Rantoul Press All-Area Baseball Team

Pitcher

Nolan Roseman, Rantoul

If we haven’t praised Roseman enough already, in this space we will just say that if the southpaw doesn’t find himself in college for baseball, he certainly will as a wrestler. Roseman was in the running for Rantoul Press Male Athlete of the Year and if he makes a third straight trip to state as a grappler, could absolutely win the award in 2019.

Catcher

Luke Jones, Rantoul

Jones will be following in the footsteps of Thomas Wolken and Kyle Flessner at Kankakee Community College. Wolken and Flessner were key members of the KCC’s World Series championship team last season, and Jones will be looking to help get the Cavaliers back to that stage over the next two years.

First Base

Chris Hess, Fisher

If not for an unfortunate and nearly devastating ankle injury midway through the season, Hess perhaps would have found himself on the MVP ballot. The stout first baseman showcased his power often for the Bunnies, blasting (and we mean BLASTING) five home runs with 16 RBI and a .286 average.

Second Base

Dakota Matthews, Fisher

If his numbers at the plate weren’t enough to support his inclusion here, then perhaps his speed on the basepaths will be. Matthews used his speed to rack up 10 stolen bases on his way to scoring 15 runs for the 6-16-1 Bunnies. If not for Roseman’s prowess at the top of the Eagles’ lineup, we would label Matthews the area’s top leadoff man.

Third Base

Hayden Cargo, Rantoul

Though Chad Vermillion and Cargo each spent time at third base, Cargo gets the nod here following a season in which he hit .281/.326/.438 with 21 RBI, a HR and nine doubles (tied with John Frerichs for the team lead) in the middle of the Eagles’ lineup. Cargo came up with clutch hits throughout Rantoul’s hot stretch in May.

Shortstop

John Frerichs, Rantoul

It seemed like every time Frerichs had to come charging in from deep in the hole at shortstop on a weakly hit ground ball, the senior was able to gather his momentum, glove the ball and take a perfect one-two step into an on-the-run throw to gun down an opponent by a foot or two. It was entertaining to watch him defensively each game. Oh, and he wasn’t too bad at the dish, either.

Outfield

Dalton Loschen, Armstrong-Potomac

The Trojans’ lone representative on the all-area squad is more than deserving. Despite A-P’s 4-19 record this season, Loschen was outstanding, slashing .403/.435/.507 with 25 hits, 21 runs scored and seven RBI while playing all 23 games. This is the second consecutive season Loschen earned all-area honors.

Outfield

Jacob Horsch, Fisher

The Bunnies senior’s best two sports are football (where he was Fisher’s defensive leader at middle linebacker) and wrestling (he will be continuing his career at Heidelburg University). That’s what makes the fact that he earned all-HOIC honorable mention honors as an outfielder (and a second straight appearance on this all-area team) that much more impressive. He’s an all-around outstanding athlete and earned his way as a Rantoul Press Male Athlete of the Year nominee.

Outfield

Dawson Purvis, Fisher

Purvis made his way on the all-HOIC honorable mention list as a utility player. His overall prowess as Fisher’s right fielder and top pitcher helped the Bunnies improve by one in the win column, though Kelly admits (and Purvis certainly would as well) that he had hoped for closer to a .500 finish in 2018.

Contact Zack Carpenter at zcarpenter@rantoulpress.com and on Twitter @ZackCarpenter11.