The Times Top 5
(Last year's record in parentheses)
1. Mount Carmel (32-9)
The Caravan lost three Division I players, but have a good nucleus in power-hitter Sam Kint, Jerry Houston, Dan Pappas and the strong arms of T.J. Laurisch and Frank Kelly.
2. Marian Catholic (18-18)
Robby Nunn (Western Illinois) and Brett Lilek (Arizona State) head up a strong pitching staff, while Robby Cifelli, Devin Picket (Iowa), Brad Bohlen and Erik Gallagher give the Spartans a solid lineup.
3. Illiana Christian (21-12)
Braden Mulder heads up a deep pitching staff and the Vikings are pretty solid and should contend for the Metro Suburban Conference title.
4. Homewood-Flossmoor (19-12)
The Vikings lost some good players, but have a good group and will be a contender for the SouthWest Suburban Blue title.
5. Washington (24-9)
There is a baseball renaissance on the East Side and the Patriots have solid pitching and good defense and could win the Public League Ernie Banks Division.