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Baseball: Scouting Lake County

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NORTH SUBURBAN LAKELAKE ZURICHCoach: Chuck Gandolfi (1st season)

Last year: 15-17

Last year's state tournament advancement: Lost in the regional semifinals to Glenbrook, North, 8-1.

Key players lost: C Anthony Drago (Illinois), P Austin Foote (Indiana), IF Tanner Kiser, OF Dominic DeMicco

Key players returning: OF Nick Jones, SS Danny Neises, sr., 2B Joey Holtz, C Colton Wagner, sr.

Key newcomers: P Derek Kornfiend, sr., P/OF DJ Postilion, jr., 2B Max Bernstein, 2B Sam Warady, P/3B Trevor Staley, P/3B Sam Zoibi, OF Andy Hughes, jr., P Nick Ortlund, C Sean Morand, jr., P Kyle Matuszekski, jr., OF Stephen Uhlarik, jr., P Nick Aiello, sr., P Jason Sweetwood, sr., OF Anthony Fontana, sr., P Teddy Noll, jr., C Eddie Blonski, sr., OF Adam Kraft, jr., P/1B Steve Vanstedum, sr., P/1B Jeff Kudron, sr., P/3B Steve Vanstedum, sr., Nick Sanders, soph., Tyler Peterson, soph.

Outlook: The Bears will be in "get to know you" mode for a while. Not only is head coach Chuck Gandolfi in his first year at Lake Zurich, but many of his players are new to varsity ball. "We don't return many innings at all on the mound, so as our pitchers grow, so will our team," Gandolfi said. "And we return only two position players that started the whole season (last year)." The Bears' most experienced returning players are outfielder Nick Jones and second baseman Joey Holtz, who is recovering from an ACL knee injury that he suffered during football season. Speaking of knee injuries, catcher Colton Wagner is also coming off an ACL knee injury that kept him out last season. "We think (Wagner) has Division I potential behind the plate," Gandolfi said. "He returned for the American Legion tournament last summer and was very impressive." The Bears will get the season rolling over Spring Break in the St. Louis area. "I honestly don't know what our strengths and weaknesses will be until we get some of those games in," Gandolfi said. "We hope to improve enough to make a serious run at the conference and advance in the state tournament."

LIBERTYVILLECoach: Jim Schurr (12th season)

Last year: 28-12, 7-5 NSC Lake

Last year's state tournament advancement: Lost in the Class 4A state championship game to Mt. Carmel, 2-1.

Key players lost: OF Justin Guarnaccio (Wisconsin-Stout), P Jason Buss (CLC), OF Matt Vogt (Minnesota-Duluth), IF/P Nate Cote (Iowa), IF/P Kevin Calamari (Vanderbilt), IF P.J. Neumann (Butler), OF/P Alec Semersky (University of Chicago), IF/P Derek Ioos (Air Force), P Nick Carlucci (TCU), P Mike Rogers (Augustana)

Key players returning: C Evan Skoug, P/1B Jeff Barton, OF/P Matt Reed, P/1B Mitch Townsend, P/1B Noah Greenberg, OF Conor Simpson, SS Jimmy Govern, P Andrew Mack, P Ian Grant, P Pat Wales, 3B Adam Formento, 3B Hunter VanWagner

Key newcomers: IF Jake Vogt, jr., OF Nick Rossetti, jr., OF Sean Ferraro, jr., C Ryan Jackson, jr., P/1B Andrew Plunkett, jr., OF Ben Manski, jr., P Charlie Murphy, jr., P Jack Shanahan, jr., C Nick Sternaman, jr., OF Sean Stevens, jr., OF Riley Lees, soph., P Ben Kimpler, soph.,

Outlook: Watch out! There are some hungry Wildcats roaming around Libertyville. It's been a long year of waiting (and stewing) since the Wildcats lost in the Class 4A state championship game to Mt. Carmel, 2-1. "Last year's (players) are hungry to build on prior momentum and feel as though there is unfinished business on the table," Libertyville coach Jim Schurr said. Although Libertyville has lost 10 players from last year who are now playing ball in college, there is still plenty of talent left on the roster. Catcher Evan Skoug heads up an experienced group of seven seniors who have all been in the starting lineup in the past. "We need to shore up just a few spots in the lineup," Schurr said. "We've got one outfield spot and one infield spot and the competition will be stiff among a balanced and talented roster." The competition gets even more intense with the pitchers. Schurr says that the staff runs at least 14 deep and that every pitcher is capable of being counted on for innings in important North Suburban Conference games. Seniors Jeff Barton and Mitch Townsend will be at the top of the rotation with seniors Andrew Mack, Ian Grant and Patrick Wales also penciled in for major innings.

MUNDELEINCoach: Todd Parola (20th season)

Last year: 27-5

Last year's state tournament advancement: Lost in the regional semifinals to Buffalo Grove, 11-9.

Key players lost: P Mitch Schulewitz (UIC), 1B Ryan Dolan, OF Zach Osisek, OF Thomas Gandolfi (Coe College), P Eric Davis

Key players returning: IF Derek Parola, sr., C Logan Reckert, sr., IF Mike Metz, sr., 1B Luke Adams, sr., P Adam Turner, sr., P Tyler Kozartiz, sr., 1B/DH Ryan Hollander, sr.

Key newcomers: IF/OF Luke Peterson, jr., OF Sam Osisek, jr., IF Wes Farmer, jr., OF Reese Dolan, soph.

Outlook: Defense will again be a strength for Mundelein, which returns most of its infield in Derek Parola, Mike Metz, Luke Adams and Logan Reckert. Parola was a defensive superstar last season. He did not commit a single error while starting every game at second base. Metz and Adams were also starting infielders while Reckert returns at catcher. "We should be very solid defensively," Mundelein coach Todd Parola said. "With very little experience returning on the mound, we need to find pitchers who can consistently throw strikes and let our defense work for them." Pitchers Adam Turner and Tyler Kozartiz return with the most experience on the mound, but neither got a ton of innings last year. Turner logged 23 innings while Kozartiz was at 21 innings. "Offensively, we should be scrappy," Parola said. "We look to be competitive in a very, very tough conference."

STEVENSONCoach: Paul Mazzuca (7th season)

Last year: 21-12, 8-4 NSC Lake

Last year's state tournament advancement: Lost in the sectional championship to Libertyville, 2-0.

Key players lost: P Matt Allen (Iowa), P Jordan Sheinkop (George Washington), P Jake Schnierow, OF Tony Heiser (Loras)

Key players returning: P Mitchell Goll, IF Willie Bourbon

Key newcomers: None.

Outlook: The season hasn't even started yet, and Stevenson is already piling up the injuries. Three would-be starters are out for the season due to serious injuries. Senior designated hitter Zach Novoselsky is out with a leg injury that he suffered during football season. Junior outfielder Jimmy Marchese is recovering from knee surgery after tearing his ACL during football season and senior shortstop and pitcher Eli Greenspon is out with a travel baseball injury. "With the injuries to key returners, I am not too sure as to how we will be this year," Stevenson coach Paul Mazzuca said. "Greenspon is our starting shortstop and No. 2 pitcher, Marchese is our centerfielder and No. 3 hitter and Novo is one of the best hitters in the state. So obviously, we are going to somehow have to overcome those losses. We are working hard and some younger guys are trying to fill those spots." Pitcher Mitchell Goll and infielder Willie Bourbon, both returning starters, will do their best to provide stability and leadership for the Patriots during what could be a rocky start to the season.

WARRENCoach: Clint Smothers (7th season)

Last year: 18-17

Last year's state tournament advancement: Lost in the regional quarterfinals to Wheeling, 6-5.

Key players lost: DH Nick Orslini (Augustana)

Key players returning: P/1B Andrew Hill, jr., 2B Dom Cuevas, 3B, sr., Ben Dinter, sr., SS Matt Burch, soph.

Key newcomers: P/IF Jake Falish, jr., P Jay Nickell, jr., OF Chris Mathieu, jr., P/OF Ben Perner, jr., OF Brad Zahn, jr.

Outlook: There's a youth movement at Warren this season that will put mostly juniors and even a sophomore in the spotlight. "We will be very young this year," Warren coach Clint Smothers said. "We have a great group of juniors that have done a great job in the off-season and have started the spring ahead of schedule. They are a great group of kids working to become a team and learning their roles. With the makeup of these kids, I know they will not back down and they will compete day in and day out." Four of the juniors will lead Warren on the mound. Andrew Hill went 5-2 last season as a sophomore and rolled up 34 strikeouts in 41 innings. He finished with a 2.2 earned run average. New junior pitchers Jake Falish, Jay Nickell and Ben Perner will also be counted on for plenty of innings. Meanwhile, sophomore shortstop Matt Burch was an important player last year for the Blue Devils and finished with a .340 batting average. A few seniors, led by Dom Cuevas and Ben Dinter, will be counted on for their expertise, experience and leadership.

NORTH SUBURBAN PRAIRIEANTIOCHCoach: Paul Petty (22nd season)

Last year: 17-15, 7-5 NSC Prairie

Last year's state tournament advancement: Lost in the regional semifinals to Lakes, 1-0.

Key players lost: SS Matt DeJong, P David Meade (College of Lake County), OF/P Jerry LaSaint, OF/P Mitch Everett

Key players returning: C Adam Harvey, sr., BA .350, 25 hits, 20 RBI, IF/P Nick Muskat, sr. BA ,388, 31 hits, 27 RBI

Key newcomers: IF Sam Smithson, sr., IF Travis Slywka, jr., IF, Collin Prather, jr., OF Jose Tellez, jr., IF Ryan Monaco, soph., C/OF Dominic Olesak, jr., P Ryan Karagioras, sr., OF Bob Hamilton, jr., IF Brennen Yee, jr., P Justin Stender, jr. P Alex Stava, sr., IF/OF Christain Norris

Outlook: At Antioch, head coach Paul Petty likes to preach that "no one individual is bigger than the team." That being said, it will certainly help Antioch and Petty that certain individuals are back this season. One big strength for the Sequoits this season should be experience as six starters return. They are catcher Adam Harvey, shortstop/outfielder Collin Prather, pitcher/first baseman Nick Muskat, first baseman/outfielder Christain Norris, pitcher Alex Stava and second baseman Sam Smithson. Motivation from a disappointing finish in 2013 could also benefit Antioch. "Losing in the regional always leaves a bad taste in your mouth," Petty said. "Our team also under achieved last summer due to absences and some injuries." But Petty was happy with the off-season work of Prather, Stava, Muskat, Travis Slywka, Dominic Olesak, Adam Harvey, Jose Tellez, Justin Stender, Christain Norris and Ryan Karagioras.

GRANTCoach: Dave Behm (5th season)

Last year: 17-12, 6-6 NSC Prairie

Last year's state tournament advancement: Lost in the regional semifinals to McHenry, 1-0.

Key players lost: SS Jordan Villarreal (McHenry CC), CF Jake Ring (Missouri), 3B/P Tyler Gorski, IF/P Brent Spohr (Concordia), P Jacob Trumpis (Benedictine)

Key players returning: P/C/IF Simeon Lucas, sr., P/C/IF Tino Torres, sr., OF/P Ryan Noda, sr., SS Will Zitkus, sr., OF Ryan Mason, sr., P Luke Lostroscio, sr., P/IF Doug Murphey, sr., P/IF Matt Malmberg, sr.

Key newcomers: P/IF Eddie Kusiak, jr., IF/C Nick Heidenthal, jr., P Jacob Lewis, jr., P Andrew Stone, jr., IF Matt Mason, soph., OF Tim Hollins, jr., OF Spencer Lhotka, jr.

Outlook: Grant lost a couple of four-year starters, but experience shouldn't be a problem. Back are three-year starters Simeon Lucas, Ryan Noda and Tino Torres. "The team will look to them for their leadership and experience," Grant coach Dave Behm said. "All three have committed to play at the next level." Lucas will be playing at Illinois State, Noda will be at Cincinnati and Torres will be at CLC next season. All three can pitch and play multiple positions and Lucas and Noda were among the top three hitters on the team last season. Lucas hit .500 and Noda was at about .485. Also back is Gant's most consistent pitcher from last season, Doug Murphey. He went 4-0 last season with a 2.73 earned run average. Other pitchers returning to the rotation are Luke Lostroscio and Matt Malmberg. "The incoming junior class as well as sophomore Matt Mason will look to fill the (remaining) voids," Behm said.

LAKESCoach: Ray Gialo (4th season)

Last year: 15-19, 6-6 NSC Prairie Division

Last year's state tournament advancement: Lost in the regional championship to Grayslake Central, 2-1.

Key players lost: C Danny Jackson (CLC), P Justin Demand (CLC), P/SS Nick Seketa (CLC)

Key players returning: OF/1B Joe Sisk, sr, P Vince Rotunno, OF Brad Borzick, P Chase Slota, jr., SS Billy Morris, jr.

Key newcomers: 2B Matt Putman, jr., P/IF Justin Blasinski, jr., OF Ethan Sage, jr., P Jeremy Mackey, jr., P Ben Haviland, jr.

Outlook: Finding enough playing time for everyone who is deserving might be the biggest challenge for Lakes coach Ray Gialo this season. "This is by far the deepest team that we have ever had here at Lakes," Gialo said. "I expect the competition for playing time to be at a very high level as I think we have several guys at each position that can make contributions to the team. Over the summer these guys had an opportunity to play together and that helped develop some team chemistry." The team also developed a strong work ethic thanks to the direction of seniors such as Joe Sisk, an outfielder and infielder who earned all-North Suburban Conference honors last year and was one of the top hitters on the team. Meanwhile, two experienced pitchers return in senior Vince Rotunno and junior Chase Slota. They each logged about 25 innings last year. The 6-foot-5 Slota worked to get his fastball up into the mid- to upper-80s over the summer. Junior outfielder Ethan Sage, who also stars at football and basketball, is one of the many newcomers fighting for a spot in the lineup. He and his classmates won 34 games as freshmen and 27 games as sophomores, and that was without standout Billy Morris to help them out. He started on the varsity last season as a sophomore at second base. Morris will likely play shortstop this year as a junior.

ROUND LAKECoach: Ed Adamson (6th season)

Last year: 5-20, 2-10 NSC Prairie

Last year's state tournament advancement: Lost in the regional quarterfinals to McHenry, 17-2.

Key players lost: OF Benito Zavala, 3B Pedro Jaimes

Key players returning: SS Ryan Newman, sr., OF Jalen Young, sr., P/OF Alex Gibson, jr., C/P John Ridley, sr., C/1B Alex Rose, sr.

Key newcomers: P/1B Tyler Sanchez, jr., P/3B Joel Vega, sr., OF Yoshio Alvarez, jr.

Outlook: Pitching should be a strength for Round Lake, which boasts four players of starter quality. John Ridley, Alex Gibson, Tyler Sanchez and Joel Vega will all get plenty of opportunities on the mound this season. "Those (pitchers) will all be able to keep us in ballgames this season," Round Lake coach Ed Adamson said. "I believe they'll help us compete against a strong conference." Ridley and Gibson are among six players for Round Lake who return with extensive experience from last year. Shortstop Ryan Newman, outfielder Jalen Young, catcher Alex Rose and Eddie Garcia are all back. "One of our team's strengths would include having experience," Adamson said. "I believe we were decent on the defensive end last year and we are looking to build on that. We have returning starters up the middle, which helps. Last year, we showed flashes of good baseball and it will be our job to sustain some type of consistency this year."

VERNON HILLSCoach: Jay Czarnecki (14th season)

Last year: 16-17, 9-3 NSC Prairie

Last year's state tournament advancement: Lost to Wauconda in the regional championship, 7-4.

Key players lost: P/1B Tyler Feece (Illinois State), 2B Brett Peterson, LF Connor Dickman, OF/1B Ethan McGrew, DH Dylan McNamara

Key players returning: P/CF Pat Crowley, sr., SS Jake Boyer, sr., C Jordan Freibrun, sr., P Nick Newman, sr., 1B/C/DH Joey Marras, jr., RF Tommy Earhart, soph., 2B John Goehrke, sr., LF Jacob Feece, sr., P Ben Geren, jr., DH Jack Duffley, jr., P Brian Schrimmer, jr., 3B Connor McNamara, soph.

Key newcomers: 1B/DH Mickey Skinner, sr., OF Andrew Willey, sr., P Ryan Erchinger, sr.

Outlook: Hitting and offensive production are points of emphasis this season after a sluggish 2013. "The biggest question will be whether or not we are able to improve offensively from last year," Vernon Hills coach Jay Czarnecki said. "With only three players hitting over .300 in 2013, we feel that we can improve on last year's numbers. If we can manufacture runs, we feel that we can compete for the division crown." Two of the players who hit better than .300 last year are back for the Cougars. They are catcher Jordan Freibrun (.414) and pitcher/outfielder Pat Crowley (.374). Freibrun led off last year and scored 34 runs while stealing 12 bases. Crowley drove in 22 runs. He will also be at the top of the pitching rotation for Vernon Hills. Now in his fourth year on varsity, Crowley already has 17 pitching wins. Nick Newman will also be looking to get some wins on the mound this season. Last year, he settled into a closing role for the Cougars, but this season, he will be counted on more as a starter. Newman will be playing at St. Cloud State next year. Juniors Brian Schrimmer and Ben Geren will also get opportunities to pitch. Defensively, the Cougars are strong behind the plate as both Freibrun and Joey Marras have experience there. Meanwhile, Jake Boyer enters his third season of starting at shortstop.

WAUCONDACoach: Bill Sliker (12th season)

Last year: 20-8, 12-0 NSC Prairie

Last year's state tournament advancement: Lost in the sectional championship to Grayslake Central, 6-4.

Key players lost: SS/P Brandon Gibis (Madison JC), 2B/P Jeff Lindberg (Trinity), C Kyle Bock (Benedictine), P James Holub (Lewis), P Luke Kenny, SS Austin Swenson, C Ryan Geary, P/OF Ryan Gick (Hamlin)

Key players returning: C Mike Gertz, sr., C Mitchell Sharkey, sr., P/3B Ben Peterson, sr., OF Brian Malisheski, sr., P/OF Roy Nelson, sr., OF Joe Lovelle, sr., P/OF Tyler Myer, sr.

Key newcomers: C Joey Schear, jr., C Luke Weller, jr., P/3B Kevin Malisheski, soph., P Grant Manahan, sr., SS/P Jake Grobelny, soph., P/2B Collin Schrader, soph., P/1B Kyle Harmon, jr., OF Josh Anderson, jr., P/OF Jack Weller, jr., 2B Jeff Moorhead, jr., 1B Josh Pavlovich, sr., OF Drake Tylka, jr., OF Adam Holts, jr.

Outlook: The Bulldogs are looking to build off of a special 2013. Last year, Wauconda went a perfect 12-0 in the North Suburban Conference Prairie Division. The Bulldogs lost to Mundelein in the conference championship game and then advanced all the way to the sectional championship. "I hope our players can build on the success from last year's team," Wauconda coach Bill Sliker said. "The summer showed we have a great group of players with dedication and a good work ethic." Four players from last year's team are now playing in college, but plenty of talent still remains on the Wauconda roster. Mike Gertz and Mitchell Sharkey give the Bulldogs depth at catcher while Ben Peterson, Roy Nelson and Tyler Myer return to the mound. "We hope our defense and starting pitching will become our team strength," Sliker said. "We will look to be competitive in division games and become a better team as the year goes on."


Last year: 28-14

Last year's state tournament advancement: Won the third-place game at the Class 3A state finals over Mt. Vernon, 1-0.

Key players lost: SS Ryan Fontana (Rose-Hulman), P Jack Spicer (Southern Illinois), P Kevin Peloza, C/1B Kyle Balling (CLC), OF Sterling Dixon (CLC)

Key players returning: P/C Freddie Landers, sr., OF Matt Loeffl, sr., P/1B Kyle Clark, sr., P Russ Lundius, sr., OF Pat Burba, sr., OF/P Justin Dooley, sr., SS Jay Hoffman, jr., P Justin Guryn, jr.

Key newcomers: Mike Stone, sr., Kyle Henke, sr., Anthony Fitzgerald, jr., Alex Ruiz, jr., David Llorens, jr., Sam Nozicka, soph.

Outlook: Timing can be everything sometimes. Just ask the Rams, who claimed their second third-place state finish in the last five years last season. "(We) surprised everyone in 2013 as we got hot at the right time," Grayslake Central coach Troy Whalen said. "(We) hope to make another postseason run and compete for top honors in the conference. Our kids are very excited for the season to begin." The Rams return five starters from last year, three of whom (Kyle Clark, Matt Loeffl and Freddie Landers) are back on varsity for their third season. Clark is an infielder who will do some pitching this season while Landers was a catcher who is transitioning to full-time pitcher. Loeffl is an outfielder. The movement of Landers from catcher to pitcher is made possible by the emergence of sophomore catcher Sam Nozicka, who saw some varsity action and was on the roster during the postseason run. "Sam is very gifted at receiving the ball and his arm strength and release are well above average," Whalen said. "It will be fun to watch how his career progresses." Seniors Russ Lundius and Justin Dooley will also be throwing to Nozicka. "Gone from the 2013 team are a combined 17 wins from Jack Spicer and Kevin Peloza, however, each season, new arms seem to emerge at Central," Whalen said. "We have Russ and Justin coming back and they have some experience and will be counted on to produce from Day 1. Freddie is such a good athlete and it's amazing how he's transitioned to being a pitcher. He threw a lot growing up and he has not skipped a beat. We also have some nice arms in Justin Dooley, Kyle Clark, Kyle Henke, Alex Ruiz and David Llorens. Having pitching depth will be key this year."

GRAYSLAKE NORTHCoach: Andy Strahan (8th season)

Last year: 20-9, 13-6 Fox Valley Fox

Last year's state tournament advancement: Lost in the regional semifinals to Prairie Ridge, 4-1.

Key players lost: SS Carl Russell (Northern Illinois), P/1B Adam Gomski (Trinity), 2B Nick Carmody

Key players returning: P/OF Alex Alvarez, sr., P/SS Ryan Gross, sr., P/OF Andrew Mikusa, sr., P/RF JP Zalewski, sr., C/OF Austyn Ruback, sr., 3B Merrick Gentile, soph., OF/C Sam Cremin, sr., 2B/P Dylan Foster, sr., P Sean McHugh, sr., 1B Jason Petrillo, sr., C Patrick Webster, sr.

Key newcomers: P/OF Dom DiProva, jr., OF George Deligiannis, jr., P/IF Jack Barreca, jr., P/OF Kyle Baker, jr., IF Drake Isaacs, jr., P Andrew Merki, jr., P/OF Jeff Ritter, jr.

Outlook: The bar is set high this season for Grayslake North, which is coming off a school-record 20 wins in 2013. "We are looking to build on the success we have had the last few seasons and improve upon that this year," Grayslake North coach Andy Strahan said. "Offensively, we lost our No. 1, 3 and 4 hitters, but we return just about everybody else in the lineup. I really think our lineup will be a little deeper than last year." Senior outfielder and pitcher Alex Alvarez, an all-Fox Valley performer last season, has some of the best offensive numbers from last year with a .391 batting average. Fellow senior Andrew Mikusa hit .333 last year and third baseman Merrick Gentile made a difference last year as a freshman. Alvarez was also a force on the mound. He went 4-0 there. He'll be in the rotation again this year with Mikusa, Ryan Gross, JP Zalewski, Sean McHugh, Jack Barreca, Kyle Baker, Andrew Merki, Jeff Ritter, Dylan Foster, Jason Petrillo, and Dom DiProva. DiProva will likely be the Knights' No. 1 this season. "Dom will look to make a huge impact on the starting rotation," Strahan said. "We should have a pretty deep pitching staff this year. The addition of Zalewski and DiProva should allow us to be competitive every day."

EAST SUBURBAN CATHOLICCARMELCoach: Dann Giesey (2nd season)

Last year: 25-10, 12-4 ESCC

Last year's state tournament advancement: Lost in the regional championship to Stevenson, 7-2.

Key players lost: P/2B Matt Ryan (St. Louis), 3B/1B Mike Stahoviak (UIC), OF Brett Millazo (Purdue), OF Tyler Murphy (Butler), OF Sean Brennan

Key players returning: P Dalton Wright, sr., P Quentin Sefcik, sr., P Brian Stanislawski, SS Andy Kantor, sr., CF Nic Grandolfo, sr., C Ian Kristan, sr.

Key newcomers: 3B/P Cal Coughlin, soph., C/3B Cooper Johnson, soph., OF/P Joe Santoro, soph., P Joey Lehman, jr., P Garrett McClellan, jr.

Outlook: Despite losing a Division I arm in Matt Ryan (St. Louis), Carmel should still be strong on the mound. "We return most of our pitching staff from last year, which had an incredible season and finished with a team earned run average of 2.11," Carmel coach Dann Giesey said. "We bring back the one-two punch of ESCC pitcher of the year Dalton Wright and Quentin Sefcik. We also add some very exciting young arms to fill the void (of Ryan) and add to the core of Joey Lehman, Garrett McClellan, Cal Coughlin and Joe Santoro." Wright went 6-3 last year with a 1.75 earned run average while Sefcik went 6-1 with a 1.96 earned run average. And according to Giesey, Coughlin hit 92 miles per hour at a showcase last summer. "Although he is young, we expect him to push our senior-dominated pitching staff," Giesey said of Coughlin, just a sophomore. "Pitching and defense will once again be our strength."

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