Losing Big Three, Sandburg looks to reload pitching staff
By Pat Disabato email@example.com June 10, 2014 7:12PM
Orland Park, IL - Friday, April 18, 2014: Sandburg's short stop Alec Martinez (23) makes the throw to first vs Lemont. | Steve Johnston/For Sun-Times Media
Records through June 10
last week’s rankings
1. St. Rita 36-4 (2)
2. Lemont 33-5 (4)
3. Providence 26-14 (7)
4. L-W North 28-3 (1)
5. Mount Carmel 31-8 (5)
6. St. Laurence 33-6 (3)
7. Sandburg 25-9 (6)
8. L-W West 28-9 (NR)
9. Joliet Catholic 28-8 (10)
10. De La Salle 24-14 (9)
Updated: July 12, 2014 6:34AM
It’s going to be a vastly different Sandburg team in 2015.
The Eagles relied on the pitching of the Big Three — Bryan Pall, Sean Leland and Matthias Dietz — to lead them down victory lane 25 times this season.
Pall (Michigan), Leland (Louisville) and Dietz (Logan) will be off to college in the fall, forcing Sandburg to rely more on its bats next spring.
“Those three guys are pretty special,” Sandburg coach Jim Morsovillo said. “They didn’t just have incredible years; they had incredible careers. We’re going to need some guys to step up on the pitching staff, no question about it. We’re going to have five (position) starters back. We’re hoping those kids take the next step and come back bigger and stronger and with the experience they received this season, they’ll be better prepared for varsity competition.”
Two of those position starters, shortstop Alec Martinez and first baseman Jim Roche, likely will be the Eagles’ top two pitchers.
Second baseman Ben Kociper, third baseman Peter Paxinos and left fielder Jim Landgraf are the other starters expected to increase their productivity.
“We’ll use the summer to see our pitching and fill other holes,” Morsovillo said. “We have some kids back who can swing the bat. Some other kids are going to get a chance to play. This is their chance.”
Stagg’s seniors top-notch
Stagg coach Matt O’Neill loses nine seniors off a club that finished 17-19. The good news is Brett Stratinsky, Ethan Glaza and Colagelo Martinez return, providing the Chargers with three quality bats.
Stratinsky, the Chargers’ No. 3 hitter, has immense power, while Glaza and Martinez could develop into consistent run producers.
“We have some good juniors coming back,” O’Neill said. “Some guys who can swing the bat. I expect us to be competitive.”
O’Neill had nothing but praise for his seniors, led by regulars Max Strus, Jake Wimmer, Nick Nowak, Peter Angelos, Drew Bolero, C.J. Casey and Jack Duffner.
“This group of seniors, I didn’t know what I was going to get out of them,” O’Neill said. “It’s the best group of leaders in my 13 years of education.”
Player of the Week
Sam Geraci, of Illinois Lutheran, is this week’s SouthtownStar Baseball Player of the Week. Geraci, a senior infielder/pitcher, was 2-0 with a save on the mound and 4-for-9 with two doubles, a triple, two stolen bases and four RBI to lead Illinois Lutheran to the Class 1A state championship.