went 2-0 in the postseason, including a 4-3, complete-game victory over Sycamore in the regional title game and an 8-3 complete-game win over Prairie Ridge in a sectional semifinal. "Zach had been a good pitcher for us for two years, and this season he really embraced that role of a top starter," Burlington Central coach Kyle Nelson said. "He did a nice job defensively at shortstop, but offensively is where he made his biggest strides. He grew into his body and was strong enough to hit with his short swing this year." Ranney hit .412 (52-for-126) with 9 doubles, 2 triples, 2 home runs, 23 RBI, and he reached base at a .514 clip. He stole 13 bases in 16 attempts and scored 36 runs.
Jake Romano Dundee-Crown
A two-time all-area pick, Romano finished his fourth varsity season as the area batting champion. This Miami (Ohio) recruit hit to all fields and finished his senior season with a .511 average (46-for-96). He smacked 7 doubles, 3 triples, a home run and drove in 21. A talented center fielder, he used his speed to run down balls hit to gaps, and baserunners feared his strong, accurate throwing arm. "It was just amazing to watch him play this season," former Dundee-Crown coach Tommy Parisi said. "He's an amazing athlete, a talented baseball player and a great individual."
Robert Sadowski Bartlett
This senior showed his potential on April 19, when he notched a complete game victory against then top-ranked Neuqua Valley. However, he saved his best pitching for the end. Sadowski will be remembered for shutting out hard-hitting No. 1 sectional seed Geneva, 2-0, to lead No. 16 Bartlett to one of the postseason's biggest upsets. Overall, he finished 3-3 with a 2.73 ERA, 65 strikeouts and 23 walks in 66 innings. "He had a few rough outings early, but he really came on and shut people down," Bartlett coach Chris Pemberton said. "And he was great against Geneva."
Tyler Salm Crystal Lake South
This senior second baseman finished second in the area batting race with an average of .459 (56-for-122). Not only did his 56 hits lead the Gators, the total broke the previous single-season school record previously held by Billy Wright. "I knew he was a good contact guy, but I didn't know he could hit like that," CL South coach Brian Bogda said. "He took the pitches he was given and went with it the other way, and he pulled the ball when he could pull it. He had a great ability to adjust." Salm also hit 8 doubles, drew 9 walks, drove in 19 runs, stole 9 bases and scored 31 runs.
Tanner Scott Burlington Central
A three-time all-area pick, this senior slugger graduates as the area's all-time home run king with 42 in four varsity seasons, a total that places him third on the state's all-time list. Despite the mandated switch to the less potent BBCOR bats, Scott hit .431 (53-for-123) with a career-best 13 home runs and drove in 48. He smashed 15 doubles, a triple and finished with an unwieldy on-base-plus-slugging (OPS) of 1.415. "He hit from Day 1 he stepped on campus, but as a freshman you had no idea he'd end up one of the all-time leaders in state history," Burlington Central coach Kyle Nelson said. "He can just flat out hit." Scott drew 28 walks in 153 plate appearances, stole 6 bases in 7 attempts and scored 28 runs. The catcher committed only 2 errors.
Mark Self Jacobs
This senior was a driving force at the plate for the Golden Eagles. He hit .333 (38-for-117) with 5 doubles and a team-best 5 home runs. He also drove in 20 runs and scored 16 times. Self struck out only 14 times in 130 plate appearances. His leadoff home run in a regional semifinal helped Jacobs charge back from a 3-0 deficit to beat Huntley, a team Jacobs defeated twice in a season for the first time. "Mark really came out of his shell as a senior and became a leader for us," Jacobs coach Jamie Murray said. "He was voted team MVP by his teammates, which he earned through his hard work. His teammates and coaches have a lot of respect for him."
Gage Teschner Elgin
Elgin's third-year varsity catcher was a leader on the field and at the plate for a team that improved by 8 victories over 2011. Teschner led the Maroons in batting average (. 383), hits (46), RBI (21), stolen bases (9) and on-base percentage (. 436). He also hit 4 doubles and a triple. "He was very consistent for us from the get-go and just had a solid year," Elgin coach David Foerster said. "We asked a ton of him. He caught pretty much every inning. Our offense started with him. I think his best baseball is still ahead of him."
Jordan Van Dyck Crystal Lake South
The honorary captain of the Daily Herald all-area team turned an off-season of preparation into a spring success story. On the mound, the right-hander led the area with 10 wins against just 2 losses. Van Dyck struck out 78, walked 18 and allowed 14 earned runs in 68 innings (1.43 ERA). The senior was also a force with his bat. He hit .436 (44-for-101) with 4 doubles, 2 triples and a home run. A patient hitter, he drew 30 walks, scored 30 runs and drove in 19 more. "I hope every player in our program uses Jordan as an example of how to get better," CL South coach Brian Bogda said. "He made himself better and had a great year. He was a tremendous leader for us." Van Dyck is committed to North Central College in Naperville.
Daniel Vilardo Cary-Grove
This junior hit .381 (43-for-113) in his second varsity season. The left fielder led the Trojans in hits, slugging (. 531) and tied for the team lead in RBI (21). He hit 6 doubles, a triple, 3 home runs and scored 24 runs. In the outfield, he made 1 error in 34 total chances (. 971). "Daniel had a nice offensive year and a good defensive year in left field for us," Cary-Grove coach Don Sutherland said. "He runs the 60 in 6.6 seconds, and he hit fourth for us all year. He got some great experience."
Andrew Weedman South Elgin
An off-season of preparation turned this hitter into a difference maker for a squad that reached a sectional title game. The senior batted .366 (30-for-82), led his team in home runs (6) and slugging (. 732), tied for the team lead in doubles (10), tripled once, drove in 25 and scored 18 runs. His clutch 2-run homer in the sixth inning of the sectional title game gave South Elgin an 11-9 lead. The right fielder's strong throwing arm kept runners from advancing, and he made only 2 errors in 120 chances (. 983). "Andrew went out this past winter and worked and dedicated himself after football season by putting on 10 to 15 pounds," South Elgin coach Jim Kating said. "He worked on his craft and obviously benefitted from it. In the last few weeks he came up with huge hits, huge RBIs and was throwing kids out at the plate. He was fantastic."
Dom Winiecki Crystal Lake South
A repeat all-area selection, this third-year varsity performer finished second in program history in career hits and first in total games played. The senior hit .351 (39-for-111) with 6 doubles, 2 home runs and 33 RBI. The talented catcher with great speed and ran the bases himself and swiped 16 bags in 19 attempts. Winiecki drew 21 walks and scored 26 runs. Behind the plate, he allowed only 4 passed balls in 244 innings and caught a pitching staff that posted an area-low ERA of 2.18. "We'll really miss Dom," CL South coach Brian Bogda said. "I'm not sure you can really replace a kid like him. He was just a steady player for us." Winiecki will play next year at McHenry County College.
2012 All-area roster
Player School Pos. Yr.
Jake Bigos Crystal Lake South LF Jr.
Zac Camacho Jacobs P/3B Sr.
Richie Gorski Streamwood P/SS Sr.
Ray Hunnicutt Burlington Central CF Sr.
Riley Jensen Burlington Central P/2B Sr.
Ryan Kaveney Cary-Grove P Sr.
Jacob Koehring St. Edward P Jr.
Tighe Koehring St. Edward C So.
Colin Lyman Huntley CF Jr.
Zach Marszal Cary-Grove P/OF Jr.
Max Meitzler Crystal Lake South 1B Jr.
Colin Nowak Bartlett P/OF Jr.
David Palmer South Elgin P/3B Jr.
Ryan Perez Westminster Christian P/SS Sr.
Jake Perkins Huntley P Sr.
Zach Ranney Burlington Central P/SS Sr.
Jake Romano Dundee-Crown CF Sr.
Robert Sadowski Bartlett P/IF Sr.
Tyler Salm Crystal Lake South 2B Sr.
Tanner Scott Burlington Central C Sr.
Mark Self Jacobs 1B Sr.
Gage Teschner Elgin C Sr.
*Jordan Van Dyck Crystal Lake South P/SS Sr.
Daniel Vilardo Cary-Grove LF Jr.
Andrew Weedman South Elgin RF Sr.
Dom Winiecki Crystal Lake South C Sr.
* -- Honorary captain
Bartlett -- Dan Gallanis (P/IF, Sr.), Ryan Roszkowiak (C, Sr.)
Burlington Central -- Blake Alexander (IF, Jr.), Michael Scott (P, Jr.)
Cary-Grove -- Matt Byrne (SS, Sr.)
Crystal Lake South -- Will Ahsmann (OF, Sr.), Jake Byron (3B, Sr.), Zack Geib (P, Sr.), Tyler Hall (P, Jr.)
Dundee-Crown -- Zach Girard (So.)
Elgin -- Eric Daly (P, Sr.), Alex Doty (P/Sr.)
Jacobs -- Evan Blunk (P, Jr.), Connor Conzelman (OF, Jr.), Kenny Finn (SS, Jr.)
Hampshire -- Luke Wians (P/CF, Sr.)
Huntley -- Jordan Chiupek (SS, Sr.), Bryan Doherty (P, Sr.), Bryce Only (3B, Jr.), Mark Skonieczny (RF, So.)
Larkin -- Austin Royse (P, Sr.), Brayden Royse (P/1B, Jr.)
St. Edward -- Michael Castoro (IF/OF, So.), Luke Duffy (CF/P, Sr.), Jake LaFrenz (P/2B, Fr.)
South Elgin -- Chris Bingham (P/OF, Jr.), Jake Buhman (1B, Sr.), Ryan Ford (CF, Sr.)
Streamwood -- Brandon Larkin-Guilfoyle (3B, Sr.), Dalton Lundeen (P/1B, Sr.), Alex Morrow (OF, Sr.)
Westminster Christian -- Tyler Greene (IF, Sr), Dylan Scully (P, Sr.)
Captain's honor roll
1996 -- Jeff Chiles (Crystal Lake South)
1997 -- Brian Smith (Larkin)
1998 -- Matt Krabbe (Larkin)
1999 -- Jason Richardson (Larkin)
2000 -- Ryan McKenna (Larkin)
2001 -- Jason McMillan (Dundee-Crown) and Dan Sheldon (Burlington Central)
2002 -- Trevor Huisinga (Bartlett)
2003 -- Alex Turk (Burlington Central)
2004 -- Doug Sanders (St. Edward)
2005 -- Chris Ritchie (Burlington Central) and Chris Schultz (Elgin)
2006 -- Kevin Steinhaus (Dundee-Crown)
2007 -- Brad Porto (Burlington Central) and Elliot Soto (Dundee-Crown)
2008 -- Ben Palmer (Westminster Christian) and T.J. Swank (Prairie Ridge)
2009 -- Brian Brauer (Streamwood) and Craig Lipp (Huntley)
2010 -- Ben Albano (Jacobs) and Austin Jarvis (Burlington Central)
2011 -- Josh Harris (Streamwood)
2012 -- Jordan Van Dyck (Crystal Lake South)
All-area selections and capsules by Jerry Fitzpatrick