Baseball: Lake County All-Area Team
Derek Calamari LibertyvilleThe Wildcats had the luxury of starting the season with two potential aces. Calamari didn't disappoint. A no-hitter against Stevenson was his high point on the mound. The right-hander rolled up 37 strikeouts and had a 3.45 ERA. He played first baseman when he didn't pitch and finished with a .370 batting average with 10 doubles, 2 triples and 19 RBI. He also had 7 stolen bases. "Derek was consistent at the plate all year," Wildcats coach Matt Thompson said.
Casey Cobe WarrenThe senior enjoyed productive seasons in football and basketball but saved his best season for last. The Blue Devils' first baseman was a lead-by-example kind of player. "Casey is not a big rah-rah guy at all, but he is always plugged in and ready to go," Blue Devils coach Clint Smothers said of the team captain. "He is just a very special kind of kid on and off the field. I am really going to miss that kid, but I know whatever he chooses to do in life he will be very successful." Cobe had a .381 batting average with 51 hits, including 12 doubles, 8 triples and 2 home runs for the North Suburban Conference champs. He also drove in 21 runs. "He is one of my favorite kids ever to coach," Smothers said, "and will always hold a special place in my heart."
Noah DeLuga Lake Zurich The hard-throwing junior lefty committed to the University of Minnesota last year, then went out to showed again this spring that the hype is legitimate. A repeat all-area selection, he went 6-3 with a 1.75 ERA, striking out 71 batters in 48 innings and posting a 1.396 WHIP. "What an incredible young man Noah DeLuga is," Bears coach Rick Erickson said. "He is blessed with unbelievable athleticism and baseball talent, but he is also the most humble kid that I have coached. He is the ultimate teammate and is always putting his teammates before himself. When he is successful, he builds up his teammates and gives them the credit. When he is unsuccessful, he works even harder. Noah competes every second that he is on the field and proves every day why his teammates chose him to be their captain."
Chris Farina StevensonThe senior wasn't even assured a starting spot at the beginning of the season. He then went out and proved to be a great success story. He hit .404 with 11 doubles, 1 homer, 11 RBI and 11 stolen bases. He filled holes in left field, at shortstop and third base and played harder than maybe everybody. He even pitched 10 innings, not allowing a run or hit, striking out seven and notching a save in his only chance. "Chris outperformed all of the coaches' expectations this season," Patriots coach Nick Skala said. "He was the kickstarter to our offense in the leadoff spot. He plays the game the hard, and you cannot miss him after the game as he usually has the dirtiest uniform."
Lukas Galdoni Carmel CatholicPlaying four seasons of varsity basketball and baseball tells you about the athletic ability he has. "It is that type of athleticism that has made him the best defensive first baseman we've ever had," Corsairs coach Bill Taylor said. The 6-foot-5, 220-pound Galdoni excelled on the mound and at the plate, too. The lefty hitter slashed .437/.514/.701 with 4 homers and 26 RBI, while also stealing 8 bases. On the mound, he went 5-1 with 2 saves and a 2.68 ERA. "Her carried our team all season both offensively and on the mound, earning the honor of team MVP," Taylor said. "He was our Mr. Clutch, leading the team in batting average with runners in scoring position, two-out RBI and multihit games with 14." Galdoni finished his career as a two-time All-East Suburban Catholic Conference selection and will continue his baseball career at Butler University.
Jack Gillespie AntiochThe 6-foot-5 frame came in handy not only for the varsity basketball team, but for Antioch infielders throwing to the athletic first baseman. "With his size at first base, he made our entire infield better," Sequoits coach Chris Malec said. "I think he brought a comfort level to our infield, and he brought stability to the middle of the order." The cleanup-hitting Gillespie batted .351 (6 doubles, 2 triples) with a team-leading 28 runs scored, .479 on-base percentage and 17 RBI. "Ever since our run last year (Class 3A sectional championship), Jack is the guy I think everybody looks to," Malec said. "When Jack's bat goes, our whole lineup goes. ... He had such a great year. Hitting in the middle is never easy." Gillespie will continue his baseball career at Grinnell College.
Wyatt Hill Round LakeHill impressed on the hill -- and at the plate and on the base paths. The senior lefty struck out 64 batters in 41 innings (3.95 ERA, 3-5 record) and could help himself offensively. He batted leadoff and patrolled center field when not pitching. He hit .270, stole 20 bases and scored 20 runs. He also had 4 outfield assists. On the hill, the Panthers' ace had strikeout games of 15, 9 and 8. He was named All-Northern Lake County Conference two years in a row. "Athletic kid, left-handed pitcher who can throw three pitches for strikes," Panthers coach Ed Adamson said. "Very competitive, with desire to succeed. Very aggressive base runner with good baseball instincts."
Camden Janik WaucondaJanik started behind the plate as a freshman on varsity last year and has continued to get better, both as a player and leader. Batting third in the order all season, he slashed .417/.510/.667 with 11 doubles, 3 triples, 2 homers and 28 RBI. "He is a very talented catcher with good arm strength and good blocking skills," Bulldogs coach Bill Sliker said. "As a sophomore, he is already becoming a leader in our program. ... He is a player who makes everyone around him better and also works very hard at the skills of the game himself."
Dru Jasnoch WarrenThe Blue Devils' surprisingly stellar season coincided with Jasnoch's surprisingly stellar season. The junior sidearmer emerged as the ace of the staff, going 9-1 with a 2.24 ERA. The right-hander pitched quickly and efficiently, striking out 51 batters and walking only 10 in 81⅓ innings. "It was so nice to see him gain confidence and learn how to pitch this year," Blue Devils coach Clint Smothers said. "Dru was not only our leading pitcher, but there were so many things he also did well, like fielding his position and holding runners. It's nice to give the ball to your No. 1 and know if you score 3 or 4 runs, you're going to have a great chance of winning the game."
Marcus Keller WaucondaHis 12-strikeout effort in 5⅔ innings against Warren over Spring Break was no fluke. The senior right-hander produced all season long for the Bulldogs, both on the mound and at the plate. He is a three-year varsity player "who has pitched in a lot of our biggest games," Bulldogs coach Bill Sliker said. The pitcher/outfielder went 5-3 with a 2.37 ERA, striking out 63 batters in 41⅓ innings. Offensively, Keller batted .373/.467/.507 with 5 doubles, 2 triples and 14 RBI. "He has been a leader on the field and in our baseball program," Sliker said. "He has good velocity and command of his pitches. He has been one of the leaders of our pitching staff. He is very competitive on the mound and at the plate, with a good knowledge of the game." Keller will play next year for the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh.
Andrew Kim LibertyvilleThe senior used his speed to serve as a catalyst at the top of the batting order and also cover a lot of ground in center field. The Illinois commit made a habit of turning for-sure hits and extra-base hits into outs. "He was great in center field," Wildcats coach Matt Thompson said. "He got to so many balls and he took away a lot of extra-base hits from hitters. He also has a great arm." The left-handed-hitting Kim batted .379 with 6 doubles, 4 triples and 6 home runs. He also drove in 20 runs and stole 13 bases.
Ryan Klainos LibertyvilleAfter he tweaked his mechanics about a month into the season, the senior right-hander started looking like the pitcher who will be playing Division-I baseball. The Valparaiso-bound Klainos finished with a 5-3 record and 3.08 ERA. He struck out 51 batters in 52⅓ innings. He threw a no-hitter against Lake Forest, which played in a sectional final last weekend. "Ryan started out slow on the mound," Wildcats coach Matt Thompson said, "but built on every start."
Mikey Kocen WarrenIt was only a matter of time before the junior captain started hitting the baseball consistently hard. He made the all-area team as a sophomore last year, after all. "He got hot at the right time," Blue Devils coach Clint Smothers said. "He got better and better throughout our season. He has a baseball IQ that is very tough to teach kids nowadays." The second baseman had a .391 batting average. He finished with 49 hits, including 12 doubles and 5 triples, scored 39 runs and had 41 RBI for the North Suburban Conference champs. "He took the responsibility (of being voted a team captain) very well and led this team all year," Smothers said. "I can't wait to see what next year and college baseball brings to this kid."
Henry Kusiak GrantSadly for Grant, the run of Kusiaks is over. Henry was a three-year varsity starter and the last of three Kusiak brothers who all played and excelled for the baseball program. All three brothers were MVP of the varsity team their senior year. There has been a Kusiak on the varsity going back to 2012. Henry was a part of 67 wins over his three years on the varsity. "He hit better than .400 this year and was an amazing defensive player," Bulldogs coach Dave Behm said of his third baseman. Kusiak finished with a .415 batting average. His 44 hits included 13 doubles, 2 triples and 1 home run. He also drove in 26 runs and stole 10 bases. He was also an all-area basketball player and, like in baseball, helped Grant win the Northern Lake County Conference championship.
Anthony Mangano Lake ZurichDelivering walk-off hits in a pair of games in one week was just one example of how the junior infielder energized his team. "Anthony is our Energizer Bunny," Bears coach Rick Erickson said. "I've never met a more upbeat and positive kid in my life. He never stops working, and he always has a smile on his face. The energy he injects in the team in every practice and game is truly inspiring because you know there is nowhere else he would rather be than right there playing baseball. Anthony is also someone who never misses an opportunity to get in extra work before or after practice." Committed to the University of Iowa, Mangano hit .343 with a .438 on-base percentage, 6 doubles, 2 triples, 1 homer, 21 RBI, 28 runs scored, 15 walks and 7 stolen bases. He's been a starter in football and baseball the last two years. "There is nothing he cannot do on a baseball field and is the epitome of a five-tool player," Erickson said. "I have no doubts that he will have a monster senior season next year at LZ and then move on to dominate the Big Ten Conference at the University of Iowa."
Marcus Maristela Grayslake CentralOn a team that graduated 17 players, the junior provided a veteran presence as well. A three-year varsity starter at shortstop, Maristela batted .382 with 6 doubles, 1 triple, 1 homer and 25 RBI in helping the Rams win their own Class 3A sectional championship. "Our most consistent player on the season," Rams coach Troy Whalen said. "Marcus is a two-way player who can impact the game with his bat, glove and baserunning. On a senior-dominant team, he is a junior who hits third in our order, and we put a lot of responsibility on him on both sides of the ball."
Carlos Martinez GrantHis highlights included more than just the blond streaks in his hair. The pitcher/cleanup-hitting outfielder played a huge role both on the mound and at the plate in helping the Bulldogs win the Northern Lake County Conference championship. "He took the ball in the most important games for us," Grant coach Dave Behm. "He had a great year for us and was a big reason for our success this year." Martinez went 7-1 with a 1.94 ERA, striking out 34 batters in 46⅓ innings. He also hit .418 with 38 hits, including 4 doubles. He added 22 RBI and 12 stolen bases.
Coby Moe Grayslake CentralWhat a run. Not only did Moe and his teammates advance to a Class 3A supersectional, but the 6-foot-4 right-hander ended the season by pitching 29 consecutive scoreless innings. He allowed 2 earned runs all season. In his last outing, he blanked Carmel Catholic 2-0, striking out nine, in the Grayslake Central sectional semifinals. The captain of the all-area team, Moe went 9-2, striking out 86 batters (8 walks) in 58 innings and posting a 0.24 ERA. He also led the Rams with a .458 batting average and 28 RBI. He is a four-year varsity player and three-time all-area selection. "It's hard to imagine any pitcher being more dominant this year than Coby," Rams coach Troy Whalen said. "He has taken his game to the next level on the mound, and it's been a pleasure to watch him from the dugout." Moe will play next season for Northwestern University.
Nic Presutti Grayslake CentralThe thick beard, which he's had for a couple of years, matched his maturity as a baseball player. A four-year varsity starter and repeat all-area selection, Presutti batted over .400 during the regular season for the second year in a row and has more than 100 hits in his career. "Nic is our catalyst and the ultimate leadoff hitter," Rams coach Troy Whalen said. "Great patience at the plate, and he will wear pitchers out. He can beat you with his speed, as well. He's our table setter and a tough out at the top of the order." Presutti took a .406 batting average (6 doubles, 2 triples, 3 homers) into the sectional. He is committed to Benedictine University.
Jacob Rosenkranz StevensonFew pitchers were more physically imposing on the mound. Few pitchers pitched better than the three-year varsity player, who was effective both as a starter and reliever. The 6-foot-5 Rosenkranz went 4-2 with a 0.71 ERA and converted 3 saves in as many chances. He struck out 48 batters and walked only eight in 39⅓ innings. Signed with Valparaiso University, he allowed only 4 earned runs. "He was the leader of our staff," Patriots coach Nick Skala said. "Jacob has a big frame and touched 90 (mph) this year. He learned how to be a dominant pitcher out the pen as well as when he started. He will a great asset to Valpo next year."
Tyler Snep Lake ZurichKudos to the University of Iowa for snapping up Snep. "Tyler brings everything to the table," Bears coach Rick Erickson said of his senior catcher. "His leadership, character, experience and work ethic match his incredible baseball talent. He is everything you want in a captain and then some. Opposing coaches and umpires are constantly acknowledging what a tremendous young man Tyler is. The University of Iowa is getting a steal, and I cannot wait to watch him at the next level." Named the North Suburban Conference player of the year, Snep hit .414 with a .538 on-base percentage, 7 doubles, 8 homers, 33 RBI and 24 walks. Behind the plate, he committed only 1 error in 188 innings, threw out 13 runners trying to steal and picked off three. He is a two-time all-area selection and four-year varsity player. "Tyler has always been an elite hitter," Erickson said. "But his development into an elite catcher has been very fun to watch over the past four years."
Jake Surane StevensonSurane's start? Insane. The junior outfielder/infielder started his varsity career by going 9-for-9. He didn't let up much, finishing with a .421 batting average. His 40 hits included 7 doubles. He knocked in 17 runs and stole 10 bases. "He continued to be one our most consistent producers all season long," Patriots coach Nick Skala said. "He has one of the most consistent swing paths I have seen in a few years. He is a versatile fielder and has the athleticism to be very successful next year and beyond."
Jason Volpe LakesRunning on the strong-armed catcher was often a mistake. Opposing pitchers often didn't fare well, either. Volpe, a returning starter behind the plate and three-year varsity player, slashed .350/.420/.592. His 36 hits included 6 doubles, 2 triples and 5 home runs. He also had 30 RBI and drew 12 walks. He was named team MVP. "He really carried our team this year offensively and behind the plate," Eagles coach Bob Holst said. "He had games where he shut down the opponents running game all together after tossing a runner or two out by 8-10 feet."
Bradley Vondruska WarrenVondruska was a Blue Devil -- and a bulldog. "When the game got close, he took over and won many games for us," Blue Devils coach Clint Smothers said of his third baseman/pitcher. "He is our bulldog. This kid is what coaches want to see in their players. He never took a day off and was always ready to go and do anything you asked him to do for our team." Vondruska finished with a .401 batting average with 41 hits, including 10 doubles and 1 home run, which was at Boomers Stadium in the sectional. He also drove in 24 runs. On the mound, he went 7-2 with 3 saves. Over 44 innings, he racked up 60 strikeouts and had a 1.11 ERA.
Jake Adams (Carmel Catholic Sr. 2B/3B), Adam Calhoun (Grayslake North Sr. P), Frank Carris (Stevenson Jr. P), Val Cerna (Grant Jr. 2B), Carson Cobb (Lakes Sr. 1B), Michael D'Angelo (Stevenson Sr. OF), Logan Delagado (Antioch Jr. C)
Dylan Drumke (Libertyville Jr. RF), Grant Garrett (Grayslake North Fr. C/1B), Quinn Geren (Vernon Hills Sr. IF/OF), Jake Green (Lake Zurich Sr. P), Jonathan Hanscom (Mundelein Jr. P), Brendan Holloway (Vernon Hills Jr. CF), Tanner Kelly (Libertyville Sr. SS), Danny Laughery (Grant Jr. OF), Sean Lynch (Carmel Catholic Sr. OF), Ryan McElhinny (Stevenson Sr. 2b), Dylan Paquette (Carmel Catholic Jr. P/IF), Ethan Peterson (Grayslake Central Sr. P), Daniel Rogers (Grayslake Central Jr. C), Vincent Roszkowiak (Antioch Sr. LF), Jeremy Rowder (Grayslake North Jr. OF), Andrew Schroeder (Mundelein Jr. SS), Eric Sturm (Grayslake Central Sr. P), Caleb Thomson (Vernon Hills Sr. P), Austin Vass (Grant Sr. P), Nick Wang (Stevenson Sr. P), Drew Wiegman (Carmel Catholic Sr. SS), Danny Wizceb (Vernon Hills Sr. P)