Preseason Power 25 Countdown: No. 24 Morton
March 2, 2017
By Drew Locascio
Illinois Scouting Director
The Illinois high school season kicks off on March 13, the first day for regular season games.
Over the next few weeks 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 have been sending out our annual Preseason Questionnaire to coaches all across the state and as the responses flood in we will bring you a snapshot of what to expect along with top players and keys to success for that particular team.
Preseason Rank: 25
2016 Record: 27-8
IHSA Class: 3A
Head Coach: Jesse Crawford
Playoff Run: Regional loss
2016 Final Rank: NR
Returning Starters: 5
Returning Pitchers: 7
||Illinois Central JC
||Illinois Central JC|
SS/RHP Ryan Altenberger. Xavier commit. Altenberger is a left-handed hitter who as a junior last year hit .300 with 12 doubles, two home-runs and 19 runs batted in. He also contibuted on the mound going 5-1 with a 1.40 ERA. Altenberger, who has a knack for finding barrels should provide some punch in the middle of the order.
Ryan Altenberger (6.16.16)
Illinois Central JC commit, C/RHP Adam Christianson (2017). Last season Christianson hit .446 with 15 doubles, two home-runs and 29 runs batted in. On the mound he went 3-1 with a 2.85 ERA.
Despite the loss of dynamic outfielder Dan Bolt, Morton returns four starters and seven pitchers, from last year’s 27-win club. They will be looking to avenge a disappointing early exit in last year’s regionals. Morton returns over 120 RBI to the lineup and 23 of their 27 wins on the mound. A number of the returners will be two-way contributors this spring. Two of those two-way players are juniors Logan Peterson and Vinnie Massaglia. Peterson hit .275 with 14 runs batted in and went 2-1 with a 3.35 ERA on the mound. Massaglia hit .295 with ten doubles, two home-runs and 25 runs batted in. On the mound he went 8-2 with a 1.21 ERA with five shutouts. 6-foot-5, 210-pound RHP Connor Kelly is another junior who had an impact on the mound last year. Kelly, who can run his fastball into the mid-to-upper 80's went 3-1 with a 1.57 ERA and struck out 29 batters in 26 innings. Offensively, senior Trevor Davis could be a sparkplug at the top of the lineup. Last season he hit .311 with 20 runs batted in and stole 15 bases. There seems to be no reason why the Potters cant build off of what was a successful 27-win 2016 campaign.
With seven pitchers returning and a solid mixture of seniors and juniors with experience, Coach Crawford has the weapons needed to make some noise in the postseason. Don't be surprised if the Potters are one of the four Class 3A teams to make it to Joliet.
- IL Preseason Power 25 Countdown: No. 1 Brother Rice 3/16/17
- IL Preseason Power 25 Countdown: No. 2 Plainfield South 3/15/17
- IL Preseason Power 25 Countdown: No. 3 St. Laurence 3/15/17
- IL Preseason Power 25 Countdown: No. 5 Mundelein 3/14/17
- IL Preseason Power 25 Countdown: No. 4 St. Charles North 3/14/17
Make sure to follow @pbrillinois on Twitter for the most up-to-date coverage throughout the season.