Prep Baseball Report

IHSA 3A State Playoffs: Preview Story

By: Alison Pielsnik & Diego Solares
PBR Staff

The 2022 IHSA Class 3A state tournament is beginning, with the semifinals starting on this Friday, June 10th at Duly Health & Care Field, in Joliet IL. Friday’s games begin with a matchup between Washington and Chatham (Glenwood) at 10:00 a.m.. Game two will follow shortly after, at roughly 12:00 p.m. between Crystal Lake (South) and LaGrange Park (Nazareth Academy). 

On Saturday, the loser of both Friday games will face off for third place at 9:00 a.m., same field. The championship game will be played after, at 11:30. 

Below you’ll find a brief overview of the four teams battling it out for the coveted state championship trophy. 


After going 34-5, including an undefeated record in the Mid-Illini conference, Washington will be playing to redeem themselves in the state tournament after placing fourth last year. The Panthers recently defeated Sycamore 8-4 in the Super-Sectionals after taking down conference-foe Morton in the sectional championship en route to their spot at state. 

A heavy upperclassmen team, Washington will look to a handful of seniors to lead the way on Friday. SS/RHP Easton Harris (2022, Bradley University) is just one of ten seniors on the team. Harris leads the team in many categories, including batting average with a .478 mark, and a .593 on-base percentage LHP/OF Gus Lucas (2022, Bradley University), who’ll join Harris in a Braves’ uniform next spring, has been playing baseball with his college counterpart since the duo was seven years old. He too is a standout on this squad, following closely behind Harris in several offensive categories. He’s batting .411 and leads the team in doubles with 13, while also serving as an anchor on the hill for the Panthers. 1B Tyler Bishop (2022) is another strong senior hitter to back up Washington’s offense, batting a .364 batting average, and leading in RBIs with 49 on the season. Senior Jack Limas batted .331 with seven extra-base hits over 118 at-bats this spring as well. 

While Harris is the force that runs this offense, he’s also been the Panthers’ most dominant arm, pitching to a 0.88 ERA across 63 innings this spring and punching out an absurdly impressive 114 batters. Lucas matched Harris in innings pitched, striking out 110 in that span with a 1.78 ERA. These two experienced arms should anchor the Panthers in their quest for the 3A state title. 


The Glenwood Titans will be playing at the state tournament under second-year head coach Casey Erickson this year. This is the first state appearance Glenwood will have since being coached under IHSA legend Pat Mooney. 

Glenwood has a solid group of commits, with a handful of top-ranked Illinois players. RHP/1B Parker Detmers (2023, Louisville) is one of the top-ranked juniors in the Midwest and is ranked No. 4 overall in Illinois. Detmers has had a solid year on the mound, with a 9-2 record, 2.83 ERA and 89 strikeouts over 52 innings. SS Nolan McMasters (2022, Illinois-Springfield) is another name-to-know on this roster, posting relatively loud numbers across the board. The Illinois-Springfield signee batted .436 and blasted nine home runs, doubling 17 times while driving in 38. LHP/1B Zane Danielson (2022, Lincoln Land JC) is another senior commit who has dealt on the mound this season. On the mound, Danielson is 5-1 with 75 Ks, doing so across 49 innings. C Will Plattner (2022, Wabash Valley JC) matches up with McMasters in the middle of this order, thumping 15 extra-base hits, six of which were home runs, and batting .340 on the spring. 

Though the Titans as a whole don’t have much experience this deep into the state playoffs, their roster is plenty talented and they’ve navigated their way through a tough all-around schedule to this point. Detmers gives them an ace on the mound, and their senior leaders nestled inside the middle of this order will look to propel the Titans to a state championship in their final hoorah. 


After making an intense comeback win in the Super-Sectionals against Fenwick, Crystal Lake South’s dream playoff run continues. The Gators took home the 4A crown in 2017, and they made yet another Fox Valley Conference team to make some noise at the state tourney. 

Leading the team in batting average is the younger brother of Scottie Skwarek, who started at second base for the Gators’ 2017 title team: 3B/RHP Ryan Skwarek (2023). Skwarek paced the Gators with a .430 batting average, pounding out 40 hits throughout the spring and driving in 33 runs. Sophomore INF Dayton Murphy (2024) is another steady contributor, starting on the infield dirt with 33 hits on the year.

South’s strength on the mound is their pitching staff, and they’ll look for their one-two punch of  RHP Ysen Useni (2022, Illinois-Chicago) and RHP Mark DeCicco (2022, McHenry County JC) to lead them in Joliet. Useni struck out 92 batters over 52 innings this year, pitching to a 2.15 ERA in that span. DeCicco’s been impressive in his own right, striking out over a batter per inning (53/52) with a 2.42 ERA to pair. 

The Gators are a scrappy, well-coached group and battling through the rigid Fox Valley Conference schedule has prepared them for what’s lied ahead in the playoffs. They’ll look to keep defeating the odds with perennial powerhouse Nazareth Academy on the horizon. 


Nazareth Academy is a team full of young, talented players. The amount of sheer talent and commits drives this team. After breezing their way through the playoffs, the Roadrunners’ are ready to ride that momentum to a potential state title. 

Although only a few seniors make their way to the starting lineup, the few that do are a solid bunch. 3B/RHP Sebastian Gutierrez (2022, Parkland College) is a live-armed right-hander with swing-and-miss stuff, punching out 68 and allowing only 30 hits through 45 innings on the mound with a 2.33 ERA. INF Luke Brabham (2022, Morton JC) has long been a staple in this lineup, batting .369 with 38 total hits and he’s driven in 25 runs, too.

OF Lucas Smith (2023 Illinois-Chicago) may be Nazareth’s most stable contributor offensively, and he’s proven his value at the plate several times this spring. Smith delivered a walk-off grand slam against Yorkville in a non-conference matchup, and he was the hero earlier in the playoffs by punching a walk-off single to center field over Lemont. Smith’s pure feel to hit has shown throughout the spring, as the Flames’ commit is batting .466 in 118 at-bats, pacing the Roadrunners’ in total hits (55) and runs scored (40). Another junior, RHP Finn O’Meara (2023), has been productive for Nazareth on the mound. The 6-foot, 195-pound right-hander has retired 41 batters across 28 innings, posting a 1.75 ERA in that span. 

Nazareth has several sophomores that stand out, including another Louisville commit, RHP/IF Nick Drtina (2024, Louisville). Drtina is a top-15-ranked sophomore in the state, and his pitching puts that to show. He’s 11-1 on the spring throughout 55 innings, accumulating a 1.15 ERA over that span, and he’s batting .371 as well. SS/RHP Cooper Malamazian (2024, Indiana) is another standout sophomore, starting at shortstop and earning all-conference honors in his second season at the varsity level. Malamazian batted .400 over 37 games this spring while providing steady defensive production on the infield’s most important position. RHP David Cox is a productive pitcher on the mound for Nazareth, who pitched 31 innings, collecting a 1.58 ERA. The same can be said for LHP Luca Fiore (2024), as the lanky southpaw impressed over 14 innings of work, including a quality start in the Super Sectional title game. 

In his first taste of varsity action this year, C/INF Jaden Fauske (2025, Louisville) proved he’s more than capable of handling older competition at the plate. One of the state’s highest-ranked freshmen, Fauske finished his inaugural season with a .385 batting average, spraying 20 hits over 52 at-bats while providing defensive versatility. 

The Roadrunners were amongst the top programs on our preseason Power 25, and they’ve proven that acumen by making it this far into the spring season. They’re loaded with talent from top to bottom, and they certainly won’t be an easy opponent for Crystal Lake South in the semifinal.