Prep Baseball Report

Preseason Power 25 Countdown: No. 15 St. Charles North

By Drew Locascio
Illinois Scouting Director

The Illinois high school season kicks off on March 12th, the first day for regular season games.

Leading up to the opening week of games we will be rolling out team previews of high school teams all across the state and across all classifications, eventually launching our Preseason Power 25.

We will bring you a snapshot of what to expect along with top players and keys to success for that particular team.

Team: St. Charles North
Preseason Rank: 15
2017 Record: 30-5
Conference: Upstate Eight
IHSA Class: 4A
Head Coach: Todd Genke
Playoff Run: Lost 1-0 in Sectional Final
2017 Final Rank: 13
Returning Starters: 5
Returning Pitchers: 5


Bennett Christiansen, RHP
Sam Faith, INF, (Missouri State)
Tim Hasto, INF/RHP (Wisconsin-Oshkosh)
Ryan Litavecz, RHP (Benedictine)
Tyler Mettetal, LHP/1B (Memphis)
Zach Mettetal, SS (Memphis)
Westin Muir, RHP (Wisconsin-Whitewater)
Jason Shanner, RHP (North Central)
Sean Krueger, C/OF
Raph Rhoades, OF
Anthony Delisi, INF


Name State School Class Pos Commitment
Christian Erickson IL St. Charles North 2018 RHP/MIF  
Steven Hamer IL St. Charles North 2018 LHP/OF Miami (OH)
Tommy Nelsen IL St. Charles North 2018 OF Wisconsin-La Crosse
Sean Nemetz IL St. Charles North 2018 C
Ryan Piontek IL St. Charles North 2018 3B  
Nick Skurka
IL St. Charles North 2018 LHP  
Tristan Cazel IL  St. Charles North 2019  RHP  
Lucas Heflen IL  St. Charles North 2019  1B/RHP
Michael Gattuso IL St. Charles North 2019 OF  
 John Hamer IL St. Charles North 2019 RHP/OF  
 Ethan Laria IL St. Charles North 2019 LHP  
 Ryan Thiesse IL St. Charles North 2020 OF  


95. That is the total number of wins for Coach Genke and the North Stars over the last three seasons. In 2015 St. Charles North went 32-5, in 2016 they went 33-7 including a third place finish in class 4A and last season they finished 30-5. With the way this perennial power reloads talent, one would think this trend will continue in 2018.


OF Ryan Thiesse. It is unclear if this sophomore will get a shot at playing varsity this season due to the depth the North Stars have but he is certainly one to keep an eye on the near future. Thiesse recently showed well at this winter’s Underclass Invitational and has a combination of tools that should fit in at the varsity level. Thiesse plays the game with a high-level of energy and intelligence.


LHP/OF Steven Hamer. The senior Miami (OH) commit, was one of the top arms and also saw some time in the outfield last year. On the mound, the southpaw went 5-1 with a 1.53 ERA. In 32 innings he struck out 40 hitters and gave up 26 hits. The North Stars will need that kind of performance and more out of Hamer this year if they expect to win 30+ games. They will also need him to take a more expanded role offensively. The Stars lost a lot of offensive firepower from last year’s club and Hamer is one of many who will have to step in and produce.

Steven Hamer (6.15.17)


When looking at the amount of key players who graduated from last season’s 30-5 season it makes a 30+ win 2018 season seem like a daunting task. The offense losses three, three-year starters, in infielder Sam Faith (.468 BA, 8 2B, 2 3B, 4 HR, 41 RBI, 30 R), SS Zach Mettetal (.387 BA, 7 2B, 2 3B, 2 HR, 31 RBI, 34 R) and Tyler Mettetal (.359 BA, 10 2B, 3B, HR, 21 RBI, 31 R). They also loss a number of other key pieces to the offense and a few important arms from the 2017 squad. So 2018 should be a down year, correct? Don’t tell St. Charles North that.

The perennial power is ready to reload and not rebuild. They had a miniscule 1.36 ERA in 2017 and bring back a number of innings from last years staff. On paper they do not have a clear-cut ace like some of the other teams in the Power 25 but the North Stars should be able to have success by committee. They will be led by senior left-handers Steven Hamer, Nick Skurka and Erik Larson as well as right-hander Christian Erickson. All four arms had a sub 1.70 ERA last spring. Skurka and Hamer both through over 25 innings last year and should see that number increase this spring. Larson only through 12.1 innings last spring but made the most of his opportunities. He struck out 17, walked only one, allowed four hits and one earned run good for a 0.68 ERA. Coach Genke is also looking to get some innings out of junior RHP’s Tristan Cazel, John Hamer and LHP Ethan Laria.

The lineup will be the biggest question mark as there are important holes needed to be filled, especially on the infield. Three, three-year starters, who hit at the top and in the middle of the order are gone to graduation. Senior’s Tommy Nelsen (OF), Hamer (OF) and Sean Nemetz (Catcher) will be relied upon heavily offensively. The Stars will also need a crop of juniors; 1B Lucas Heflen, OF Michael Gattuso, John Hamer to help ease the pain of the big bats no longer around. Who fills the spots across the infield remains to be seen but the junior class will be relied upon heavily to do so along with seniors RHP/INF Christian Erickson and 3B Ryan Piontek who should compete for time. That junior class did go 28-4 last season at the sophomore level, so they should have the talent to compete and help out right away.


The 2018 club will look drastically different than last year. While the offense and left-side of the infield remains a question mark, the depth of quality arms should lead the club until Coach Genke can figure out which lineup works best. The emergence of the junior class and the success they have will largely be a direct reflection of how far St. Charles North can go come playoff time. No matter what, don’t underestimate the North Stars in 2018.

Find more information on the 2018 Stars below:

+ Full Schedule
Team Website
+ Gamechanger

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