Prairie Ridge baseball coach Glen Pecoraro has called on one of the Wolves’ most successful pitchers to take on the role of pitching coach.
Andy Deain, a 2005 graduate who pitched at Northern Illinois University, will take over the role held by Chuck Lowitzki almost every season since the school opened in the 1997-98 school year. Deain’s hiring is expected to become official at District 155’s January school board meeting.
Deain had a 22-1 record in his sophomore and junior seasons for the Wolves, but missed his senior season because of a knee injury. He pitched for NIU and in the Baltimore Orioles’ organization, and also pitched for the Joliet Jackhammers in the Northern League.
It will seem strange for Pecoraro, who is so used to having Lowitzki beside him in the dugout. Lowitzki left for an assistant coaching job at Cornerstone University in Grand Rapids, Mich.
“Andy worked a lot with Chuck, even when Andy was in pro ball,” Pecoraro said. “There are some different things Andy wants to implement, and that’s good. Chuck made himself into a great coach, but Andy brings something as someone who’s been on the mound.”
Deain was not a particularly hard thrower, but he had great movement and command.
Lowitzki joins former Prairie Ridge assistant Dave Mitroff at Cornerstone. Mitroff left his business in Crystal Lake for the opportunity to build a new program in Grand Rapids.
Harris to Cornerstone: Prairie Ridge right-handed pitcher Ryan Harris is the first Wolves player who will follow Lowitzki in Grand Rapids. He committed to the NAIA school and will pitch there next season.
“I’m so excited to rejoin Chuck and Coach Mitroff,” Harris said. “We started talking about it in [pitching] lessons in September. I did look at Augustana and Elmhurst, but once I took my visit and saw the [Cornerstone] campus, that was it. It’s the best fit for what I had wanted.”
Harris started for the Wolves last spring and played with the 17U Wolves travel team last summer.
Jacobs alumni game: Any former Jacobs hockey players who have graduated are invited to the Crystal Ice House at 7 p.m. Friday for an alumni game.
The cost is $15 for each player. Full equipment is required, and admission is free for all fans.
Also, two Jacobs graduates who played for the Golden Eagles, Kyle Tomasino and Sam Dirck, are serving in the military in Afghanistan. The Jacobs Hockey Club will be sending care packages to Tomasino and Dirck with some of the money raised from the alumni game.
• Joe Stevenson is a senior sports writer for the Northwest Herald. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. You also can follow him on twitter@nwh_JoePrepZone.