A first-team All-Conference selection in the River Valley Conference, Brody led the Bobcats with a .395 batting average, his second time in as many years pacing his team in that category. The do-it-all senior recorded 12 extra-base hits and was second on the Bobcats with 31 runs playing around the diamond. In limited work on the mound, Brody dazzled when coach Brandon DuBois called his name, posting a 1.62 earned run average in 13 innings.
DeShawn Doss| Beecher|Outfielder|Senior
Not only was Doss a first-team all-conference selection, but the speedy senior also was voted as the Bobcats’ Most Valuable Player. Doss led the Bobcats in a slew of offensive categories, including home runs (three), RBIs (33), on-base percentage (.542) and slugging (.705). The Ottawa University commit’s season highlight came against Westmont, when he slugged a walkoff grand slam to give the Bobcats a 5-2 win.
Tyler Hiller|Bishop McNamara|Pitcher/Infielder|Junior
After reaching a football state championship game at quarterback and serving as the sixth man on the Irish’s basketball team, Hiller saved his best performance for last with an eye-popping spring. Hiller had 33 RBIs, tied for fifth in the area, and 12 extra-base hits. But his real magic came on the mound, where he posted a 6-1 record, including a no-hitter against Peotone in regional play.
Owen Jackson|Bishop McNamara|Catcher|Junior
The Irish won their first sectional in 25 years, and the 2019 Daily Journal Co-Player of the Year was the catalyst for that special season. Jackson smoked an area-leading 12 home runs to go along with an area-best 48 RBIs and finished in the area’s Top-10 in batting average, leading the Irish at a .456 clip. All of those numbers came as Jackson also saw 27 walks, many of those coming intentionally as opposing teams did whatever they could to avoid throwing to the lefty slugger.
Broghan O’Connor|Bishop McNamara|Outfielder|Senior
Now a two-time all-area selection, O’Connor earned the accolade in the two years he was able to play, as torn ACLs in each knee cost the Irish’s heart and soul half of his prep baseball career. O’Connor, who was joined by Hiller and Jackson as first-team Metro Suburban All-Conference selections, tied for eighth in the area with 30 RBIs, with four of those coming with a monstrous grand slam against Herscher in the sectional championship.
Max O’Connor|Bishop McNamara|Pitcher/Infielder|Junior
The winning pitcher in McNamara’s sectional semifinal against Chicago Christian, O’Connor was the No.-2 man in the Irish rotation and had the numbers to back it up. The first-team all-conference selection was a perfect 5-0 on the year and had about as many strikeouts (36) as he allowed hits (42) in 39 innings of work. At the plate, O’Connor posted a .349 average with 11 doubles and 34 runs, tied for seventh in the area.
Jack Jasmin|Bradley-Bourbonnais|Second Baseman|Senior
Not many hitters showed the discipline Jasmin did, as he struck out just five times in 86 at-bats against IHSA Class 4A competition. A key hitter at the top of the order, the SouthWest Suburban All-Conference selection posted a .370 batting average and .465 on-base percentage. Jasmin will take his bat and slick-fielding glove across town next season as a Kankakee Community College commit.
Meyer’s high school career ends with him going down as one of the best Boilers in recent history, maybe beyond that. A two-year starter behind the plate, Meyer finished tied for the 10th in the area with a .456 batting average to go along with an on-base-plus-slugging percentage of 1.18. The all-conference selection will continue his collegiate career on the east coast, as Meyer is committed to play at perennial powerhouse Coastal Carolina.
Alex Rodriguez|Bradley-Bourbonnais|Pitcher/Outfielder/First Baseman|Junior
As anyone with the name Alex Rodriguez should be, the Boilers’ junior was a potent power hitter, especially when he hit a mammoth solo blast in an all-city win against Bradley-Bourbonnais. During the course of the season, Rodriguez slugged at a .448 clip to go along with a .347 batting average. On the mound, Rodriguez showed flashes of greatness at times with a blazing fastball complimented with filthy off-speed offerings, striking out 29 hitters in 30 2/3 innings.
Trent Spoon|Bradley-Bourbonnais|Pitcher/First Baseman|Junior
The second of a pair of talented returning pitchers, Spoon spent his first varsity season as the ace of the Boilers’ staff. The southpaw earned his most impressive win of the season when he allowed two runs (one earned) in a complete-game win against Bishop McNamara. His 2.70 ERA and 42 strikeouts in 42 innings are all-area worthy on their own, and Spoon added a .346 batting average offensively, displaying his complete arsenal.
Jay Lemenager|Central|Pitcher/First Baseman/Outfielder|Sophomore
One of a plethora of talented sophomores in Clifton, Lemenager burst on the scene in a major way. In addition to being a first-team all-conference selection in the Sangamon Valley Conference, Lemenager received the most votes on the Iroquois County All-County squad. On the mound, Lemenager went 4-2 with an astounding 58 strikeouts in 35 innings. He used that arm to tally four outfield assists and displayed his power with three home runs.
Keegan Boyle|Cissna Park|Outfielder|Junior
Simply put, Boyle was one of the best all-around area players this season. As both a Sangamon Valley All-Conference and Iroquois County All-County selection, Boyle led the area in runs (43) and tied for fifth in the area with four homers. He hit .404 and complimented his power with 30 stolen bases from the lead-off spot, where he reached base in exactly half of his plate appearances.
Keegan Gagliardo|Coal City|Pitcher/Outfielder|Senior
A three-year starter for the Coalers, Gagliardo rounded out his prep career with his second appearance on both the Interstate Eight All-Conference and Daily Journal All-Area teams. One of the most fearsome pitchers in the area, Gagliardo went a perfect 8-0 and posted a microscopic 0.62 ERA and equally miniscule WHIP of 0.71. The senior southpaw will continue his career at Lincoln-Trail Junior College.
Payton Hutchings|Coal City|Pitcher/Outfielder/First Baseman|Junior
Hutchings has spent his high school career as somewhat of a prodigy, as he committed to Illinois before the start of his sophomore season. The southpaw hasn’t disappointed in the slightest. The Daily Journal Co-Player of the Year struck out 87 hitters in 48 2/3 innings, second in the area and posted a 0.58 ERA, which ranked third in the area, and a 0.78 WHIP. He posted an area-best 9-1 record, with his lone loss coming in a two-hit effort against Brother Rice. Offensively, Hutchings set the table in the leadoff spot by hitting .389 with an OPS of 1.14 and tied for fifth in the area with 35 runs.
Austin Pullara|Coal City|Catcher/Third Baseman|Junior
Hutchings’ personal catcher, Pullara split his time behind the plate and the hot corner, producing at both spots. One of the more well-rounded area players, the junior all-conference selection moved to third in school history in stolen bases by swiping 24 bags this season to go along with an OPS of 1.059. Pullara’s 30 RBIs were tied for eighth in the area and his three homers were tied for 10th. With one year left with the Coalers, Pullara has a chance to find his name atop multiple program records.
Without question, Graham leaves Dwight as one of the most accomplished athletes in Trojan history. He led the Trojans in every offensive category and nearly every pitching category on his way to all-conference honors in the SVC. His seven home runs were second in the area, and he also finished tied for eighth with 30 RBIs. On the mound, he was tied for fifth with five wins, and his 77 punchouts were third in the area.
Matthew Wepprecht|Gardner-South Wilmington|Pitcher/First Baseman|Senior
Wepprecht will be remembered for years to come in the G-SW area, serving as a four-year starter for the Panthers. He was voted the team’s MVP and was also a first-team all-conference selection in the RVC. He was the team-leader in almost every offensive and defensive category, as his 34 RBIs were good enough to tie for third in the area. On the rubber, the senior stalwart was a perfect 5-0.
Walthers was the do-it-all man for a young Tigers squad. After serving as the primary reliever for last year’s state finals team, Walthers moved up into the ace starter role and did not disappoint. He posted a 5-2 record on the year, with his five wins tied for fifth in the area, to go along with 64 strikeouts, sixth in the area. But his season highlight came at the plate, when he smacked a walk-off single with two outs in the bottom of the 10th inning in the Tigers’ sectional semifinal win against Chicago University.
One of the youngest all-area selections, Kearney found himself a key cog for the Kays right away and made instant history by setting a new program standard with a .533 batting average, which was fourth in the area. Kearney led the Kays in nearly every offensive category, ranging from extra-base hits (11) to stolen bases (21). On the mound, the diaper dandy posted a 3-1 record and fanned 54 hitters in 43 innings.
Barrios meant to the Panthers what Darius Rucker meant to Hootie and the Blowfish — everything. The team’s MVP and Interstate Eight South Player of the Year, Barrios tied for second in the area with seven homers and was second with 42 RBIs. On the mound, the southpaw racked up six wins, tied for third in the area, thanks in large part to a 2.12 ERA despite facing some of the southern suburbs’ most potent lineups.
Caleb Atwood|Milford|First Baseman|Junior
Atwood burst onto the scene with one of the hottest bats in the area this season. He managed a .473 batting average, which ranked seventh in the area, and finished tied for third in the area with 34 RBIs. The most impressive number for Atwood has to be his outrageous OPS of 1.324, indicating he has a knack for getting on base but usually by more than one bag at a time.
Marshino wrapped up a four-year varsity starter career by notching his 100th career hit during a season in which he led the Bearcats with 35. His .471 batting average was eighth in the area. The senior also got it done whenever he toed the rubber. He posted a 4-2 record with a 2.69 ERA and struck out 52 batters in 39 innings and served as the ace of Milford’s staff, joining Atwood on the Vermilion Valley All-Conference team.
The area’s leading hitter with a .600 batting average, King did whatever Momence needed him to do. He appeared primarily as a catcher and also spent time at shortstop and a few innings on the mound. Wherever he played, the first-team All-SVC selection raked. He had 12 extra-base hits, including a whopping seven triples, and posted an unfathomable 1.729 OPS.
Caleb Hunter|Peotone|Pitcher/First Baseman|Senior
It didn’t take long for Hunter to make his mark on the season as one of the area’s top arms. The lanky lefty was nearly flawless in his opening day start when he tossed a one-hit shutout at Bradley-Bourbonnais. That paved the way for Hunter’s stellar season, one in which he finished with a 5-3 record and 2.60 ERA, racking up 55 strikeouts in 48 innings. The Olivet commit also could swing, as he posted a .382 batting average with seven extra-base hits.
Despite being just a sophomore, Hunt showed no fear on the mound for a Comets team that finished a win away from a regional championship, allowing himself to pitch to contact and let his defense make plays. He struck out just 22 hitters in 40 1/3 innings, but it worked for the sophomore hurler. Hunt posted the area’s second-best ERA at 0.52 and racked up an unblemished 5-0 record with a pair of saves.
Loomis wrapped up a stellar Comets career with a bang, both on the hill and at the plate. As the ace of his staff, Loomis used pinpoint precision and a wealth of pitches to finish the season with a 6-2 record, tied for third in the area, and 2.68 ERA. Offensively, the Interstate Eight All-Conference selection had a knack for rounding the bases, scoring 34 runs, fourth in the area. Loomis added a .367 batting average and pair of homers as well.
Caleb Kendregan|Trinity|Outfielder/First Baseman/Pitcher|Freshman
As one of just two freshmen all-area selections, Kendregan immediately had an effect at the high school level. He finished third in the area with a sizzling .550 batting average, recorded a 1.446 OPS, drove in 26 runs and scored 27 of his own. On the bump, Kendregan went 5-3 and struck out 37 hitters in just 23 2/3 innings. The Association of Christian Schools All-Conference selection was as disciplined as can be, committing just one error and striking out just twice.
Special Mention: Ryan LeBlanc, Beecher; Kaden Winget, Beecher; Dom Koziol, Bishop McNamara; Jacob Shoven, Central; Jack Bunton, Coal City; Mickey McDowell, Coal City; Ian Rogers, Cissna Park; Bailey Sluis, Cissna Park; Colton Holm, Dwight; Joey Morales, Gardner-South Wilmington; Nathan Wozniak, Gardner-South Wilmington; Will Schneider, Grant Park; Ben Koranda, Herscher; Ethan McNeely, Kankakee; Anthony Lopez, Manteno; Luke Trepanier, Manteno; Alex Barney, Milford; Joe Roberson, Momence; Caleb LaGrange, Reed-Custer; Nick Fraser, Trinity; Ben Lyznicki, Watseka; Conner Dempsay, Wilmington; Keaton Hopwood, Wilmington
Honorable Mention: Hunter Eastham, Beecher; Jared Born, Bishop McNamara; Preston Goodman, Bishop McNamara; Connor Johnson, Bishop McNamara; Gabe Renchen, Bradley-Bourbonnais; Canyon Burrow, Central; Tyler Pelehowski, Central; Conner Lober, Cissna Park; Damian Renteria, Cissna Park; Cameron Lander, Coal City; Tyson Spencer, Coal City; Andy Onnen, Donovan; Carson Crouch, Dwight; Jordan Isaacs, Grace Christian; Nate Kemnetz, Grace Christian; Sawyer Loitz, Grant Park; Tanner Mullin, Herscher; Darien Bechard, Manteno; Ryan Crockett, Manteno; Cesar Anaya, Peotone; Nick Scroppo, Peotone; Max Lepper, Reed-Custer; Jack Stellano, Reed-Custer; Shane McDivitt, Watseka; Mark Youngquist, Wilmington