Preseason Power 25 Countdown: No. 21 Downers Grove South


By Diego Solares
Illinois Staff

The Illinois high school baseball season kicks off on April 12, opening day for regular season action under IHSA regulations. Over the next several weeks, leading up to opening day, we’ll be publishing our team previews ahead of the 2021 spring season, touching on programs spanning all state classifications, leading into a countdown through the official PBR Illinois Preseason Power 25 Rankings.

Perennially, we’ve submitted a Preseason Questionnaire to high school head coaches across the entire state. Their responses have been flooding in and we’re using the detailed insight they’ve provided in our team-by-team preseason analysis.

Our 2021 preseason coverage continues today

Team: Downers Grove South
Preseason Rank: No. 21
2019 Record: 21-11
Conference: West Suburban - Gold 
IHSA Class: 4A
Head Coach: Darren Orel 

TOP PLAYERS

NAME POS CLASS COMMITMENT
Joe Cosenza INF 2021 College of DuPage
Noah Edders RHP 2021 Bradley
Kyle Fenner INF 2021 -
Maxx Palenik UTL 2021 -
Matt Scolan OF 2021 Wisconsin-Whitewater
A.J. Taylor INF 2021 -
Joe Turek RHP 2021 -
Cole Warehime INF 2021 Southeast Missouri
Ethan Patera RHP 2022 Louisville
Lucas Costello LHP 2022 -


STAT RAT 

Part one of an absolute two-headed monster atop this Downers Grove South rotation is junior RHP Noah Edders. A physical, wide-shouldered 6-foot-4, 225-pound athlete, Edders earned himself an invite to our prestigious Super 60 national event back in February and didn’t disappoint. The Bradley commit ran his fastball up to 93 mph in his ‘pen, consistently sitting at 91-93 – and he reached that range with more frequency at that event, having shown flashes of big velocity in the past. In front of TrackMan, Edders showed that he can spin his fastball up to 2,361 rpm, and he was spinning his slider at nearly 2,500. That two-pitch punch should thrive for the Mustangs.

Noah Edders (2/7/21)

X-FACTOR

INF Cole Warehime is a dual-sport athlete who also played quarterback for DGS, though he’s already committed to play baseball at Southeast Missouri next fall. His athleticism is an asset on the left side of the infield, and his impactful right-handed bat will play a pivotal role inside this everyday lineup, considering the team’s biggest strength is at the top of its rotation. So, Warehime’s production from the middle of the order will go a long way for Downers Grove South in 2021.

OUTLOOK

You could make a case that Downers Grove South boasts the state’s strongest one-two punch on the mound. The Mustangs have a legitimate shot to win each time junior Ethan Patera and the aforementioned Edders take the mound, which is obviously a huge advantage for them throughout the regular season but could especially come into play when the IHSA postseason begins. 

Committed to Louisville, Patera is someone we’ve seen plenty of times throughout his prep career, including at the PBR Future Games back in 2019 when he represented Team Select as one of the few underclassmen in attendance. The 6-foot-4, 220-pound right-hander was one of the biggest winners from this winters Preseason All-State event. Patera showed a much more polished arsenal, better overall command and an uptick in velocity, while seemingly exerting less effort than before. Patera sat 92-94 mph with his fastball throughout his bullpen and if that can carry over to a game he could be one of the more dominating high school arms this spring. We already highlighted Edders and his equally impressive arsenal above, but it’s clear that these two high-octane arms are going to give Downers Grove South a chance to win every game they pitch in.

Ethan Patera (3/20/21)

Two more arms that are expected to circumvent this pitching staff with both Patera and Edders: RHP Joey Turek and LHP Lucas Costello. Turek is a 6-foot-4 right-hander that’s committed to play baseball at Saint Ambrose University next fall while Costello is a lanky, high-waisted uncommitted southpaw in the 2022 class who was up to 82 mph with his fastball this time last year. Both should be in the mix for quality innings this spring and play a pivotal role in the success of the staff outside the two main horses on the mound.

Moving over to the offensive side of things, the Mustangs could trot out several seniors on an everyday basis to compliment the frontline starters they’ll be sending to the mound. Outside of Warehime, several other seniors should round out this team’s starting lineup. INF Kyle Fenner is a three-sport athlete with a compact frame that moves well up the middle and has sure-handed actions to pair. Joining him is INF A.J. Taylor, a lanky right-handed hitter that could factor into the starting infield mix for the Mustangs. OF Matt Scolan, committed to Wisconsin-Whitewater, brings a senior presence to this outfield group and a compact left-handed stroke with some uphill leverage through contact. Another noteworthy name is College of DuPage commit Joe Cosenza, a toolsy 6-foot, 195-pound right-handed hitter that provides another stable presence offensively for this team. 

BOTTOM LINE 

What will ultimately define their season, and how far they go in the 4A playoffs, is the support the Mustangs can provide for their two-headed monster at the top of the staff, from both sides of the ball. Check back in on the form that DGS is in come playoff time, because they’re capable of making a deep run in ‘21.

Make sure to follow @PBRIllinois on Twitter for the most up-to-date coverage throughout the 2021 season.

Find more information on the 2021 Mustangs below:

+ Team Website

+ Team Schedule

+ Team Twitter

PRESEASON POWER 25 COUNTDOWN