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Baseball: 2014 capsules for NIB-12 & BNC

Published: Monday, March 17, 2014 11:40 p.m. CST

NORTHERN ILLINOIG BIG 12 WEST

Dixon Dukes

Coach: Sam Gallucci (4th year)

2013: 10-23 (3-12 NIB-12 West)

Postseason: Lost 7-4 to Rochelle in

3A Rochelle Regional quarterfinal

Roster

Michael Conley Sr. 1B

Ryan Dixon Sr. SS/P

Nate Grocke Sr. C/P

Brandon Jagitsch Sr. LF

Cal Jarrett Jr. P/1B

Riley Mehrens So. 2B/P

Cody Mighell Jr. CF

A.J. Murdock Sr. C/3B

Payton Murphy Jr. 2B/P

Connor Sperling So. 3B/P

Angelo Valdes Sr. SS/P

Owen VanHorn So. RF/P

Dante Victum Sr. OF

Mitchel Wolfe Jr. CF/P

Outlook: With six returning players from a year ago, Gallucci likes the core he has to build around, and the attitude of his players. The Dukes already have four starters and four relievers penciled into their pitching rotation, and while the defense has looked good through the first 2 weeks of practice, Gallucci believes the offense may win more games for Dixon that its ‘D’.

Sterling Golden Warriors

Coach: Nick Pepper (1st season)

2013: 14-19 (5-9 NIB-12 West)

Postseason: Lost 5-2 to Rock Falls in 3A Rochelle Regional semifinal

Roster

Quinten Borum Sr. OF

Brandon Dennis Jr. IF/P

Rafael Escalante Jr. IF/P

Stephen Geiger Jr. C/P

Bryant Lilly Sr. OF/P

Nick McGuire Jr. OF/P

Turner Morse Fr. IF/P

Eldon Oltmanns Sr. OF/P

Frankie Perino Sr. IF

Zach Rehmert Sr. 1B/C

Brady Siegmund Sr. IF/P

Esteban Sosa So. P/1B

Rafael Sosa Sr. OF

Keegan Wellman Sr. OF/P

Brooks Wilkinson Jr. C

Kolton Wright Sr. IF/P

Outlook: A new coach brings many of the same traits and teaching points as the former one, meaning the Warriors’ adjustment period has been minimal. The loss of six solid senior leaders leaves a bit of a void, but fundamentals and returning varsity experience has Sterling looking for big things.

BIG NORTHERN WEST

Oregon Hawks

Coach: Adam Albrecht (3rd season)

2013: 15-15 (5-7 Big Northern West)

Postseason: Lost 7-6 to Eureka in 2A Rock Island Supersectional

Roster

4 Taylor Brubaker Jr. P/OF

5 Dominic Marchetti Jr. 1B

6 Nick Barnhart Jr. OF

7 Harry Baldwin Jr. OF

9 Josh Cook Jr. 2B/3B

10 Matt Murray Sr. P/OF

12 Corey Grady Jr. C/2B

15 Sawyer Reynolds Sr. P/3B

16 Mason Smith Jr. P/3B/OF

18 Paul Rypkema Sr. 2B/OF

19 Skylar Short Jr. OF

20 Ryan Miller Sr. OF

21 Nick Newman Sr. OF

22 Luke Ziegler Sr. 1B

23 Joey Rowe Sr. P/C/OF

24 Adam Bettner Sr. P/SS

25 Tyler Blume Sr. 1B/2B

Outlook: The Hawks return several key players who pieced together a memorable postseason run in 2013, and got within a whisker of an unlikely state tournament berth. Murray established himself as one of the top pitchers in the area by the end of last season.

Rock Falls Rockets

Coach: Donnie Chappell (15th season)

2013: 20-9 (10-2 Big Northern West)

Postseason: Lost 12-2 to Sycamore in 3A Rochelle Regional final

Roster

1 Clay Velazquez So. IF/OF/P

3 Noah Junis So. P/IF

4 James McFadden So. P/IF

7 Cayden Erickson Jr. P/OF

9 Austin Donoho Sr. P/IF10 Logan Pillars Fr. C/IF

11 Dustin Huycke Sr. P/OF

12 Cooper Kilberg So. C/IF

18 Dylan Abrams Jr. IF

21 Quinton Matznick So. P/OF

23 Trace Hippen Sr. P/IF

24 Jacob Mammosser Jr. C/IF

25 Dallas Jones Sr. IF

Outlook: The Rockets keep plugging along, with several key players returning from last year’s 20-win team. Matznick, the tentative No. 2 starter behind Donoho, will be out for another month with a knee injury dating back to football season, so some young arms will be counted on in the meantime to pick up the slack. Look for the youngsters on the roster to make an immediate impact for the Rockets.

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