Jacob Pevion | Beecher| Pitcher/Infielder | Senior

Nobody in the area mashed as many home runs Pevion, who led the area with 10 dingers to compliment a .378 batting average and 27 RBIs. The River Valley Conference Player of the Year was also the Bobcats’ ace, posting a 7-2 record on the hill with an earned run average of 2.01 and 76 strikeouts.

Sam O’Connor | Bishop McNamara | Pitcher/Infielder | Senior

O’Connor was the go-to guy for the Irish both on the mound and at the plate. The Chicago Catholic League All-Conference selection flirted with three no-hitters, throwing a pair of one-hitters and a two-hitter. He also posted a .414 batting average, three homers, eight doubles and 25 RBIs.

Ryan Jemar | Bradley-Bourbonnais | Pitcher/DH | Senior

Jemar capped his high school career with one of the most dominating seasons on the mound in the area, posting a 1.5 ERA and fanning 62 batters in 46 innings of work. At the dish, the Illinois-Springfield commit was just as lethal, launching three homers and 20 RBI’s, batting .311 with an OPS of .863.

Logan Meyer | Bradley-Bourbonnais | Catcher | Junior

The Boilers’ backstop proved that not only could he withstand the defensive requirements of catching, but his bat made him one of the area’s best both behind and at the plate. The junior showed off his offensive versatility with seven doubles and six stolen bases to go along with a .316 average.

Andrew Boudreau | Central | Shorstop/OF | Senior

Boudreau led the Comets in five offensive categories on the season: batting average (.417), runs (37), hits (30), doubles (10) and stolen bases (14). The two-time all-area selection also got a few innings of relief work in, posting a 1.17 ERA in six appearances on the rubber.

Austin Boudreau | Central | Third baseman/Catcher | Senior

The Comets got all the production they could have hoped for out of their three-hitter, as Boudreau was the second Comet to bat over .400 on the season with an average of .417. He racked up 11 extra-base hits, two of them homers, and played what coach Brian Kohn called “a lockdown” third base.

Keegan Gagliardo | Coal City | Pitcher/Outfielder | Junior

The Coalers were blessed with an abundance of arms on their Super-Sectional qualifying squad and Gagliardo was a large part of that staff. He posted an ERA of 1.32. The junior lefty also finished second on the team in batting average (.356) and didn’t make an error on the mound or in the outfield.

Blake Harseim | Coal City | Pitcher/Shortstop | Senior

Harseim wrapped up his Coaler career with the third-best ERA in school history and led the team this season with an ERA of 1.21. The slick-fielding shortstop committed seven errors on the year and had the bat to go with it, hitting .372, with 33 RBIs, 11 extra-base hits and an OPS of .985.

Payton Hutchings | Coal City | Pitcher/1B/CF | Sophomore

Hutchings’ 21-strikeout perfect game against Beecher will long be remembered as one of the most impressive outings in area history, and that game was just the beginning of a monstrous season. The sophomore southpaw also no-hit Manteno this season and was named the Interstate Eight Conference pitcher of the year. He led the area with a whopping 128 strikeouts in 65 innings of work, posting an ERA of 1.40. At the plate, the University of Illinois commit set the table at the leadoff spot, batting .347, with 12 doubles, 38 runs and an on-base percentage of .448.

Austin Pullara | Coal City | Catcher | Sophomore

Before this season started, Pullara was not a catcher, but out of necessity, the sophomore was brought up to the varsity squad to fill the hole behind the plate. Pullara blossomed into one of the area’s best catchers and became a mainstay in a loaded Coalers lineup. Batting cleanup, Pullara hit .322 with 13 extra-base-hits and 38 runs, all while handling one of the best pitching staffs in the Illinois.

Logan Graham | Dwight | Pitcher/Infielder | Junior

Graham was one of the most lethal hitters in the area this season, finishing in the top 10 in both batting average (.455) and homers (five). The junior also had an otherworldly 1.289 OPS, thanks in large part to a massive on-base percentage of .547. On the mound, Graham struck out 71 hitters to finish in the area top 10, as well as posting an ERA of 3.34

Joey Morales | Gardner-South Wilmington | Pitcher/Third Baseman | Junior

Morales was the Panthers’ MVP in 2018, and for good reason as his .452 batting average, three triples were all inside the top ten in the area. The do-it-all junior was just as scary to face as a pitcher, where he posted a 1.51 ERA, 43 strikeouts and an opponents batting average of .252 in 37 innings of work.

Lane Thiesen | Grant Park | Catcher/Third Baseman | Junior

Thiesen led the area in batting average (.509) while catching and playing third base for the Dragons. Out of his 29 hits, a dozen went for extra bases, including a pair of homers. When he wasn’t getting hits, Thiesen was still able to make plenty of contact, only striking out six times on the season.

Kaden Hubly | Herscher | Second Baseman/Catcher | Senior

Tigers coach Eric Regez has seen a lot in his time at Herscher, but a player who effectively played the combination of catcher and second base was something Regez didn’t see until Hubly put on a Herscher uniform. His 19 doubles in 2018 are tied for the single-season school record. Hubly hit .398 on the season, with an on-base percentage of .521, to go along with 33 RBIs and 27 runs.

Tyler Jarnagin | Herscher | Shortstop/Pitcher | Senior

Not many players meant as much to their team as Jarnagin, whose 57 runs from the leadoff spot were over a dozen more than anyone else in the area. The senior shortstop also hit .384 with eight homers (second in the area) and 41 RBIs. When he wasn’t manning the whole, Jarnagin was electric on the mound, posting a microscopic ERA of 0.66 in six relief appearances and two starts for the Tigers.

Herscher's Tyler Stuart and McKinley Keenan

Herscher's Tyler Stuart and McKinley Keenan discuss strategy during a game at Wilmington earlier this season.

McKinley Keenan | Herscher | Catcher | Senior

The Tigers’ senior backstop was a mainstay the past two seasons, catching 342 innings during his career. During that time, Keenan had a .989 fielding percentage and threw out 68 percent of would-be base stealers. Keenan complimented his glove with a steady bat in the middle of a potent Tigers offense. He hit .331 with five homers and 30 RBIs.

Anthony Koranda | Herscher | Pitcher/Outfielder | Senior

Koranda’s 61 hits on the season led the Tigers and ranks second all-time at Herscher. He hit .436, slugging four homers and driving in 38 runs. On the mound, Koranda had no shortage of special moments, but his no-hitter against Reed-Custer in the regional championship ranks among the top in the area’s recent memory. On the season, Koranda posted an ERA of 2.87, allowing 35 hits and striking out 42 hitters in 36 innings.

Tyler Stuart | Herscher | Pitcher/First Baseman | Senior

Stuart is the 2018 Daily Journal’s Player of the Year, and for good reason. The Southern Missisippi commit piled up 117 strikeouts in 66 innings and posted an ERA of 1.06, tops among area pitchers who pitched at least 40 innings. Stuart’s 219 career strikeouts are fifth in Herscher history and his 22 wins are fourth. His 10-1 record and 55 hits at the plate made him the second player in school history to record 10 wins and rack up 50 hits. Stuart hit .466 with six homers, 36 RBIs and 37 runs, all top five in the area. The 6-foot-8 righty was also named a second-team All-American by the Collegiate Baseball newspaper.

Mason Crews | Manteno | Catcher/Pitcher | Senior

Crews’ power behind the plate made him one of the area’s most feared hitters. His seven homers were third in the area, and his 29 RBIs, three triples and 1.291 OPS were all top ten in the area. Crews was also one of the top local pitchers, finishing in the top ten in ERA (1.86) and strikeouts (57). Crews’ senior campaign was his fourth as a varsity starter and third as an All-Interstate Eight selection, leaving behind a legacy as one of the most productive Panthers in school history.

Matt Rose | Manteno | Pitcher/1B/OF | Senior

A three-year starter, Rose was the Robin to Crews’ Batman, except for the multitude of days Rose spent as Batman himself. Rose was 5-0 on the mound as a starter and also picked up a pair of saves in 13 total pitching appearances. He allowed just four earned runs in 31 innings of work for an ERA of 0.89 and struck out 55 batters. Offensively, Rose’s 33 RBIs were tied for fifth in the area.

Manteno's Matt Rose

Manteno pitcher Matt Rose watches his release during the Panthers’ 12-2 victory against Rich Central in a Class 3A regional semifinal at Manteno High School this past spring.

Trey Vorwald | Manteno | Outfielder | Junior

Few players were as consistent as Vorwald was in the leadoff spot and in left field for the Panthers. He hit .364 and his 33 runs were tied for ninth in the area. Vorwald’s speed gave him extra range in left field, and the All-Interstate Eight selection was hailed by coach Matt Beckner for his immense dedication to the Panthers.

Ben Wogan | Momence | Pitcher/Center Fielder | Senior

Wogan has been one of the area’s best kept secrets for Momence, posting the area’s second-highest batting average at .494. The senior also finished in the top ten in runs (33), doubles (nine) and triples (three). Wogan also led Momence on the mound, racking up a team-high four wins and 49 strikeouts.

Luke Hafner | Peotone | Left Fielder | Senior

Not only was Hafner the top slugger for the Blue Devils, but he was one of the area’s top sluggers as well. His six homers tied the area for fourth overall, and Hafner added five additional extra-base-hits to go along with 20 RBIs, 22 runs and a .316 batting average.

Gavin Grace | Reed-Custer | Outfielder | Senior

Grace was a constant on the base paths for the Comets this season, hitting .384 and finishing the year with an on-base percentage of .442. Grace had at least two hits in over a third of the Comets’ contests, doing so ten times, while recording five three-hit games.

Conner Dempsay | Wilmington | Second Baseman/Pitcher |

Dempsay found himself near the top of the leader board in a plethora of offensive categories. His .448 batting average, 36 runs, nine doubles and five homers were all top ten in the area, with his average leading the Interstate Eight Conference. Dempsay also excelled on the mound, posting a 2.60 ERA and striking out 40 batters in 35 innings.

Special Mention: Hunter Eastham, Beecher; Tyler Hiller, Bishop McNamara; Owen Jackson, Bishop McNamara; Dominik Koziol, Bishop McNamara; Grant Longin, Bradley-Bourbonnais; Kristopher Petty, Bradley-Bourbonnais; Beau Wills, Coal City; Brodi Winge, Donovan; Logan Fritz, Herscher; Ryan Volk, Herscher; Tibaldo Alvarez, Iroquois West; E.J. Robertson, Kankakee; Darien Bechard, Manteno; Josiah Zamora, Manteno; Brock Bolser, Wilmington.

Honorable Mention: Ryan LeBlanc, Beecher; Tyler Jasmin, Bradley-Bourbonnais; Jordan O’Neal, Bradley-Bourbonnais; Keegan Boyle, Cissna Park; Justin Dabulskis, Coal City; Austin Friddle, Coal City; Sean Micetich, Coal City; Cade Enerson, Dwight; Alexis Ramirez, Iroquois West; Ryan Crockett, Manteno; Noah Bramer, Momence; Caleb LaGrange, Reed-Custer; Jack Stellano, Reed-Custer; Travis DeYoung, St. Anne; Nick Fraser, Trinity; Ben Lyznicki, Watseka.

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