Perfect Game High School will releasing previews for each region in the coming weeks. The previews will be released two weeks prior to first regional rankings. The schedule is as follows:
Florida - Week of March 3
Southeast (AR, LA, MS, AL, GA, TN)- March 10
Pacific (CA, HI)- March 11
Texahoma (TX, OK)- March 17
Southwest (NM, AZ, NV, UT)- Week of March 28
Great Plains (CO, MO, IA, MN, NE, KS, ND)- Week of April 11
Northeast (PA, NJ, NY, CT, RI, MA, VT, NH, ME)-Week of April 11
Northwest (WA, OR, ID, AK) - Week of April 18
The state is loaded with top teams and prospects. Most of it is in the Chicago-land region, but some teams from downstate (Chatham Glenwood, Harrisburg, Ottawa Marquette, Teutopolis, IVC, and O’Fallon) look to challenge for state titles. Providence Catholic and St. Rita are the favorites with rosters deep with pitching and hitting prospects. Downers Grove South will be tough to beat with pitchers Nick Burdi and Matt Wivinis, and Mount Carmel, Nazareth Academy, St. Laurence, Oak Park-River Forest, and Stevenson all are contenders to watch.
New Trier CF Charlie Tilson was one of the biggest risers late last summer with his performance at the Area Code games in California. Tilson showed very solid tools across the board and hit the event’s only homerun at cavernous Blair Field. His name shot up draft boards as he looks to be an impact CF who can run and throw, as well as hit with power and aggressively run the bases. While Tilson doesn’t get as much exposure during the season as warm-weather state prospects, scouts will be making their way to the northern suburb of Winnetka to see the Illinois commit this spring.
The state’s two top teams look to be St. Xavier and Lexington Catholic, the top teams in rival cities Louisville and Lexington. St. X won the first contest 2-1 with three pitchers combining on a no-hitter. The next time these two teams would face off would be in the KHSAA state playoffs. Kentucky is one of the only states in the nation that crown only one champion and these two teams are favorites, along with defending champion Harrison County.
4. Cathedral vs. Lawrence
Indianapolis is home to two of the top teams in the Midwest region. Cathedral is the early favorite and is ranked #1 by the Indiana High School Coaches. Lawrence will be tough to beat with teams facing the grim prospect of facing either RHP Christian Mongomery or RHP Jared Ruxer. Cathedral has the top position player among the two teams in 3B Phil Mosey who has committed to travel north and play for Notre Dame next year. The teams face off April 23 at Victory Field, home of the AAA Indianapolis Indians.
5. Top Ohio Teams
As it is in football and basketball, Ohio is one of the most competitive states in high school baseball. Teams hailing from Cleveland to Columbus to Cincinnati and everywhere in between can stake the claim as the state’s top team. Moeller is currently the state’s top ranked team, sitting at #46 in the PG National High School rankings. They will face a strong test from Lakewood St. Edward, as well as Walsh Jesuit, Dublin Coffman, and Jonathan Alder.
Top Teams (alphabetical order)
Brother Rice (MI) – The Warriors are continually among the top teams in the state and that looks to be the case again this year. They are led by Michigan State commit C Jimmy Pickens and junior RHP Matt Constance.
Cathedral (IN) – The Fighting Irish have started the season 5-1 and sit at #34 in the PG National High School Rankings. LHP Dillon Peters (committed to Texas) and 3B Phil Mosey (committed to Notre Dame) are two of the top players in the Midwest Region.
Downers Grove South (IL) – The Mustangs survived their first national test at the Big League Dugout Invitational in Scottsdale last week, beating Nevada powerhouse Bishop Gorman. They dropped a one-run contest to perennial Arizona title contender Hamilton the next day, and have returned to Illinois and won all three of their games. With RHPs Nick Burdi and Matt Wivinis they might have the best one-two punch in the state.
Lakewood St. Edward (OH) – The Cleveland-area school is a sports powerhouse with arguably the top wrestling program in the nation and a football team that won state in 2010. The baseball program is always in the running for the state title something they have accomplished in 1998, 2008, and in 2010. They will have to replace RHP Stetson Allie (2nd round Pirates), C Alex Lavisky (8th round Indians), and IF Ross Kivett (Kansas State) from last year’s championship squad.
Lawrence Central (IN) – The Bears will battle Cathedral for the title of best team in the state. They feature a great pitching duo in RHPs Christian Montgomery and Jared Ruxer, as well as SS Brandon Krieg, a Purdue commit.
Lexington Catholic (KY) – Catholic has dropped three early games but looks like one of the most talented teams in the state. Kentucky commit RHP Taylor Martin leads the way, and the team has lots of depth with RHP Tyler Arthur, RHP RJ Carroll, OF Nick Chafin, SS Will Hurt, and C Tyler Jackson. They also have a top 2013 to watch, IF Evan Fraliex.
Moeller (OH) – Another Ohio sports powerhouse, Moeller has started the year 5-1 and look to be the top team in Cincinnati this year. Tim Held’s squad is led by INF Alex Barlow , RHP/OF Kevin Brinkman, 1B/RHP Jake Madsen, and C Kyle Robinett.
Providence Catholic (IL) – The Celtics, are the top team in Illinois and have a staggering amount of talent, with seven Division 1 commits. They won the early season WJOL Invite with wins over Lemont, Plainfield Central, and Joliet Catholic and are the early favorite to bring home the Illinois 4A title.
St. Rita (IL) – Providence’s biggest competition might be St. Rita, who despite having to replace All-State CF Mark Payton, are again loaded with talent. They have four Division 1 commits in LHP/1B Joe Filomeno (Louisville), RHP/SS Nico Zych (Tennessee-Martin), RHP Eddie Delariva (Purdue), and C Brian Sicher (Air Force).
St. Xavier (KY) – The Tigers picked up a big victory over Lexington Catholic, in last week’s National High School Game of the Week, but have since dropped three games, two to Noblesville (IN) and one to Moeller (OH). St. X is led by their impressive pitching staff of RHPs Zach Clooney, Ryan Loehnert, Matt Spalding, and LHP Ian Tompkins.
April 20 Marian Catholic (IL) vs. Andrean (IN) @ Steelyard Stadium, Gary, IN
Marian features LHP Brett Lilek, the top ranked 2012 from Illinois. Andrean has RHP/SS Zac Ryan one of the top sophomores in the country.
April 21 Mt. Carmel (IL) @ Simeon (IL)
These schools are Illinois sports powerhouses with multiple state titles across several sports. Mt. Carmel features OF Jeff Boehm (Kentucky commit) while Simeon boasts top 2012 C Blake Hickman.
April 23 Lawrence Central (IN) vs. Cathedral (IN) @ Victory Field, Indianapolis, IN
This may be the game of the year in the Midwest region, between the two most talented teams in Indiana. The pitching matchup could be Dillon Peters vs. Christian Montgomery.
April 27 and April 30 St. Rita (IL) @/vs. Providence Catholic (IL)
If the Indiana matchup above isn’t the game of the year, this one might be with the top two Illinois teams facing off twice within four days.
April 29 Divine Child (MI) @ Brother Rice (MI)
These two top Michigan teams are led by star catchers Jimmy Pickens (Brother Rice) and Eric Haase (Divine Child).
May 2 Walsh Jesuit (OH) @St. Edwards (OH)
Walsh has gotten off to a 5-0, including a rainout of this potential matchup, between the top two teams in Northeast Ohio. A player to watch is Walsh Jesuit C/3B Cassidy Brown, one of the top sophomores in the nation.
May 4 New Trier (IL) @ Stevenson (IL)
The two northern suburban teams face off with all eyes likely on New Trier CF Charlie Tilson, who will get a test when facing Stevenson LHP Jeremy Scheck, a Clemson commit.
May 6 St. Xavier (KY) @ Cathedral (IN)
An intriguing inter-state battle that matches the top team in Louisville vs. the top team in Indianapolis. A Matt Spalding vs. Dillon Peters matchup would attract a bevy of scouts.
May 6 Moeller (OH) @ Vandalia Butler (OH)
Moeller gets the unenviable task of facing Butler RHP Taylore Cherry, the 4th ranked player in the 2012 class and a North Carolina commit. Cherry is 6’9, weighs in at 260 pounds and has been clocked in the low 90s with more to come.
May 19 Downers Grove South (IL) @ Oak Park River Forest (IL)
South’s pitchers Nick Burdi and Matt Wivinis will have to face always-strong Oak Park-River Forest, who are led by OF Tim Barry, a Kansas State commit.
PG High School Midwest Dream Team
C- Eric Haase, Divine Child (MI), Sr.
1B- Ryan Krill, Portage Central (MI), Sr.
2B- Zack Storm, North Laurel (KY), Jr.
3B- Phil Mosey, Cathedral (IN), Sr.
SS- Travis Maezes, Pioneer (MI), Jr.
OF- Charlie Tilson, New Tier (IL) Sr.
OF- Jeff Boehm, Mt.Carmel (IL) Sr.
OF- Austin Cousino, Dublin Coffman (OH), Sr.
Util- Joe Perricone, Hersey (IL), Sr.
P- Nick Burdi, RHP, Downers Grove South (IL), Sr.
P- Christian Montgomery, RHP, Lawrence Central (IN), Sr.
P- Matthew Smoral, LHP, Solon (OH), Jr.
P- Taylore Cherry, RHP, Vandalia Butler (OH), Jr.
P- Matt Spalding, RHP, St.Xavier (KY), Sr.
Regional Best Tools
Best Hitter For Average: Charlie Tilson, OF, New Tier (IL), Sr.
Best Hitter For Power: Tim Barry, OF, Oak Forest (IL), Sr.
Best Baserunner: Charlie Tilson, OF, New Trier (IL), Sr.
Best Defensive Catcher: Eric Haase, Divine Child (MI), Sr.
Best Defensive Infielder: Max Kuhn, Zionsville (IN), Sr.
Best Defensive Outfielder: Charlie Tilson, OF, New Trier (IL), Sr.
Best Infield Arm: Jake Junis, SS, Rock Falls (IL), Sr.
Best Outfield Arm: Jeff Schalk, OF, Wheaton North (IL), Sr.
Best Fastball: Nick Burdi, RHP, Downers Grove South (IL), Sr.
Best Offspeed Stuff: Christian Montgomery, RHP, Lawrence Central (IN)
Best Command: Matt Wisler, RHP, Bryan (OH)
Best Pitchability: Dillon Peters, LHP, Cathedral (IN)
Follow us on Twitter @highschoolPG and on Facebook