1. Providence can hit. The Celtics scored 50 runs last week in wins over Naperville Central, a 17-8 final, Lincoln-Way Central, 14-5, and Lincoln-Way East, 19-9. Danger looms up and down the batting order, which features Dylan Rosa, Phil Kunsa, Mike Madej, Shawn Cavallone and Ben Salvador. Rosa and Kunsa each drove in five runs during Friday’s shellacking of Lincoln-Way East.
2. Richards is solid. The Bulldogs boast plenty of pop on offense. Eric Mallo, A.J. Sanchez, Charlie Zeschke, Shawn Chiaramonte and Nate Natividad have the ability to produce fireworks. Defensively, Mallo is a go-getter in center field and Sanchez is slick at shortstop. The ’Dogs’ success largely will be predicated on their pitching, which lacks a lockdown ace.
3. Lemont is legit. Really not a surprise, considering it was ranked No. 5 in the SouthtownStar Preseason Top 10. But the Indians proved Wednesday during an 11-2 win over Mount Carmel that when ace lefty Jake Latz is on the bump, they’re capable of beating anyone in the state. Mixing a 90-mph fastball and nasty breaking ball, Latz fanned nine batters over four innings. His batterymate, Mike Papierski, clubbed a three-run homer. Both Latz and Papierski, along with Providence pitcher Jake Godfrey, have committed to LSU.