Athlete of the Week
Dylan Janke, Huntley, sr., C
Janke was 6 for 9 and drove in seven runs in three of the Red Raiders’ Fox Valley Conference games.
Janke was 3 for 3 on Thursday with two doubles, a home run and four RBIs as the Raiders defeated Dundee-Crown, 10-1.
On Friday, he was 2 for 2 with two RBIs in a 10-0 win over D-C.
On Saturday, Janke struck out twice against Cary-Grove’s Quinn Priester, one of the top pitchers in the state, but doubled home a run in his last at-bat. Janke hit a line drive that bounced off the right-field fence, and the Raiders tied the score at 3. C-G won in the bottom of that inning.
Northwest Herald Power Rankings
1. Huntley (10-3): The Red Raiders almost grabbed a win against C-G’s ace Quinn Priester on Saturday. They can hit throughout the lineup and always have pitching depth.
2. Prairie Ridge (10-3): The Wolves took two of three games from Crystal Lake South, then took the first two from D-C in that series.
3. Crystal Lake South (6-3): The Gators had a rough outing Monday against Hampshire, but they outscored Prairie Ridge, 24-13, in their series. Junior lefty Jacob Bimbi shut out Prairie Ridge in five innings.
4. Cary-Grove (7-3): The Trojans split the first two games of their series against Huntley. Dymitri Kanellakis has been a spark in the leadoff spot.
5. McHenry (8-2): The Warriors took a pounding from Jacobs on Saturday, but bounced back with a big rally in Monday’s game, scoring six in the seventh inning for a 9-5 win. Pitcher Joe Kaminski continues to be one of the area’s best.
Great teammate: McHenry coach Brian Rockweiler appreciated the demeanor of starter Joe Kaminski after he was pulled from Monday’s game against Jacobs.
Kaminski had cruised through four innings with 10 strikeouts and only three balls put into play. The Warriors committed three errors behind Kaminski, and Jacobs took a 5-3 lead.
“Joe was pitching great, and they take the lead,” Rockweiler said. “He could have been sitting there sulking, but he wasn’t. He was all about the team. It wasn’t about him, it was about us. That’s our best player. That was pretty cool.”
McHenry came back with six runs in the seventh to win, 9-5.
Old friends: Huntley first baseman Hunter Rumachik had a theory about hitting against C-G’s Quinn Priester, with whom he played several seasons on the Crystal Lake Cardinals. Rumachik looked for fastballs from Priester, who was hitting 95 mph on speed guns in their game Saturday.
“I didn’t want to get beat by a fastball,” Rumachik said. “If he beat me with his offspeed, I tip my cap to him. I went up there thinking fastball, and luckily he gave me some fastballs. It feels nice to get some hits off a high prospect like him.”
Rumachik singled twice and was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded in the seventh to tie the score at 3.
When the Raiders’ runners gathered with coach Andy Jakubowski as Priester left the game with two outs, Rumachik tapped Priester on the shoulder and wished him well.
Help is coming: Jacobs coach Jamie Murray is missing two key ingredients to his team in third baseman Bryce Vincent and pitcher Anthony Wilson, both of whom he hopes are back within the next month.
Vincent suffered a fractured right ankle and is wearing a stability boot. Wilson suffered a torn ACL in football season and recently was cleared. He was in the Golden Eagles’ rotation last season.
“[Wilson] was a big piece for us, two years of (varsity) innings,” Murray said. “He’s cleared now. Baby steps.”
Vincent has been taking some swings to get ready. Jacobs is hoping he returns by May 1.
What to Watch
Cary-Grove vs. Crystal Lake South: The teams start their series Thursday at C-G in what is scheduled as an abbreviated start for Priester. The rest of his starts are slated for him to go as long as he can.
McHenry vs. Huntley: Both teams had only one FVC loss heading into Tuesday’s games. They battled it out for the title last year, and they start a three-game series Thursday at McHenry.