Prep Baseball Report

Preseason Team Countdown: No. 3 Mount Carmel

By Ryan Quigley
Illinois Scouting Director

Leading up to the start of the high school season, we will count down the Top 50 preseason teams every day as part of our comprehensive season coverage:

Team: Mount Carmel
Preseason Rank: 3
2014 Record: 31-8
Conference: Chicago Catholic League-Blue
IHSA Class: 4A 
Head Coach: Brian Hurry
Playoff Run:
Lost in Sectional Final to St. Rita (3-2)
2014 Final Rank:
Returning Starters:
Returning Pitchers:

Name, Position, Class (College Commitment)

Scott Kapers, C/RHP, 2015
Malik Carpenter, 1B, 2015
(Chicago State)
Ako Thomas, 2B, 2015 (Michigan)
Josh Stowers, OF, 2015 (Louisville)
AJ Lewis, 3B/C, 2016 (Missouri)
Jeremy Houston, SS, 2016 (Indiana)
Bobby Seymour, 1B/OF, 2017 (Wake Forest)
Nelson Munoz, RHP, 2015 (Grambling State)
Aaryn Chandler, RHP, 2015 (Centre College)
Nicholas Wheeler, OF, 2015 (Grambling State)
Michael Lorenzi, LHP, 2015
Jack Pappas, RHP, 2015
Cameron Hupe, RHP, 2017
Zion Pettigrew, INF, 2017


2B Ako Thomas has been the catalyst at the top of the lineup for the Caravan for several years to the dismay of several Catholic League-Blue coaches, who most likely can’t wait for him to graduate. Thomas is one of the toughest outs in the state of Illinois, and has a true professional approach at the plate. The Michigan recruit hit .419 in 2014 with 14 doubles, one triple, three home runs, 31 RBI, and 19 walks. He’s also a terror on the base paths, going 21-22 in stolen bases last season.


Sophomore 1B/OF Bobby Seymour is a 6-foot-4, 225-pound left-handed hitting power prospect who committed to Wake Forest before playing a high school game. Seymour was forced to sit out in 2014 after transferring in to Mount Carmel at the semester break. He’ll provide yet another  middle of the lineup bat for Coach Brian Hurry to call upon.

Marko Boricich, LHP
(Penn State)
Dave Dobrinich, OF (Western Illinois)

: The number of Division-I signed/committed players Mount Carmel’s roster currently boasts. The number will most likely grow as sophomores Cameron Hupe and Zion Pettigrew will most likely garner heavy recruiting interest in the upcoming years. Hupe is a strong, 6-foot-2 right-hander who should make an immediate impact in the rotation with his mid-to-upper 80’s fastball, while Pettigrew is a slick fielding middle infielder with a big time arm across the diamond (86 mph), who may see time in the outfield.

Last year’s Preseason No. 1 team, the Caravan return seven starters in a lineup loaded with Division-I talent, the deepest crop of position players of any ball club in Illinois. The core senior leadership is back with Thomas, C Scott Kapers, OF Josh Stowers, and 1B Malik Carpenter; all four were starters as sophomores on Mount Carmel’s 2013 Class 3A State Championship squad. All nine of the Caravan’s potential hitters would possibly hit in the three-hole at most high schools, giving Hurry several lineup combinations. The offense will be a nightmare for opposing pitchers, capable of scoring runs in a variety of ways. Thomas, Stowers SS Jeremy Houston, and 3B AJ Lewis are all capable of stealing bases, while Stowers, Kapers (.402, 7 2B, 2 HR, 18 RBI in 2014), Carpenter (.342, 9 2B, 35 RBI in 2014) and Seymour all have power potential at the plate. Stowers is one of the top speed/power prospects in the state.

Defensively up the middle the Caravan may be the strongest unit in the state. Kapers is arguably the top defensive catcher in the 2015 class, capable of shutting down opponents running games with a powerful right-handed arm capable of posting pop times from 1.92-1.97 to second base. He’ll also serve as the closer. Houston and Thomas form the state’s top double play combination, and are very familiar with one another after playing together the last several years.

The only perceived weakness on this team is the lack of a frontline arm, but don’t tell that to crafty senior RHP Nelson Munoz. The Grambling commit went 7-1 in 2014 with a huge win over then No. 3 St. Laurence in the Reavis Sectional in 2014. Senior LHP Michael Lorenzi and senior RHP Aaryn Chandler are both strike throwers that will help fill out the rotation. Kapers is capable of pitching in the upper 80’s/touching 90 mph as the closer. The real wildcard could be the maturation of sophomore right-hander Cameron Hupe. Hupe has impressed over the fall and winter with 84-88 mph velocity and a swing-and-miss curveball. He could have top of the rotation stuff, giving the Caravan another ace along side Munoz.

The Catholic League –Blue is a gauntlet, with five teams ranked in the PBR top 20 (No. 2 St. Rita, No. 11 St. Laurence, No. 15 Providence, and No. 18 Brother Rice), making it the toughest conference in the state, seasoning its members for playoff baseball. Providence proved a year ago that no matter where a team finishes in the CCL-Blue, they are capable of a state title run. Expect nothing less out of the Caravan, as Coach Hurry and his crew look to capture their second state title in the last three years.

Preseason Countdown

+ Top 50 Preseason Countdown Rankings

+ 2015 Schedules Released

+ Updated Illinois 2016 Rankings

+ Updated Illinois 2015 Rankings

+ June Event Schedule

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