Prep Baseball Report

Preseason Power 25 Countdown: No. 23 Carmel Catholic

By Andy Sroka
Staff Writer

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: Carmel Catholic
Preseason Rank: 23
2017 Record: 23-8
Conference: East Suburban Catholic
IHSA Class: 3A
Head Coach: Bill Taylor
Playoff Run: Sectional Finals
2017 Final Rank: NR
Returning Starters: 6
Returning Pitchers: 5



Name State School Class Pos Commitment
Austin Ehren IL Carmel Catholic 2018 OF Belmont
Jay Ward IL Carmel Catholic 2018 LHP Bowling Green State
Charley Dir IL Carmel Catholic 2018 RHP/2B  
Drew Wiegman IL Carmel Catholic 2019 SS Louisville 
Lukas Galdoni IL Carmel Catholic 2019 1B/RHP
Ben Wiegman IL Carmel Catholic 2020 RHP/3B Louisville
Dylan Paquette IL Carmel Catholic 2020 RHP  


Eddie Pietschmann, RHP/OF (Wisconsin-Oshkosh)


The Wiegman's are a dynamic pair of brothers who still have two and three years left, respectively, in the Corsairs program. Due to his two-way ability, Ben Wiegman will be expected to impact the Corsairs in 2018 more so than anyone else on the roster, despite only being a sophomore. The Louisville commit possesses one of the strongest arms in the Illinois 2020 class and will be one of the top two arms on the staff. Wiegman will also be an essential cog in this well-oiled machine of a batting order. If the younger Wiegman brother can do it with both the bat and on the mound this season, the Corsairs will be one of the toughest teams in the East Suburban Catholic League.

Ben Wiegman (2.18.18)


Despite coming off a sectional championship loss to end their 2017 season to inter-conference rival St. Viator, Carmel Catholic is coming into the spring with their heads held high. The Mundelein-area high school is returning the most productive core of last year’s 23-win, regional title team, including the renowned Wiegman brothers, Drew and Ben, who are both committed to Louisville.

The elder Wiegman, Drew, a junior, will return to captain the infield at shortstop where he was named all-conference last season. He hit .412, drove in 40 runs, hit four homers, and stole 29 bases as the Corsairs’ offensive spark in 2017. He’s the top overall shortstop in his 2019 class, too, in our rankings. Joining him atop the lineup is senior CF Austin Ehren (Belmont), another 2017 all-conference member of this team. He led the team with a .446 batting average, stole another 24 bases, and scored a team-high 47 runs. Sophomore 1B Lukas Galdoni, who saw plenty of action as a freshman last year, is back and gives this year’s edition of the Corsairs some more pop. The other Wiegman, Ben, is another sophomore on this team who already has varsity experience under his belt -- and plenty of it. He played third base when he wasn’t on the mound (where he works best) and hit .352 and stole 20 bags.

The two aforementioned sophomores are going to be critical to the success of this Carmel squad, not only because of their offensive abilities, but because of what they’re able to offer the Corsairs on the mound, too. Ben most notably because of his advanced pitchability and big-time fastball that already sits in 90-91 mph range. Skills like this have him perched at No. 2 amongst right-handed pitchers in the Illinois 2020 class. He was 2-0 and finished the year with a miniscule 1.75 ERA, especially for a freshman. And while Galdoni might be more productive as a hitter for this team, his contributions as a pitcher may be more important. The Corsairs are going to score in bulk, but having lost one of their go-to arms and captains last season, Eddie Pietschmann, Carmel’s going to be looking for outs, too.

Anchoring the rotation should be senior LHP Jay Ward (Bowling Green), the third 2017 all-conference selection on this team. Ward was 7-1 for the Corsairs last season and recorded a 1.46 ERA. Senior RHP Charley Dir should also eat up some innings. Rounding out the staff could be sophomore Dylan Paquette, too -- anything they can glean from that 2020 arm would be immense.


With such a strong group of returnees, Carmel Catholic is all set to be more than just competitive within the East Suburban Catholic Conference in 2018. They lost two of their three starting outfielders and their catcher from a season ago, but they have the talent to fill those gaps so that their best guys can do all the heavy lifting. The most encouraging part about all of this is just how young Carmel is and even then, they have plenty of varsity experience to go along with it. A rotation and a lineup each headlined by a Wiegman is quality, but returning the likes of Ehren, Ward, Dir, and Galdoni gives the Corsairs quantity. This is their best bet at redeeming themselves against the St. Viator team that ended their postseason and went on to clinch a 3A state championship.

Carmel gets to set its sights high this spring, but they’re also one of the lucky teams that knows key members of this core get to stick together in 2019, too.

Find more information on the 2018 Corsairs below:

+ Full Schedule
Team Website
+ Gamechanger

Make sure to follow @pbrillinois on Twitter for the most up-to-date coverage throughout the season.