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updated: 6/10/2016 10:59 PM

Baseball: Northwest all-area team

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  • Zach Balogh

    Zach Balogh

  • Jeremy Borges

    Jeremy Borges

  • Jimmy Brady

    Jimmy Brady

  • Christian Camacho

    Christian Camacho

  • Trevor Engquist

    Trevor Engquist

  • Chuck Fleming

    Chuck Fleming

  • Ethan Hajdukovic

    Ethan Hajdukovic

  • Brooks Gosswein

    Brooks Gosswein

  • Brett Harris

    Brett Harris

  • Ryan Howe

    Ryan Howe

  • Sam Kindle

    Sam Kindle

  • Cole Kmet

    Cole Kmet

  • Matt Lamm

    Matt Lamm

  • AJ Lorenz

    AJ Lorenz

  • Brian Maloney

    Brian Maloney

  • Jack McEnroe

    Jack McEnroe

  • Tristan Michaels

    Tristan Michaels

  • Aiden Miller

    Aiden Miller

  • Ryan Molini

    Ryan Molini

  • Kevin Napoleon

    Kevin Napoleon

  • AJ Navarro

    AJ Navarro

  • Mike Ragauskis

    Mike Ragauskis

  • Andrew Ralston

    Andrew Ralston

  • Chris Refka

    Chris Refka

  • Jacob Rintz

    Jacob Rintz

  • Ryan Roberts

    Ryan Roberts

  • Colin Starvel

    Colin Starvel

  • Dan Sullivan

    Dan Sullivan

  • Joe Swanson

    Joe Swanson

  • Jared Swenson

    Jared Swenson

  • Paul Tokar

    Paul Tokar

  • Jack Vaselaney

    Jack Vaselaney

  • Ryan Ward

    Ryan Ward

  • Grant Whitebloom

    Grant Whitebloom

  • Jake Zyzda

    Jake Zyzda

 
By Dick Quagliano
Daily Herald Correspondent

Zack Balogh BarringtonBalogh anchored a solid infield that backed up one of the area's best pitching staffs. He also came up with huge hits for the Broncos and batted .386 with 28 RBI and 27 runs. "Zack is a quiet leader by example," Barrington coach Pat Wire said. "By the end of the season he was one of our best all-around players. He is a strong base runner and agile fielder. He was a clutch batter for us in the playoffs."

Jeremy Borges LeydenBorges has been a leader in the Eagle's program for two years, excelling both at the plate and on the mound. He hit .378 with 28 RBI. He was also the team's closer with 2 saves and 20 strikeouts in 20 innings pitched. "Jeremy has been a huge part of our program," Leyden coach Bob Hamann said. "He is one of the best hitters we have ever had at Leyden. He came to the field ready to play each and every day and always was willing to do whatever the team needed that day."

Jimmy Brady ConantBrady has set a school record with 50 career wins as a 3-year starter for the Cougars. Brady, who will play at Bradley next year, hit .347 this season with 24 runs scored and 32 RBI. "Jimmy has been a three-year starter for me since I took over the program," Conant coach Derek Fivelson said. "In that time, Conant has the most wins in a three-year span in the history of the school. Jimmy has been a major part of that turnaround. Jimmy is a dynamic shortstop and an excellent clutch hitter."

Christian Camacho Elk GroveThe all-area team captain was solid wherever he played for the Grens in his three-year varsity career. Camacho hit a sizzling .512 with 39 runs scored and 24 RBI. On the mound he was 12-1 with an ERA of 0.81 while striking out 121 in 78⅔ innings. He will play at Auburn next year. "Christian has had an outstanding high school career both on the mound and at the plate," Elk Grove coach Terry Beyna said. "He is truly a big-game pitcher that you would want to have on the mound for your team. In my opinion he is in the conversation as one of the best two-way players currently in our state."

Trevor Engquist ProspectEnquist batted fourth for the Knights and truly was a clean-up hitter for them. He hit .370 with 6 homers and 30 RBI. "Trevor was the perfect cleanup hitter for us," Prospect coach Ross Giusti said. "He hit the ball hard from day one and didn't stop all year. He was always a threat for opposing teams because he was capable of hitting a home run anywhere, at any time."

Chuck Fleming Elk GroveA two-year starter for the Grens, Fleming is taking his playing abilities to Southern Illinois next season. Fleming had another solid season, hitting .328 with 23 RBI and 14 doubles. "For two seasons Chuck has been a major part of our offensive attack," Elk Grove coach Terry Beyna said. "He is a dynamic offensive player with the ability to hit for power and run. Chuck stepped up and played very well at many different defensive positions across the infield for us."

Brooks Gosswein BarringtonOne of the top junior pitching prospects around, Gosswein was bouncing the gun near 90 most of the season. He was 5-0 with 43 innings, striking out 67 with an ERA of .977 and a WHIP of an amazing .767. "He set a new standard of excellence for the barrington pitching staff," Barrington coach Pat Wire said. "He has college scouts drooling over his potential. We look forward to having him anchor our pitching staff next year."

Ethan Hajdukovic FremdA solid two-year starter for the Vikings, Hajdukovic hit .309 this this season with a .488 slugging percentage and an .860 OPS. Hajdukovic played first base and outfield this year without committing an error. "Ethan has been our best hitter the last two years," Fremd coach Chris Piggott said. "He was constantly pitched around all year. Although his average wasn't as high as it was last year, his QAB was over 60 percent. He hit into a lot of tough luck all year with a lot of hard hit 'At-em' balls. He leads by example and has a high baseball IQ."

Brett Harris HerseyHarris was a three-year starter and despite playing mostly shortstop, could play any position. Voted Hersey's male athlete of the year, Harris led the team in doubles, and runs while hitting .406 with runners in scoring position. "Brett loves to play and was always prepared," Hersey coach Bob Huber said. "Having Brett in our lineup the last three years has spoiled us. He is going to leave a big void."

Ryan Howe ProspectHowe was a terrific surprise for the Knights this season. He hit .415 as a sophomore and developed into one of the team's top pitchers, highlighted by his no-hitter against Glenbrook North in the regional title game. "Ryan stepped right into our line up and contributed the entire year," Prospect coach Ross Giusti said. "He came up with so many big hits for this team. He plays with confidence, and once his arm felt better on the mound, he came up with terrific outings down the stretch."

Sam Kindle Maine WestKindle was the ace of the Maine West staff. He had an ERA of 1.87 with 35 strikeouts, along with a dogged determination to succeed. "Sam was a true pit bull on the mound for us," Maine West coach Joe Pedersen said. "Every time he took the hill he went after people. We are looking forward to a great senior campaign."

Cole Kmet St. ViatorOne of the best two-way players in the area, Kmet throws in the upper 80's and has 11 home runs in this memorable season for St. Viator. Kmet had driven in 35 runs and was hitting .333 with an OPS of 1.025 prior to Monday's win against Fenwick. He improved to 10-1 on the bump after winning that Monday supersectional, with a 2.33 ERA with 84 strikeouts in 57 innings pitched before that matchup. All-area in football, where he is ranked the seventh-best junior in the state and has verbally committed to Notre Dame. "Cole is an all-around complete player," St. Viator coach Mike Manno said. "He has been great on the mound and at the plate. One of the most coachable kids I have coached in 19 years He is a special talent that if he put more time into baseball, he could be a draft pick one day."

Matt Lamm PalatineA three-year starter, Lamm got things rolling for the Pirates by hitting .317 with an OBP of .397. All-area in football, Lamm was named Palatine's male athlete of the year. "Matt's was a presence defensively," Palatine coach Paul Belo said. "His arm forced other teams to shut their base runners down and his bat to ball reads where took away hits from gap to gap. Offensively Matt had the ability to hit 1-9 and adjust to the role of that slot. Matt's greatest growth was what he did as a leader in our program."

A.J. Lorenz Elk GroveLorenz came up with big hits when the Grens needed them, driving in 24 runs this year while batting .288. a two-year starter, Lorenz had an OPS of .701. "AJ Lorenz has batted in the cleanup spot for our team from start to finish and played a good first base," Elk Grove coach Terry Beyna said. "He has come through with many clutch hits for us throughout the entire season."

Brian Maloney WheelingMaloney was a dual threat for the Wildcats this year. He posted a .383 average with 26 RBI and 10 doubles. He was also a factor on the mound with a 2.74 ERA, striking out 35 while winning 3 games. "Brian was extremely dedicated last summer and in the off-season and it really paid off for him," Wheeling coach Jason Wieder said. "When Brian was on the mound for us we knew we were going to get a quality start. Brian showed us this year that he is a competitor and willing to put it on the line for his teammates and school."

Ryan Molini ProspectA catalyst of the Knights' offense, Molini hit .360 with 22 runs and 22 RBI. He also handled the pitching staff quite well, keeping them focused when needed. "Ryan was one of our team leaders on and off the field," Propsect coach Ross Giusti said. "He set a great example for our younger players on how to play and act like a professional. He is a team-first kid, and he came up with many clutch hits throughout the year."

Jack McEnroe Elk GroveAll-area a year ago, McEnroe moved from 1B to catcher this season and directed a pitching staff that had an ERA of 2.16 and a WHIP of 1.226. At the plate, McEnroe batted .315 with 2 homers and 20 RBI. "Jack has put together very solid back-to-back offensive seasons at the varsity level," Elk Grove coach Terry Beyna said. "He handled the duties of being our everyday catcher extremely well."

Tristan Michaels BarringtonThe team leader in batting average, Michaels hit .444 with 25 RBI and 3 homers. He had an amazing OPS of 1.152 and a slugging percentage of .462. Did not have an at-bat as a junior yet this year broke the school record for extra base hits in a season. He finished with 56 hits on the season, which is third all-time in Barrington, including 15 doubles. "He is a pure hitter," Barrington coach Pat Wire said. "He used the entire field, doing a great job of hitting to the opposite field. He is a doubles machine that proves that hard work pays off."

Aiden Miller Christian LibertyA two-time all area player, Miler posted terrific stats again this season. He batted .508 with an OBP of .554 with 19 RBI. He also was solid on the mound, striking out 36 in 32 innings pitched. "Aiden put up such incredible numbers last year it was hard to believe he would be able to do it again," Christian Liberty coach Jedidiah Bennett said. "Turns out he hit the ball just as hard as he did last year and his pitching improved. The ability Aiden has showed to play the game of baseball over the last two years is unbelievable. Aiden really became someone the younger kids looked up to this year and took on more of a leadership role throughout the entire season."

Kevin Napoleon St. ViatorNapoleon is a 19-game winner over two years and has a school-school record 10 wins this season. A tough competitor, Napoleon has struck out 85 in 72 innings pitched with an ERA of 2.419 and a WHIP of 1.23. Got the victory as the Lions topped Lakes for a Class 3A sectional title. "Kevin has proven himself as one of the toughest pitchers in the area over two years," St. Viator coach Mike Manno said. "He battles every time he takes the mound and puts us a position to win."

A.J. Navarro Elk GroveNavarro stepped into his role this year for the Grens with gusto. He batted .343 with an OBP of .407with 22 runs and 18 RBI. "A.J. stepped up and put together a great year offensively as a junior," Elk Grove coach Terry Beyna said. "He was a versatile defender as we could use him both in the outfield and infield. We are looking forward to having AJ back for another season."

Andrew Ralston SchaumburgRalston was a two-year starter patrolling center field for the Saxons. Opponents need to run at their own risk against Ralston, being thrown out 7 times at third and home this season. He also fanned 58 in 44 innings pitched. "Andrew is a leader by example," Schaumburg coach Cal Seely said. "He does not need to say a word to send a message. Andrew consistently went out and gave our team the best opportunity to win every time he stepped on the pitchers rubber. He was efficient, intelligent and dominant."

Mike Ragauskis St. ViatorRagauksis has speed to burn and led the area with 33 stolen bases this year. Ragauskas is headed to Oklahoma next year and has hit .325 with an OBP of .424 while scoring 28 runs. "He is one of the fastest kids we have ever had," St. Viator coach Mike Manno said. "He is a selfless teammate that works extremely hard to make himself and others better."

Chris Refka PalatineRefka was solid all season for the Pirates, averaging better than a strikeout an inning. He had an ERA of 1.56 and a WHIP of 1.281. "Chris is one of the toughest competitors we have had take the mound over here," Palatine coach Paul Belo said. "Chris embodies the mentality of respecting all but fearing none. When Chris pitches, he leaves it out there for us. What was most impressive about Chris was his ability to make the quality pitch in the most competitive of situations."

Jacob Rintz SchaumburgA two-year starter for the Saxons, Rintz led the way for the offense this season. Rintz hit .366 with 26 runs and 15 RBI. "Jacob has an incredible sense of desire and focus when playing baseball," Schaumburg coach Cal Seely said. "He has a strong understanding of how to play the game the right way, which is rare amongst young players his age. He showed his leadership through his words, but more importantly his actions."

Ryan Roberts ConantA jack of all trades, Roberts played, 1B, 2B and was the team's closer. Roberts hit .389 for the season and .434 in the MSL. Finished with a .469 OBP and and .959 OPS. "Ryan carried us offensively for a good part of the season," Conant coach Derek Fivelson said. "He was able to succeed off the area's top pitchers. He's a very versatile player, playing both 1B and 2B, as well as acting as our closer."

Colin Starvel BarringtonThe glue that kept one of the MSL's best pitching staffs together. Starvel took care of a staff that had an ERA of 2.347 and a WHIP of 1.273. At the plate, Starvel batted .367 with a slugging percentage of .483. "He has an old-school approach to the game," Barrington coach Pat Wire said. "He is tough and competitive. He did a great job of setting the table in our leadoff spot."

Dan Sullivan St. ViatorSullivan has been a beast at the plate for the Lions the past two years. Sullivan has blasted 13 homers and drove in 35 runs this year and hit .400 with an OBP of .447, a slugging percentage of .838 and a OPS a staggering 1.285. "The stats speak for themselves," St. Viator coach Mike Manno said. "One of the best power hitters I have seen in a long time. Danny has led the state in HR's over the past two seasons. He is a great kid that has worked at becoming one of the best hitters in the state."

Joe Swanson Maine WestSwanson was a three-year starter who was a wall behind the plate for the Warriors. Swanson, who will play at Webster next year, hit .342 this season with a .448 OBP and and a .832 OPS. "He controlled the running game and elevated his offensive approach this year," Maine West coach Joe Pederson said. "Joe is the epitome of what is known as a student athlete. He has been an absolute wonderful kid from day one. He will be greatly missed."

Jared Swenson FremdThe top hurler for the Vikings, Swenson was 7-1 with an ERA of 1.00 and a WHIP of .898. Swenson allowed just 7 earned runs all season while striking out 28. "Jared has been one of our most consistent pitchers on our staff all year," Fremd coach Chris Piggott said. "He knows how to pitch. He can locate 3 pitches and is able to get throw his off-speed at any time for a strike. Jared is a competitor and every time he takes the mound he gives us a chance to win."

Paul Tokar HerseyTokar had a great season leading the Huskies in 6 catagories. He led the Huskies in batting average (.390), total hits (41), total bases (56), OBP (.492), OPS (1.026) and hit .512 w/RISP. "Paul always worked hard, whether in the weight room, on the field or out fundraising," Hersey coach Bob Huber said. "He is very competitive and very driven. I would love to have a team full of Paul Tokars."

Jack Vaselaney Buffalo GroveVaselaney led the Bison in both innings pitched (59) and strikeouts (32) and had a 2.96 ERA. Vaselaney, who won 4 games and saved 2 others, was also the only pitcher to beat Elk Grove's Christian Camacho this season. "Jack is a sophomore that led our team in innings pitched and faced some of the top matchups in the area." Buffalo Grove coach Tim Miller said. "Jack brings a ton of varsity experience moving forward and I look for him to be a dominant pitcher over the next two seasons."

Ryan Ward Hoffman EstatesFrom the first time Ward took the mound as sophomore, Hoffman Estates coach Todd Meador knew he had something special. "We were instantly impressed with his talent and poise," Meador said. "He is an absolute competitor and looked forward to any challenge ahead of him. Every time he took the mound our team played with a heightened level of confidence." Ward has a school-record 18 wins in his career for the Hawks. This year Ward, who will play for Lewis University next year, earned 6 wins, fanned 42 while walking just 3 and finished with a school record 1.77 ERA.

Grant Whitebloom ProspectWhitebloom got the offense rolling for the Knights, leading off the order by batting .340. He also scored 30 runs and had 20 RBI. "Grant established himself as one of the best leadoff hitters around," Prospect coach Ross Giusti said. "His on base percentage and runs scored had to put him amongst leaders in those categories throughout the area. He plays with confidence and really sets the tone for our team both offensively and defensively."

Jake Zyzda BarringtonZyzda gave the Broncos the senior leadership they needed on the mound all season. He was 7-4, pitching in big games for Barrington all year with an ERA of 1.645, a WHIP of .922 while striking out 56 in 55 innings. Also an all-area wide receiver. "Jake was a model of consistency," Barrington coach Pat Wire said. "His versatility served him well. He is as durable as it gets because he never missed a practice or a start."

All-area roster

Player School Pos. Yr.

Zack Balogh Barrington SS Sr.

Jeremy Borges Leyden C/INF Sr.

Jimmy Brady Conant P/SS Sr.

Christian Camacho* Elk Grove P/SS Sr.

Trevor Engquist Prospect 1B Sr.

Chuck Fleming Elk Grove SS Sr.

Brooks Gosswein Barrington P Jr.

Ethan Hajdukovic Fremd 1B/RF Sr.

Brett Harris Hersey SS Sr.

Sam Kindle Maine West P Jr.

Cole Kmet St. Viator P/RF Jr.

Matt Lamm Palatine OF Sr.

A.J. Lorenz Elk Grove 1B Sr.

Ryan Howe Prospect P/2B Soph.

Brian Maloney Wheeling P/3B Jr.

Ryan Molini Prospect C Sr.

Jack McEnroe Elk Grove C Sr.

Tristan Michaels Barrington 2B Sr.

Aiden Miller Christian Liberty P/INF Sr.

Kevin Napoleon St. Viator P Sr.

A.J. Navarro Elk Grove OF Jr.

Andrew Ralston Schaumburg CF/P Sr.

Mike Ragauskis St. Viator OF Sr.

Chris Refka Palatine P Sr.

Jacob Rintz Schaumburg SS Sr.

Ryan Roberts Conant 1B/P Sr.

Colin Starvel Barrington C Sr.

Dan Sullivan St. Viator 1B Sr.

Joe Swanson Maine West C Sr.

Jared Swenson Fremd P Sr.

Paul Tokar 3B Hersey Sr.

Jack Vaselaney Buffalo Grove P Soph.

Ryan Ward Hoffman Estates P Sr.

Grant Whitebloom Prospect OF Jr.

Jake Zyzda Barrington P Sr.

* All-area team captain

Honorable mentionRich Baczek (Prospect), Lucas Barnes (Hoffman Estates), Jack Bellinger (Schaumburg), Kyle Bullock (Wheeling), Ben Courtney (Prospect), Jimmy Day (Barrington), Patrick Dehnert (Barrington), Sean Falbo (St. Viator), Marc Gonzalez (Hoffman Estates), Peter Grob (Christian Liberty), Matt Johnson (Hersey), Ryan Loutos (Barrington), Justin Meyer (Buffalo Grove), Matt Mills (Conant), Jack Molnar (Fremd), Adrian Perez (Leyden), Joey Pinakidis (Buffalo Grove), Jake Riportella (Maine West), Alex Rezny (Rolling Meadows), Drew Roberts (Wheeling), Sean Russell (Maine West), Jack Sexton (St. Viator), Blake Swanson (Barrington), Luke Tanner (Hersey), Brett Taucher (Elk Grove), Charlie Van Dyke, Palatine

Special mentionTyler Acosta (Barrington), Pasquale Atteo (Prospect), Kyle Bullock (Wheeling), Mark Cabrera (Christian Liberty), Justin Castillo (Fremd), Jacob Chapman (Barrington), Ben Courtney (Prospect), Brett DeSelm (St. Viator), Dom Fredrickson (Leyden), Travis Gates (Prospect), Jack Grochowski (Palatine), Tyler Haffner (Hersey), Tom Josten (Fremd), Charlie Kaye (Fremd), J.T. Kolderup (Fremd), Jeff Korus (Barrington), Ryan Laboda (Rolling Meadows), Jake LaGasse (Fremd), Luke Lasalvia (Hersey), Chris Lolli (St. Viator), Jonathan Maday (Elk Grove), Eric Mercker (Buffalo Grove), Zach Oles (Palatine), Eric Outlaw (Maine West), Anthony Portera (Palatine), Drew Roberts (Wheeling), Dan Schneberger (Palatine), Mike Wiase (Wheeling), Robert Wisniewski, Leyden

Selections and profiles by Dick Quagliano

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