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Baseball: Season outlook

Crown Point's Zach Plesac pitches during game against LaPorte Monday April 23 2012 Crown Point. | Scott R. Brandush~Sun-Times Media

Crown Point's Zach Plesac pitches during a game against LaPorte on Monday, April 23, 2012, in Crown Point. | Scott R. Brandush~Sun-Times Media

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Updated: May 1, 2013 3:44PM



Five teams to watch

Lake Central

Nick Kellams, Alec Olund and Ryan Burvan are the three returning regulars. Aaron Glatt will be one of the mainstays on the mound. Depth includes 11 potential pitchers.

Griffith

The team returns seven of eight position players and its two top pitchers from last year. Pitcher Jesse Smith earned all-conference honors. Coach Brian Jennings said the little things, like moving runners over, throwing strikes and playing solid defense, will be keys.

Portage

Tyler Kniola went 5-0 with a 1.67 ERA. First baseman Eric Mesarch (.435 average), shortstop C.J. Haupt (.316 average), right fielder Justin Newcomb (.317) and third baseman Tyler Soberg (.328) also return. Coach Tim Pirowski pointed to pitching depth and key contributions at the plate as vital to success.

Munster

Pitchers Mike Poulos and Alex Crowe return for Munster. Outfielder Craig Dedelow and designated hitter Alex DelRio are among top hitters in the area. Coach Bob Shinkan said the biggest question will be how his pitching staff adjusts to varsity competition.

Crown Point

Seniors Zach Plesac and David Kepshire and sophomore Noah Burkholder headline the pitching staff. Catcher Bobby Morgan hit .431 with 20 RBI last season. The Bulldogs look to improve their defense and work on being a more mentally tougher team.

Five Darkhorses

Hobart

Catcher/first baseman Nick Bokun and shortstop Tyrus Joseforsky provide pop for the offense. Brandon Murray and C.J. Komosa will lead the pitching staff. Hobart has nine returning letterwinners, but only two seniors on the roster.

River Forest

Five starting pitchers from last year’s team return. Omar Nunez had a 1.67 ERA. Senior catcher O’Shea Owens hit .392 last year. Chris Lauderback had a .296 average and a .414 on-base percentage.

Lacrosse

Senior infielder Jared Dyjak had a .458 batting average with seven home runs and 31 RBI last season. Lacrosse has a lot of younger players that will fill holes. The team will gain experience as the year goes on.

Chesterton

Jordan Morandini (.444 batting average) and Aery Pratt (.364) are among the top hitters returning. Pratt will also be one of the key contributors on the mound. Coach Jack Campbell listed pitching and defense as the team’s main concerns.

Five hitters
to watch

Nick Kellams
(Lake Central)

Hit .387 last season with two home runs and 16 RBI. He also scored 33 runs and hit 12 doubles.

Tyler Joseforsky (Hobart)

The shortstop hit .416 with 21 RBI and 35 runs scored. Named to the first-team All NCC.

Jesse Wilkening
(Hanover Central)

Had 50 hits, .472 batting average, 28 RBI and 34 runs scored. He had a hit in every game but one.

Jake Moore (Kouts)

Junior all-state honorable mention as a catcher. He hit .385 with 25 RBI, 20 runs scored and 20 walks.

Andrew Ray (Michigan City)

Northern Illinois recruit had a .425 batting average with 23 RBI.

Five pitchers
to watch

Brandon Murray (Hobart)

The right-hander struck out 105 batters last season, a school record. He also had a 3.03 ERA. He is committed to the University of South Carolina.

Zac Ryan (Andrean)

Ryan went 9-1 with a 1.49 ERA last year. He had six shutouts and struck out 70 batters. He is committed to playing at Georgia Tech.

Aaron Glatt (Lake Central)

The Dayton recruit joined the varsity team late last season. Went 1-0 with a 3.50 ERA. Appeared in eight innings on varsity.

Devin Bafia (Valparaiso)

The lefty is headed to Evansville. He went 8-4 with a 2.95 ERA last season.

Zach Plesac (Crown Point)

He went 8-2 with a 1.08 ERA and 92 strikeouts last season. He gave up just nine earned runs last season.

Five facts

1. Kankakee Valley coach Doug Greenlee is marching closer to 500 career wins. He has 493 career victories.

2. Griffith coach Brian Jennings is eight wins shy of 300.

3. Highland pitcher Jose Arellano is playing baseball after having heart surgery last October.

4. East Chicago Central junior Jazmyn Becerra played in nine varsity games last year. She is looking for more playing time this season.

5. Andrean has 19 of its 27 wins returning on the mound.



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