Baseball: Northwest all-area team
Rich Baczek ProspectBaczek had a stellar season for the Knights. Baczek set the table for his team, scoring 27 runs while batting .394 and driving in 16 runs. "Richie is a high energy kid," Prospect coach Ross Giusti said. "He is the guy whose uniform is dirty every game. He is a great competitor and gets our team going at the top of the lineup."
Eric Bennes FremdBennes was a dual threat for the Vikings this year. He hit .302 with 24 RBI this season. he was also a stalwart on the mound, striking out 53 in 56 innings pitched with a 2.24 ERA and compiling a 7-3 mark. "Eric is the ultimate competitor and was always clutch, Fremd coach Chris Piggott said. "I believe he is one of the best pitchers around and when he pitched we always had a chance to win."
Dylan Bloom Hoffman EstatesBloom had a terrific season for the Hawks, leading the team in hitting as a junior. He batted .417 with 2 homers and 13 doubles while driving in 16 runs. "Dylan's success begins with his tremendous work ethic on and off the field," Hoffman Estates coach Charles Abbott said. "He has the ability to change the game with one swing of the bat and is a true leader by example. I look forward to having him for another year."
Justin Borges LeydenBorges came up huge in whatever role he played this season. On the mound he was 6-1 with a .875 ERA and fanned 47. At the plate he batted .351 with 34 hits and 21 RBI. "Justin was dominant on the mound for us and also one of the best shortstops we have had in a long time," Leyden coach Robert Hamann said. "He was a three-year varsity player and a great leader."
Kyle Bullock WheelingBullock was solid for the Wildcats all season. Batting in the leadoff spot, he had a school-record 35 runs scored. He hit .302 with 6 homers and had a OBP of .424. "Kyle plays one of the best center fields around," Wheeling coach Jason Wieder said. "He was the catalyst to our offense."
Mark Cabrera Christian LibertyCabrera has been a force for CLA for the past 3 seasons. He hit .423 with 17 RBI and struck out 37 in 29 innings pitched. "Mark was our most consistent player at the plate, in the field, and on the mound," Christian Liberty coach Jed Bennett said. "Mark has leadership qualities that make everyone else around him better. That is what makes him a special player."
Mac Camardo Buffalo GroveCamardo, who plays center on the basketball team and was all-conference last season, used his size and strength to help power the Bison this Spring. He hit .389 with 2 homers and 32 RBI. He also had 25 runs scored and had a slugging percentage of .600. "Mac is another two-sport standout for Buffalo Grove," Buffalo Grove coach Tim Miller said. "He is All-Conference in two sports and we are fortunate to have his bat back in our line-up next season."
John Carpinelli Buffalo GroveCarpinelli, who committed to the University of Indianapolis, Carpinelli is one of the top defensive shortstops in the area . He hit a ton for the Bison, batting .385 with 4 homers, 29 RBI and 45 runs scored. He was 6-0 on the mound with a 3.39 ERA and struck out 27. "John did everything for our team," Buffalo Grove coach Tim Miller said. "He played unbelievable defense, toed the rubber, and was a great hitter at the top of our line-up. He is one of the best all-around baseball players in the state."
Ben Courtney ProspectCourtney followed up last years' 7-1 record with another huge year for the Knights. Courtney was 6-1 this year and improved his ERA to 1.17, striking out 47 in 54 innings. "Ben was a great example of consistency," Prospect coach Ross Giusti said. "He came up with great performances over an over again. He was a big game pitcher, and is the reason our team has had success over the past two seasons."
Zach Fricke Buffalo Grove-- Committed to Valparaiso, Fricke was sound defensively, at the plate on the mound for the Bison. He was 6-2 with an ERA of 2.58 He hit .398 while driving in 32 runs and scoring 26. "Zach is a two-way stand-out for our team and went the whole season at second base without making an error," Buffalo Grove coach Tim Miller said. "We look forward to having Zach back next year."
Jack Grochowski PalatineGrochowski was a key cog in the Purates' success this season. He hit .382 with 19 RBI with 25 walks. He was also the ace of the pitching staff. Grochowski was also all-area in football. "Jack's athleticism is off the charts," Palatine coach Paul Belo said. "Defensively, Jack demonstrated an ability to play the corner outfield as well as centerfield. Jack's bat to ball reads allowed him cover gap to foul line as well as I have ever had. However it was strong accurate throwing arm that held runners at bay. Offensively, throughout the season Jack demonstrated the ability to deliver in the clutch and grind two-strike at bats into base on balls."
Blake Gosswein BarringtonBlake was the hitting side of the Gosswein twins. He batted .385 with an OBP of .496 and a slugging percentage of .469. Gosswein drove in 26 runs and scored 29 and had 19 stolen bases. "Blake led the team in stolen bases and did about everything for us," Barrington coach Pat Wire said. "He is a renaissance man of old school baseball."
Brooks Gosswein BarringtonThe Bradley-bound Brooks is the pitching side of the twins. He was 6-3 with a 2.79 ERA striking out 56 in 42 innings. "Brooks is tough to hit on the mound," Barrington coach Pat Wire said. "He throws a heavy ball and was difficult to hit."
Tyler Haffey HerseyHaffey was solid behind the dish for the Huskies. He handled a young pitching staff and also was a spark offensively hitting .390 with 7 homers. Of his 41 hits, 20 werr for extra bases giving him a slugging percentage of ..743. "Tyler did everything for us and brought his 'A' game every day," Hersey coach Bob Huber said. "He played with tremendous passion and energy and provided leadership on and off field. Regardless if he was lifting weights, catching a bullpen, getting ready for practice or starting a game, Tyler approached each task as if it were the seventh game of the World Series."
Ryan Howe ProspectHow has been a staple for the Knights the last two years. He anchors the team at short and pitches where he compiled a 5-1 record with a 1.50 ERA, Howe hit .317 with 3 homers and 25 RBI. "Ryan plays the game with a lot of confidence," Prospect coach Ross Giusti said. "He simply gets the job done and leads by his actions on the field. It will be nice to have him back for one more year."
Sam Kindle Maine WestA three-year starter for the Warriors, Kindle was one of the main reasons for the team's late season run. He struck out 37 with a 3.27 ERA. "Sam has been the ace of our staff the past 3 years," Maine West coach Michale Randazzo said. "He was our go to guy for all our big games. An extreme competitor on the mound, who wasn't afraid to go after every batter."
Casey Kmet St. ViatorCasey made a huge name for himself this year for the Lions. As the leadoff hitter, he had an OBP of .519, scoring 34 runs. He hit .426 with 2 homers, 10 doubles and 23 RBI. "He is a bulldog," St. Viator coach Mike Manno said. "He just plays the game the right way. He is natural born leader."
Cole Kmet St. ViatorThe Player of the year, Cole did pretty much whatever he wanted to do this season. He blasted 12 homers, had 44 RBI, 36 runs scored. His batting line of .435/.500/.922 is nearly unheard of. Add in his 7-3 pitching mark with a 2.11 ERA and 96 strikeouts in 56 innings pitched. "He is a kid that in my lifetime is Irreplaceable on all levels," St. Viator coach Mike Manno said. "Every accolade he receives is deserved."
Jeff Korus BarringtonKorus was high-flying for the Broncos whether on at the plate, om-base or in the field. He batted .374 with an OBP of .472. He scored 31 runs and drove in another 21. He did not make an error in the outfield and stole 13 bases. "Jeff was an on base machine," Barrington coach Pat Wire said. "Simply put, he found ways to get on base to score runs."
Eric Kozlowski BarringtonKozlowski handled one of the best pitching staffs in the area with the precision of a maestro. He also hit .321 2ith 2 homers and 29 RBI. "The defensive player of the year for us," Barrington coach pat Wire said. "He was a rock for us behind the plate, controlled the running game."
Jack Lancaster SchaumburgThe leader for the Saxons this season, Lancaster has shown he is fully recovered from a knee injury his sophomore year. he has developed into a strong defensive player as well as a feared hitter, leading his team in every major offensive category. He batted .379 with a homer and 22 RBI. "Jack is a hard-working and dedicated young man," Schaumburg coach Cal Seely said. "Jack has tremendous vision and hits to all fields."
Joe Lopez Elk GroveLopez was rock-solid for the Grenadiers all year. He batted .344 with 4 homers and 16 RBI.He will play for Wisconsin-Whitewater next year "Joe Lopez came on strong for us after a slow start to put together a solid offensive season," Elk Grove coach Terry Beyna said. We wish him well as he moves on to play next year."
Ryan Loutos BarringtonLoutos has had a phenomenal senior season going 9-0 with a .472 ERA and a .573 WHIP. Struck out a head-scratching 92 batters in 59 innings pitched while allowing just 28 runs and 4 earned runs all season. "Arguably the best pitching season in school history," Barrington coach Pat Wire said. He is a surgeon on the mound. He only walked 6. Good grief that's good."
John Lundgren Buffalo GroveLundgren missed his entire junior year recovery from ACL surgery and came back with a vengeance this season. He was 7-0 with a 1.58 ERA, striking out 57 in 48 innings. "John was a dominant pitcher for us this season and I am extremely proud of the person he has become," Buffalo Grove coach Tim Miller said. "John worked his tail off to be back on the diamond and I predicted he would be one of the best pitchers in the area and he has been. He has electric stuff and one of the best pick-off moves in the state. "
Jack Mahoney St. ViatorA freshman that has played years past his age for the Lions. He hit .355 this season with 27 RBI and 21 runs scored. He is also solid defensively at short, made just 12 errors all season. "He has been a great surprise all season," St. Viator coach Mike Manno said. "He is not your normal freshman. . He has just kept his nose to the grindstone and has soaked up knowledge from our coaches and senior leaders."
Kevin Nevarez LeydenNevarez was outstanding on the bump for the Eagles. He was 6-0 with 2 saves and had 39 strikeouts and just 9 walks while compiling a 1.13 ERA. "This was Kevin's third year in our varsity rotation and his experience was evident every time he took the mound," Leyden coach Robert Hamann said. "His fastball, curveball and changeup are all plus pitches. He led us in some of our biggest games of the year."
Matt Ozanic LeydenOzanic anchored a superb pitching staff and helped lead the Eagles to the West Suburban Gold title. He hit .378 with 15 RBI and a .514 OBP. "Matt was a strong leader for us behind the plate and is one of the best pure hitters we have had," Leyden coach Robert Hamann said. "His approach to the game is exactly what we want Leyden baseball to be all about."
Ryan Roggeman ProspectRoggeman came up with big hits when the Knights needed him. He hit .299 with 3 homers and 24 RBI. He also belted 9 doubles and a slugging percentage of .506. "Ryan really turned is play around from a year ago. He became a steady force in the 6-hole and was capable of hitting the long ball at any time," Prospect coach Ross Giusti said. "He hits the ball as hard as anyone we have ever had in our program."
Leo Rule Buffalo GroveRule set down the law for the Bison and patrolled the outfield as well. He hit .360 while scoring 42 runs from the leadoff spot. "Leo is one of our team captains that leads by example," Buffalo Grove coach Tim Miller said. "He is a silent assassin that was dominant on the base paths. He stole 27 bases on the season and covered more ground incenterfieldthan anyone in the conference."
Riley Rundquist Buffalo GroveA power-hitting sophomore, Rundquist hit .469 with a slugging percentage of .816. He drove in 48 runs and scored 40 while hitting 6 homers and 12 doubles. "Riley is only a sophomore, but he is one of the best pure hitters in the state," Buffalo Grove coach Tim Miller said. "He put up some ridiculous numbers for our team and we are very fortunate to have his bat for two more seasons. The ball explodes off his bat and he has the ability to hit for average and power."
Tyler Rundquist Buffalo GroveOne of the best defensive catchers in the area, Rundquist called nearly all the pitches for the Bison this year. He also threw out 40 percent of the runners attempting to steal. He helped with his bat as well, elevating his average to .338 by the end of the season with 18 RBI. "Tyler plays the toughest position on the field and in my opinion he does it better than anyone in the area," Buffalo Grove coach Tim Miller said. . "Tyler is one of the few catchers that I have seen that call his own game and he did an amazing job of it leading the Bison pitching staff to a 2.51 ERA."
Luke Seidel FremdConsistency was the nanme of Seidel's game for the Vikings. He hit .351 with a homer, 21 RBI, 12 stolen bases and 9 doubles to give him a slugging percentage of .500. "Luke was or most consistent hitter all year," Fremd coach Chris Piggott said. "Most games he was the fastest kid on the field. He is an excellent defender in the outfield and gets to many balls others can't. Luke was the catalyst of our offense and the guy you want up in key situations."
Jack Splett WheelingSplett was a force for the Wildcats and played 3 different positions for them. He had a .456 average with 5 homers and 27 RBI and a .570 OBP. He was also 3-1 with a 2.78 ERA. "Jack did everything for us this season," Wheeling coach Jason Wieder said. "Jack is definitely the most improved player I've ever coached. His work ethic and passion for the game is unmatched by anyone I've been around. He was always first to show up to practice and last to leave."
JT Streepy PalatineStreepy was MVP for the Pirates hitting .432 with 35 RBI. He had an OBP of .480 and a slugging percentage of .595. Streepy will play at Washington University next year. "JT's violently fluid left handed swing would lead Palatine in nearly every offensive category," Palatine coach Paul Belo said. "However, what separated JT's from others was his ability to use the whole field the back half (opposite field) if necessary, forcing opponents to attach him differently by bringing the ball in to him. JT understood that in most of his at bats it was more relevant to hunt the pitches he was going to get, versus the pitches he was looking for."
Mason Sykes ConantMason was solid on the mound and in the filed for the Cougars. He fanned 20 in 28 innings. He hit .391 with a .491 OBP. He also hit 4 homers and drove 22 runs. "Mason did all the things we asked him to do for us," Conant coach Derek Fivelson said. He is a tremendous player and we look forward to having him back."
Grant Whitebloom ProspectAll area a year ago, Whitebloom went out and increased his offensive numbers in every category this season. He hit .437 with 19 RBI and had an OBP of .583. He is a great defensive player as well. "Grant is the definition of leadership on and off the field," Prospect coach Ross Giusti said. "He is the kid you don't have to worry about when it comes to responsibility, he just gets it done."
Michael Wilms LeydenWilms was the WSC Gold pitcher of the year with 6-3 mark, a 1.76 ERA and 56 strikeouts. Wilms also was a huge stick for the Eagles, batting .467 with 43 hits and 19 RBI. "Michael had an amazing two-way year for us," Leyden coach Robert Hamann said. "His pitching numbers were eye-popping and his average was the sixth-highest in Leyden baseball history. On top of his numbers he was a fearless leader that set the tone for our whole team."
Will Yorton BarringtonYorton was a superb hitter and most likely would have been a number 1 or at least a number 2 pitcher on any other pitching staff. Yorton was 4-1 with a 2.41 ERA striking out 40 in 32 innings pitched. He hit .427 with 5 homers and 32 RBI and had a slugging percentage of .688. "Easily, our best offensive player this season," Barrington coach Pat Wire said. "But also contributed as our #3 pitcher and came up with big wins for us this season."
Grant Zellmer ProspectZellmer had key hits to help spark the Knights in their conference schedule. He had an OBP of .438, while scoring 20 runs this season. "Grant really stepped up in the middle of the season when our team needed it," Prospect coach Ross Giusti said. "He had many key hits to help us get out to an 8-0 start in the conference. He always had a big presence at the top of our order."
Player School Pos. Yr.
Rich Baczek Prospect OF/P Jr.
Eric Bennes Fremd P/OF Sr.
Dylan Bloom Hoffman Estates IF Jr.
Justin Borges Leyden P/SS Sr.
Kyle Bullock Wheeling CF Jr.
Mark Cabrera Christian Liberty P/SS Sr.
Mac Camardo Buffalo Grove 1B Jr.
John Carpinelli Buffalo Grove P/SS Sr.
Ben Courtney Prospect P Sr.
Zach Fricke Buffalo Grove 2B/P Jr.
Jack Grochowski Palatine P/OF Sr.
Blake Gosswein Barrington 1B Sr.
Brooks Gosswein Barrington P Sr.
Tyler Haffey Hersey C Sr.
Ryan Howe Prospect SS/P Jr.
Sam Kindle Maine West P Sr.
Casey Kmet St. Viator 3B Soph.
Cole Kmet* St. Viator P/OF Sr.
Jeff Korus Barrington OF Sr.
Eric Kozlowski Barrington C Sr.
Jack Lancaster Schaumburg OF Jr.
Joe Lopez Elk Grove IF Sr.
Ryan Loutos Barrington P Sr.
John Lundgren Buffalo Grove P Sr.
Jack Mahoney St. Viator SS Fr.
Kevin Nevarez Leyden P Sr.
Matt Ozanic Leyden C Sr.
Ryan Roggeman Prospect 1B Sr.
Leo Rule Buffalo Grove OF Sr.
Riley Rundquist Buffalo Grove 3B Soph.
Tyler Rundquist Buffalo Grove C Sr.
Luke Seidel Fremd OF Sr.
Jack Splett Wheeling P/IF Sr.
JT Streepy Palatine 1B Sr.
Mason Sykes Conant P/SS Jr.
Grant Whitebloom Prospect OF Sr.
Michael Wilms Leyden P/OF Sr.
Will Yorton Barrington P/DH Sr.
Grant Zellmer Prospect 3B Sr.
* -- all-area team captain
Honorable mentionTyler Acosta, Barrington; Jacob Cabral, Maine West; Josh Cubon, Leyden; Evan Daly, Palatine; Zach Goodman, Fremd; Bryce Hellgeth, St. Viator; Hunter Johnson, St. Viator; Tommy Josten, Fremd; Jon Keller- Hoffman Estates; Chase Marsh, Buffalo Grove; Zach Oles, Palatine; Xander Rojahn, Elk Grove; Logan Smith, Conant; Cory Scholler, Maine West; Ryne Singsank, Elk Grove; Logan Smith, Conant; Tyler Trojan, Barrington; John Weber, Palatine; Michael Wittich, St. Viator.
Special mentionAJ Ceffalo, Hersey; TJ Constertina, Buffalo Grove; Brett DeSelm, St. Viator; Clark Elliott, Barrington; Tyler Hedmen, Conant; Nick Herrera, Leyden; Alec Honickel, Fremd; Jack Hopper, Palatine; Kyle Krogstad, Hoffman Estates; Tommy Larsen, Schaumburg; Matt Majer, Conant; Will McCabe, Fremd; John Morgan, Prospect; Jake Moertl, Palatine; Jeff Mustari, Maine West; Marco Perez, Rolling Meadows; Drew Roberts, Wheeling; Max Rothweiler, Maine West; Dave Sapyta, Conant; Andy Shover, Wheeling; Dakota Slingerland, Hoffman Estates; Logan Smith, Conant; Brett Taucher, Elk Grove; Nick Wiley, Hersey; Jack Vaselaney, Buffalo Grove.
Selection and profiles by Dick Quagliano