Baseball: The Northwest Suburbs' All-Area Team
Jake Andersen PalatineA three-year starter, Andersen has been a force behind the plate for the Pirates for three seasons. "Jake came into our program as a corner infielder and walked out one of the better catchers to every don the gear," Palatine coach Paul Belo said. "Far ahead of his catching skills are Jake's leadership skills. Jake is the consummate leader, one that gets his teammates to elevate their level of play without them even being aware of it " Andersen, who will play next season at Wisconsin-Oshkosh hit .307 this season with 2 home runs and 21 RBI and a .500 slugging percentage.
Mark Antonetti Buffalo GroveAfter graduation and key injuries on the mound hit the Bison hard, it was Antonetti who made sure that Buffalo Grove stayed on track. Antonetti was 6-2 on the season and had a solid ERA of 1.75 with a WHIP of 1.27. He struck out 33 in 48 innings and only allowed 10 walks this season. "Mark is not an overpowering pitcher, he has the ability to throw pitches for strikes and control the run game. Mark really stepped up for us after losing Dan Pocklington to injury," said BG coach Tim Miller.
Michael Best WheelingBest, who was all-area in football and basketball, completed the trifecta with his play on the diamond this season. He had 3 walk-off RBI singles this year and hit .376 with a team-leading 38 hits and 24 RBI. Best also pitched and was 1-2 with a 2.33 ERA and 3 saves. "Michael was our most clutch player this season," Wheeling coach Jason Wieder said. "He has the flair for the dramatic and was someone the coaching staff wanted at bat or on the mound when it was time to win."
Keegan Brandt ConantBrandt came up big when the Cougars needed him most. He hit .369 with a slugging percentage of .512 and had 19 RBI. He hit his first homer of the season on the day he was named to the all -conference team. He will play at Dominican University next season. "Keegan had an impressive year at the plate and came up clutch for us several times," Conant coach Derek Fivelson said. "His numbers are even more impressive when you realize Conant never was able to hit before games being on the road all year."
A.J. Christoffer BarringtonThe team leader in hits and stolen bases, Christoffer was the ideal leadoff hitter. He had an on-base percentage of .458 while hitting .347 with 5 homers and 33 RBI. "A.J. has even a higher ceiling for potential," Barrington coach Pat Wire said. "A.J. was a catalyst for us on offense in the leadoff and cleanup spots in the lineup. A.J. was and will be a huge part of our offense this and next season."
Daniel Clawson HerseyClawson, who has verbally committed to NIU, was a force at the plate for the Huskies. He hit .412 and thanks to 13 doubles and 2 homers, had a slugging percentage of .598. Clawson was clutch as well, driving in 9 of his 27 RBI this season when there were two outs. "Daniel hits the ball as hard, or even harder than any power hitter in the area," Hersey coach Wally Brownley said. "His power and speed will make him a force for us next season."
James Denten HerseyDenten hit .395 this year and had a slugging percentage of .616, with an OBP of .522. He had 3 home runs and 25 RBI. He was also 5-2 on the mound with 45 strikeouts and an ERA of 2.07. He will play at Black Hawk College next year. "James is a player with all five tools," Hersey coach Wally Brownley said. "He is one of the toughest kids around."
Alex Duarte LeydenDuarte became one of the toughest players to strike out this season, fanning only 6 times this season. He hit .427 with 20 RBI and had a slugging percentage of .573. "Alex is one of the best pure hitters to come through our program," Leyden coach Robert Hamman said. "Alex is a great team player that gave a lot to our program and a great example for our players coming up behind him."
Clark Elliott BarringtonThe all-area team captain, Elliott is a three-year starter who moved to play center field this season. The Michigan-commit had an eye-popping OPB of .593 with 43 walks and 34 hits. He scored 50 runs and batted .382 with 5 homers and 39 RBI. "Clark is one of the best hitters to walk the halls of Barrington High School," Barrington coach Pat Wire said.
Nate Holler BarringtonHoller was as loud as he could be this season. He was 10-0 with 84 strikeouts in 58 innings pitched with an ERA of 0.72. He allowed just 49 baserunners all season. He had wins over Prairie Ridge, Buffalo Grove, Fremd, Lake Forest, and Elk Grove. "Nate Holler is tough as nails on the mound," Barrington coach Pat Wire said. He has a mid-80s fastball with a Frisbee slider. Holler is tough to hit."
Casey Kmet St. ViatorKmet is a three-year starter for the Lions and has been a huge contributor each year. This season, the Notre Dame commit moved to catcher to help solidify the Viator defense. He also hit .337 with 6 homers and a slugging percentage of .625. He also had 26 stolen bases. "He is a bulldog," St. Viator coach Mike Manno said. "He is so competitive. Like ultracompetitive. He has that smile about him that you know he is always ready to play."
Jack Mahoney St. ViatorMahoney is already a three-year starter for the Lions and a huge talent in his own right. The South Carolina-recruit batted .316 with 5 homers and 23 RBI. He was also the top pitcher in the Viator rotation, with a record of 3-2 and a save. He struck out 50 with an ERA of 2.78. "As soon as he gets on the field, he gets locked in," St. Viator coach Mike Manno said. "He has his own style of leadership. I am happy to have him for another year."
Matt McAleer ProspectMcAleer had one of most memorable games in Prospect history this year when he belted 3 home runs to tie a school record set by Dave Kingman. McAleer hit .337 with 30 hits and 3 homers. "Matt was consistent all year," Prospect coach Ross Giusti said. "He also gave us a huge lift with his hitting this year." He was 3-2 on the mound with an ERA of 2.00 and struck out 32.
R.J. Nowicki BarringtonNowicki was near impossible to score on this season. He allowed just 2 earned runs this season and just 7 runners plated while he was on the bump. His ERA was an astounding 0.23. The Northern Illinois recruit struck out 69 in 60 innings. "R.J. is a competitive bulldog on the mound," Barrington coach Pat Wire said. "The lefty's changeup is one of the best around and is very difficult to hit and beat."
Emmett Olson Maine WestOlson did it all for the Warriors this season. A highly-regarded junior, Olson hit .373, with a .549 slugging percentage. He had 12 doubles and 2 homers with 25 RBI. He was a force on the mound, going 5-1 with a save. He had 79 strikeouts in 53 innings and his ERA was 1.04. "Emmett was a powerhouse on the mound or at the plate," Maine West coach Michael Randazzo said. "The sound off his bat sounded different from most players."
Tyler Priessing ProspectPriessing saved his best for the last part of the year for the Knights. He was 4-2 on the season with wins over New Trier, Elk Grove and Maine South. He had 38 strikeouts and a 2.10 ERA. He also hit .320 with 24 hits and 18 RBI. "He was our hottest hitter down the stretch for us," Prospect coach Ross Giusti said, "Tyler also pitched some great games for us."
Nick Rattin FremdAnother two-year starter for the Vikings, Rattin got things going for Fremd. He was the team's leadoff hitter and batted .354 with 7 doubles and three triples. "Nick has been our table setter all year," Fremd coach Chris Piggott said. "He is a tough out and battles to the plate. He is one of the most mentally tough kids I have coached." Rattin will play football at Northern Illinois next season.
Xander Rojahn Elk Grove"X" has been spot on for Elk Grove this season. The Xavier University recruit, who was injured a large portion of the season last year, returned with a vengeance. He was dominant on the mound, where he was 5-2 with 72 strikeouts in 37 innings pitched and an ERA of 1.31. He also hit .256. "Xander has a passion for pitching and works very hard at it," Elk Grove coach Terry Beyna said. "Xander ate up big innings for us and racked up big-time strikeout numbers."
Riley Rundquist Buffalo GroveRundquist was a three-year starter and finished this season by batting .394 with 7 home runs and 26 RBI. He also scored 26 runs and had a .697 slugging percentage. "Riley is one of the best hitters in the state over the last three years," Buffalo Grove coach Tim Miller said. "The turnaround of the Bison baseball program can be directly attributed to Riley's skills on the baseball field."
Zach Schwartz Elk GroveSchwartz has been able to stir the Grenadiers from behind the plate and in the batter's box. He handled a pair of all-area pitchers as well as hit well for the Grens along the way. He batted .365 with a slugging percentage of .604. "The improvement Zach Schwartz has shown offensively from last year to this year has been tremendous," Elk Grove coach Terry Beyna said. "Zach is an aggressive hitter and tremendous competitor at the plate."
John Seagrist BarringtonSeagrist led the Broncos with 45 RBI and had 8 multihit games. He hit .345 with 5 homers including a grand slam against Hoffman Estates and had 3 homers and 7 RBI against Larkin in the playoffs. He also had 9 doubles and was selected teammate of the year by his peers. "He's one of the greatest class acts around, Barrington coach Pat Wire said. "You don't find too many players like John anymore."
Ryne Singsank Elk GroveThat large looming figure on the bump was as dangerous as a player as he was intimidating. Singsank, 6-foot-7, has been a fixture on the mound for the past two seasons for the Grenadiers. He was 8-2 this season with 79 strikeouts in 52 innings and an ERA of 1.08. The Southern Illinois recruit also batted .321. "Ryne has been a tremendous two-way player for Elk Grove this season, " Elk Grove coach Terry Beyna said. "We simply would not have won the (MSL) East without Ryne's huge efforts on the mound for us. "
Josh Stitt PalatineStitt, who will play for Aurora University next year, has been a solid performer on the bump for the Pirates for the past two seasons. He struck out 54 in 55 innings and had an ERA of 3.04. "Josh is a mix of raw skill and determination, coupled with a high baseball IQ," Palatine coach Paul Belo said. "He demands perfection of himself and his teammates and then get better from there."
Brent Swenson FremdA two-year starter, Swenson has been a terror at the plate. He has hit .430 with 4 homers, 24 RBI and 39 runs scored. "Brent has been our top hitter all year and has been very versatile in the field for us," Fremd coach Chris Piggott said. "He's a kid I can put anywhere in the field and feel comfortable he will make plays. He has a high baseball IQ and does whatever it takes to win."
Ed Brancato (Prospect), Matt Brunelli (Buffalo Grove), AJ Ceffalio (Hersey), Teague Conrad (Conant), TJ Davis (Fremd), Victor Fujiu (Fremd), Connor Giusti (Fremd), Jake Golliher (Schaumburg), Uli Hernandez (Leyden), Austin Higgins (Fremd), Bryce Jenson (Prospect), Jeremy Kim (Wheeling), Jim Kliver (Hoffman Estates), Daniel Kubsik (Hersey), Joe Marcucci (Rolling Meadows), Ethan Oskroba (Christian Liberty), Josh Periaswamy (Elk Grove), Rayeth Petersen (Barrington), Tyler Pecson (Palatine), Dan Pocklington (Buffalo Grove), Max Raynor (Barrington), David Roscoe (Maine West), Andy Shover (Wheeling), Connor Warner (St. Viator), Kevin Wilhite (St. Viator), Cade Zalewski, Wheeling