Baseball: Kevin Biondic Brother Rice’s all-around Crusader
By Pat Disabato email@example.com April 3, 2014 9:02PM
Kevin Biondic, of Brother Rice | Gary Middendorf/For Sun-Times Media
Updated: May 5, 2014 8:57AM
Kevin Biondic understands why most of the preseason attention was directed at Brother Rice’s competitors in the Catholic League Blue.
Even so, that hasn’t altered his or his teammates’ ambitions.
“Winning the Catholic League (Blue) is the biggest thing,” Biondic said. “We’re pulling the underdog role; nobody is giving up a chance. I can see why with (Mount) Carmel, (St.) Rita and (St.) Laurence. But we’ve got the pitching, hitting and defense to do it.”
The Crusaders are 7-2 this season, and the 6-foot, 185-pound Biondic has been a major part of the success. The senior infielder/pitcher is hitting .391 (9-for-23), with six doubles, a home run and eight RBI. He’s also registered three saves and hasn’t allowed an earned run in four mound appearances. The numbers aren’t that surprising, considering he hit .413, drove in 36 runs and posted a 2.20 ERA last season.
“He’s a really, really good player,” Brother Rice coach John McCarthy said. “He competes really, really hard. He’s a tough kid. He wants the ball and wants to be up in the toughest situations. The lights are never too bright for him.”
Biondic, an Oak Lawn resident, attributes much of his success — on and off the field — to McCarthy, who took over as coach three years ago.
“Coach Mac taught me to really know how to play the game,” Biondic said. “I knew how to hit. I knew how to field, but he put it all together. He was always hard on me to get my school work together.”
McCarthy also encouraged Biondic to continue his hockey career, despite the trend of players specializing in one sport. Though Brother Rice’s hockey program has struggled in recent years, Biondic, a goalie, always was a bright spot.
Biondic noted, with a talented group of underclassmen and a promising incoming freshman class, the days of the hockey program struggling soon will be over.
“The (hockey) program is really looking good,” said Biondic, who has played hockey since age 4. “It’s going to turn around the next couple of years. I liked playing both sports. I have the same mind-set in baseball that I have in hockey. I’m never coming out of a game. It doesn’t matter if I have a broken leg or can’t walk, I’m not coming out.”
It’s that type of attitude, along with an ability to play multiple positions in the infield, that’s attracted St. Xavier, Lewis and St. Joseph’s to Biondic. Though Biondic plays third base at Brother Rice, he can shift anywhere on the infield without missing a beat.
“I hope to make a decision on college as soon as possible,” said Biondic, who would like to be a fireman or police officer in Chicago. “I probably prefer to play second base, but I’ll play wherever the team needs me.”