De La Salle's Alex Padilla pitches against Brother Rice. | Allen Cunningham/For Sun-Times Media
De La Salle's Alex Padilla can deal. The senior right-hander, committed to Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, possesses ace stuff — an upper 80s fastball, 11-to-5 breaking ball and killer change-up. Pitching on three days rest Saturday against Brother Rice, Padilla allowed three runs, six hits and struck out four during a 4-0 loss. The fact Padilla texted coach Mark Higgins Friday to say he wanted the ball against Rice speaks volumes about the young man's competitive juices.
Sandburg's Big Three dominant. Sean Leland, Bryan Pall and Matthias Dietz allowed a total of two runs during three games last week. Despite the pitching dominance, the Eagles failed to register the sweep. Leland and Pall guided Sandburg to wins of 8-1 and 8-0, respectively, over H-F, while Dietz suffered a 1-0 loss to Lemont on Friday.
Brother Rice can't be overlooked in Blue. While many expect Mount Carmel, St. Rita, St. Laurence and Providence to slug it out for the top spot in the Catholic Blue, don't underestimate Brother Rice. The Crusaders don't possess a flame-thrower in their starting rotation, but do boast a foursome that knows how to pitch in Mike Enriquez, Brian Musielak, Ian McGinnis and Ryan Kutt. They also have a fearless closer in Kevin Biondic.