Head coach: Nick Bridich, 6th season

2017 season: 22-13 (12-9 Catholic Blue), lost to Fenwick 5-4 in Class 4A regional final

Players to watch: Henry Haracz, sr., OF/P; Dan Hrvojevic, sr., 1B; Will Jackson, sr., PJ McKermitt, sr., P; Matthew Raymond, sr., INF; Trey Torain, sr., OF; Jason Vrbancic, sr., C/INF; Ben Wagner, sr., P; Jake Novac, jr., OF/P; Andrew Smart, so., INF; Colin Summerhill, so., C

Notes: Despite losing several key contributors to graduation, including five that committed to play college baseball, the Ramblers return a lot of players with experience. PJ McKermitt is the lone all-Catholic Blue selection back, but Henry Haracz, Will Jackson, Matthew Raymond, Trey Torain and Jason Vrbancic all started games last season. All six have committed to play in college. “We like our team,” head coach Nick Bridich said. … Jackson had a busy offseason as he moved from the outfield to shortstop after the graduation of Ryan Lin-Piestrup, who is a freshman player at Illinois-Chicago. … Varsity rookie Jake Novac is a player to keep an eye on this season. A college prospect, according to Bridich, Novac bats and throws left-handed and is pegged for the middle of the order. … With Haracz, Jackson, McKermitt and Wagner (pictured above) back, pitching will be a strength for the Ramblers. … For the fifth consecutive season, Bridich improved his win total, totaling 20-plus victories for a second year in a row last spring.

Photo credit: Melissa Krein/Loyola