Prep Baseball Report

IHSA Diamond Notes: Week 7

By: Gavin Smith & Tyler Defibaugh
Illinois Scouting Staff

Each week, IHSA coaches around the state submit to us their nominations for the PBR Illinois Player of the Week and PBR Illinois Pitcher of the Week honors. Yesterday, we awarded the Week 7 Player of the Week honor to Jaden Fauske (Nazareth, 2025) and the Pitcher of the Week honor to LHP Conor Essenburg (Lincoln-Way West, 2024; Kansas State). Fauske finished the week going 9-for-12 with two home runs, one triple, two doubles, seven RBIs, five runs scored, three walks and three stolen bases. He nearly threw a no-hitter in their win over No. 9 Downers Grove North, striking out 13, walking three, and allowing one hit in 6.2 innings of work.

There were a number of other impressive performances that were in the mix for the award and deserve recognition. Here’s a look at some of the most notable.


Nick Bestrick , RHP, Sandburg, 2024
Uncommitted. Bestrick played a big role in Sandburg’s 3-2 week, helping lead the Eagles to a 4-0 win over Bolingbrook, tossing a complete-game shutout, allowing three hits and three walks, while recording seven punchouts.

Season Stats: 5-0, 32.2 IP, 4 ER, 51 K

Lewis Slade, LHP, Lake Park, 2024
Southwestern Illinois JC commit. Lake Park collected four wins last week, with Slade picking up half of them on the mound. On Monday vs St. Charles East, he came into the game in relief and tossed three innings, allowing four hits, one walk, one run (unearned), and seven strikeouts. Later in the week vs Glenbard North on Saturday, Slade got the start and went five and a third, allowing six hits, two walks, three runs, while punching out 13 batters, amounting to 20 total strikeouts on the week.

Braden Lee, OF, Romeoville, 2024
Uncommitted. Lee helped lead Romeoville to two wins this past week with a strong performance at the plate for the Spartans. In their 11-7 win over Plainfield Central on Monday, he went 3-for-5 with a double, two RBIs, and a run scored. On Saturday vs Streamwood, Lee was 3-for-4 with a home run, four RBI, and two runs scored. On the week, Lee went 11-for-18 with two doubles, one triple, one home run, ten RBI, six runs scored, and two stolen bases.

Season Stats: .342 AVG, 8 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 17 RBI, 15 R, 6 SB

Ryan Boe, SS, Batavia, 2024
Uncommitted. Batavia went 2-1 last week with a decisive 15-5 win over No. 22 Geneva this past Saturday, and Boe led the offensive attack in that game. In that game, he went 3-for-5 with three doubles, five RBI, a run scored, and a stolen base. On the week as a whole, he went 8-for-13 with four doubles, seven RBI, five runs scored, and a stolen base.

Nolan Maciejewski, CF, LHP, Tinley Park, 2025
Uncommitted. Maciejewski was mentioned within the Week 3 Diamond Notes after an impressive week. He’s at it again, going 13-for-22 with one home run, one triple, three doubles, eight RBIs, 14 runs scored, three stolen bases and one walk. In their 9-8 win over Bremen, he went 4-for-5 with one RBI and two runs scored. His most impressive performance came in their 14-3 win over Morgan Park, going 3-for-4 with a home run, triple, four RBIs and four runs scored. He also started on the mound in the game and threw four innings, struck out five, walked three, allowed one run and three hits.

Season Stats: On the year, Maciejewski is hitting .583 AVG with an OBP of .643 with 4 HR, 3 3B, 8 2B, 22 RBI, 41 R, 20 SB.

Anthony Massa, 3B, Lincoln-Way West, 2024
Wisconsin-Plateville commit. Massa impressed throughout the week, going 10-for-17 with three home runs, one triple, one double, 11 RBIs and five runs scored. He went 2-for-4 with a home run, double, two RBIs and one run scored in their win over Homewood-Flossmoor. His most impressive performance of the week came in their win over Lemont, going 3-for-5 with a home run, five RBIs and two runs scored.

Season Stats: Massa is slashing .391/.512/.696/1.207 this season.

Nathan Baez, P, Marine Leadership Academy, 2025
Uncommitted. Baez threw a no-hitter versus Clark, striking out eight and walking two, only needing 63 pitches to finish the game. He also went 2-for-3 at the plate with a triple, double, one RBI, three runs scored and one stolen base.

Liam Nash, RHP, Westminster Christian, 2027
Nash had two impressive performances last week, throwing eight innings, striking out 14, walking six, allowing two hits and only one earned run. His most impressive outing came against Christian Liberty, throwing three no-hit innings, striking out eight, and walking two.


The Pioneers went 2-1 on the week with wins over Pekin (13-3) and Jacksonville (13-1). Below were some of their top performers:

Max Wille, OF, Normal University, 2025
Uncommitted. Wille had an impressive week going 7-for-8 with one triple, one double, 10 RBIs, three walks, two runs scored and seven stolen bases. In their game against Mahomet-Seymour, Wille went 2-for-2 with two RBIs and one walk, and went 2-for-3 with a double, three RBIs and one walk in their win over Jacksonville. His most impressive performance of the week came in their win over Pekin, going 3-for-3 with a triple, five RBIs, two runs scored and one walk.

Season Stats: Wille is hitting .385 AVG with a .500 OBP with a HR, 3 3B, 2 2B, and 18 R.

Max Heineman, C, Normal University, 2026
Uncommitted. Yet another impressive week for Heineman, going 6-for-9 with one double, four RBIs, four walks and one stolen base. In their game against Mahomet-Seymour, Heineman went 3-for-4 with two RBIs and one walk. He added two more hits in their win over Pekin, tallying a double, one RBI and one walk in the game.

Season Stats: Heineman is hitting .448 on the season with a .560 OBP, and he’s thrown out 10 runners while allowing only one passed ball.

No. 7 St. Laurence

The Vikings went 4-0 on the week with wins over Loyola (12-2), No. 5 Providence Catholic (3-2 & 2-0), and Mt. Carmel (11-8). Below were some of their top performers:

Joe Olson, LHP, St. Laurence, 2025
Louisville commit. Olson had a big week on the mound for the Vikings, leading them to a 4-0 week with a sweep over No. 5 Providence Catholic. In both games against the Celtics, Olson collected a win and a save on seven scoreless innings, while allowing five hits and three walks, and striking out nine batters. On Tuesday, he picked up the save in a 3-2 win over the Celtics tossing a scoreless inning with two strikeouts. Then on Thursday in their 2-0 win, Olson got the start and tossed six scoreless, allowing four hits and three walks, while punching out seven.

Jameson Martin, SS, St. Laurence , 2024
Minnesota signee. Martin led the Vikings offense en route to their 4-0 week. The future Golden Gopher had two, three-hit games and a four-hit game during the week, totalling an impressive stat line of 10-for-15, 5 2B, 4 RBI, 5 R, 5 SB. Martin’s best performance on the week came against Mt. Carmel on Saturday where he went 3-for-4 with two doubles, two RBI, three runs scored, and two stolen bases.

Season Stats: 28 H, 9 2B, 2 3B, 2 HR