State Stories

05

2017 Class 3A & 4A BASEBALL State Final Preview

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The 2017 IHSA Class 3A & Class 4A Baseball State Finals return to Slammer Stadium in Joliet, home of the Joliet Slammers, on June 9-10.

All eights games this weekend will be broadcast live by the NFHS Network on www.IHSA.tv by presenting sponsor Country Financial as IHSA TV veterans Dave Bernhard and Mark Lindo return to call the action. Bernhard will be honored on Saturday, as he will leave the broadcasting booth momentarily be presented with his IHSA Distinguished Media Service Award prior to the Class 4A state title game.

A brief synopsis and stat leaders on each of this weekend's finalists is provided below:

CLASS 3A

MARIAN CATHOLIC SPARTANS (23-15)
Marian entered the state finals in 2012 with 23 wins and 17 losses, and promptly won the state title by outscoring their two state opponents by a combined score of 13-2. Third-year head coach Tony DeCarlo is at the helm this time around, and depends on a young and talented pitching staff headed by lefty sophomore Jordan Smevoll (8-3, 1.69 ERA, 52 K). Senior Mark Diluia has been equally impressive on the mound (7-1, 1.68 ERA, 72 K), while also leading the Spartan offense (.434, 32 RBI, 6 HR) at the plate.


CHAMPAIGN CENTRAL MAROONS (30-9-1)
The Maroons have come-from-behind in four of their five State Series win, including turning a 6-0 Super-Sectional deficit against Mascoutah into a 13-6 win and the school’s first state final trip since 1968. Head coach John Staab’s squad has been led by senior OF/1B Jake Beesley (.392, 40 RBI, 37 R), while 6-4 junior Cam Robinson (11-2, 1.58 ERA, 73 K) has emerged as the ace of the Champaign Central pitching staff.


MARMION ACADEMY CADETS (21-16)
The Cadets probably weren’t envisioning the school’s first state final appearance after going 3-9 to close the regular-season, but the rugged Chicago Catholic League prepared head coach Frank Chapman’s team for the postseason. The Cadets have outscored six State Series foes 58 to 13 with junior Brandon McPherson (6-2, 1.21 ERA, 75 K) and senior OF Bobby Pierce (.391, 31 R, 29 RBI, 5 HR) leading the way on the mound and at the plate, respectively.


ST. VIATOR LIONS (23-15)
The second East Suburban Catholic qualifier in 3A (Marian), Mike Manno’s Lions are making their third state final trip in school history after placing fourth a year ago. 6-5, 250-pound senior lefty Cole Kmet, who is slated to play football and baseball at Notre Dame next year, has starred as a pitcher (7-3, 2.11 ERA, 96 K) and at the plate (.435, 44 RBI, 12 HR), while his young brother, sophomore Casey Kmet (.426, 34 R, 23 RBI), has made an immediate varsity impact.


CLASS 4A

NEW TRIER TREVIANS (30-4)
Entering the weekend with 853 career wins, Mike Napoleon adds to his legacy with his sixth state final appearance as head coach at New Trier, which includes a pair of state titles (2000, 2009) and a pair of runner-up finishes (1999, 2007). Thomas Nugent (12-1, 0.74 ERA, 50 K) has enjoyed a magnificent senior season on the hill, while senior infielder Kevin Donahue (.429, 41 R, 15 doubles) has been the team’s offensive catalyst throughout 2017.


CRYSTAL LAKE SOUTH GATORS (34-5)
This group of Gators has already set the school’s single-season record for wins, in addition to the second state final appearance in program history and first under 10th year head coach Brian Bogda. Crystal Lake South’s strength is on the mound, where they have a tandem of unbeaten pitchers leading the way in junior Kyle Lang (9-0, 1.18 ERA, 51 K) and senior Andrew Engelking (8-0, 1.84 ERA, 54 K), while senior infielder Brian Fuentes (.448, 48 RBI) has paced the offense.


EDWARDSVILLE TIGERS (33-7)
The Tigers make their sixth state final trip under long-time head coach Tim Funkhouser, who hopes to leave Joliet with his first state title and the third in school history (1990, 1998). Senior Dylan Burris (.459, 46 R) set the table for the offense, while freshman slugger Drake Westcott (.444, 40 RBI, 11 HR) is already committed to Louisville. Kade Burns (10-1, 1.11 ERA, 92 K) is the ace of the Tigers pitching staff that is headed up by pitching coach Mike Waldo, the Tigers legendary boys’ basketball coach.


ST. LAURENCE VIKINGS (35-5)
Pete Lotus has the Vikings at state for the first time as St. Laurence's head coach, which is the program's first state trip 1993, with a postseason run that includes three straight one-run victories. Senior pitcher Angel Sandoval (11-0, 0.8 ERA, 55 K) has been filthy all year long, as witnessed by needing just 60 pitches to overcome nationally ranked Neuqua Valley 5-1 in the Super-Sectional. At the plate, St. Laurence depends on future West Virginia Mountaineer Matt McCormick (.456, 47 RBI, 7 HR), a sophomore catcher, to drive in runs.

TOURNAMENT HISTORY
78th annual State Series
10th year of 4-Class Series
11th year at Silver Cross Field


SITE
Silver Cross Field (Joliet)
Directions


WEATHER
Updates/delays posted on Twitter at @IHSAWeather


SCHEDULE
Friday, June 9
Class 3A Semifinals

10:00 a.m.
Marian Catholic vs. Champaign Central

Noon
Marmion Academy vs. St. Viator

Class 4A Semifinals

3:00 p.m.
New Trier vs. Crystal Lake South

5:00 p.m.
Edwardsville vs. St. Laurence

Saturday, June 10
Class 3A Finals
9:00 a.m. - Third-Place
11:30 a.m. - Championship

Class 4A Finals
3:00 p.m. - Third-Place
5:00 p.m. - Championship


TICKETS
$6 per day


WATCH
All games available live on NFHS Network at  www.IHSA.tv


LISTEN
WSPY 107.1 FM (Plano)
Online Broadcast
Marmion games


RESULTS & BOX SCORES

IHSA Baseball Page


SOCIAL MEDIA
#IHSA
on Twitter
Twitter - @IHSAstate

Twitter Weather Updates

Instagram - @IHSA_IL

Facebook.com/IHSA.IL

Classic IHSA YouTube Video


OFFICIAL STATE FINAL
Gear from Minerva

Photos from VIP

Balls from Wilson

Souvenir Program


STATE SUPPORTERS
Country Financial

Wilson Sporting Goods

Gatorade

MaxPreps


STUDENT SAFETY
Play Smart. Play Hard.

Take the PSPH pledge...


HISTORY & RECORDS
2017 3A State Series

2017 4A State Series

Record Book & Past Champions