After last weekend’s Sarna Baseball Fall Showcase, baseball returned to Charles Nash Park in Kenosha as the Hoosier Bat Company Underclass Showcase featured eleven clubs made up mostly of 2022 graduates.
Hitters Baseball (Racine, WI), Longshots Baseball (Downers Grove, IL), Pro Player Canes (McHenry, IL) and ESP Select (Oswego, IL) sent multiple teams to Kenosha and received some quality play from their respective squads. Hitters pitching was off to a fast start thanks to Luke Klekamp (Oak Creek), Brady Banker (Carmel Catholic) and Kendall Lyons (Warren Township). All three pitchers racked up several strikeouts throughout the day while allowing no runs over their three starts. Robbie Roguszka (Greenfield) also pitched and picked up a win for Hitters. Offensively, Danny Fontana (IMG), Charlie Marion (Franklin), Xavier commit Hayden Christiansen (Richmond-Burton) and Michigan commit Mitch Voit (Whitefish Bay) were dangerous at the plate all day, driving in multiple runs to complement their team’s solid pitching. Voit and Marion both flashed their power and homered in separate games. Longshots also had some standouts across the three teams sent to Nash Park. LeBaron Lee (Yorkville) had a terrific day on the mound and chipped in offensively as well. Lefty pitcher Nate Waterman (Downers Grove South) was effective early in the day to set the tone for Longshots pitching. Rocco Tenuta (St. Francis), Danny Rollins (Lake Park), Joey Braden and Ike Maaske (Glenbard West) delivered at the plate for the Teal and Navy. Catcher Aaron Holland (Wheaton North) turned a smooth double play at the plate with bases loaded in game two.
No strangers to Nash Park, Pro Player Canes had a few notable performances of their own. Ryan Bakes (Huntley ’23) continued to hit the ball well and finished his day off with a home run to left field while Sheppard Graf (Lake Forest ’23) and Braydon Gibour (Crystal Lake Central) also added hits of their own. Jake Swanson (Grant ’23), Thomas Plizga (Fremd) and Ian Boal (Johnsburg) got the job done on the mound and C Adam Guazzo (Huntley) made a diving grab in foul territory in game one. ESP Select was the last organization to feature multiple teams over the weekend. Their standouts included MJ Ansari (Plainfield North) and Ethan Fleming (Plainfield North), who dominated on the mound and at the plate. Other contributors included Tyler Archie (Neuqua Valley), Alex Mielcarz (Oswego), Ben Wisniewski (West Aurora), Gavin Dobbels (Yorkville) and Anthony Dudzienski (Oswego East). Both ESP teams performed exceptional Saturday and combined for just one loss.
Phenom Illinois (Lake in the Hills, IL) returned to Kenosha and were competitive. P Grant Helbig (Jacobs) and Mark DeCicco (Crystal Lake South) showed out in their starts while Keegan Connors (Jacobs) got it done at the plate. 29ers Baseball (Sugar Grove, IL) also returned to Nash Park. Aidan Wagner (Metea Valley) and Jeff Davis (Moline) were a threat at the plate while Braden Alfano (Rochelle) and Ethan Plym (Hall) turned in nice pitching performances. Windy City Baseball (Chicago, IL) participated as well and produced an abundance of runs. George Nahabedian (Lincoln Park), Max Sawyer (Loyola Academy) and Ryan Kramer (Latin School of Chicago) were a big part of that while Sam Cary (Wheaton North) had a nice showing on the mound. Illinois Indians (Mount Prospect, IL) turned to Justin Parchomenko (Dundee-Crown), Cole Spresser (Bartlett) and Stevie Byrne (Schaumburg) to pitch and all three performed effectively. Athletic Barn’s (Wheeling, IL) Cole Conner (Prospect) had a lively fastball on the mound and provided a spark for his team by successfully picking off a runner at first at one point. Slammers-Coyote (Lake Forest, IL) got several nice swings out of Andrew Sellers (Libertyville) and for Force Elite (West Chicago, IL), Jacob Stewart (South Elgin) provided some quality pitching in addition to Andrew Moody’s (Glenbard West) hitting.
The Hoosier Bat Company Underclass Showcase concluded Sunday with the same teams participating in different matchups.