Owen Murphy (USA Baseball)

The Riverside-Brookfield High School baseball team hopes to build upon a great 2021 season.

“Strengths would be that we are a veteran team with a number of key returners, pitching depth,” RBHS coach Dallas Till said.

The Bulldogs have Notre Dame recruit and Major League Baseball prospect Owen Murphy and catcher and Lewis commit Brian Twomey as seniors leading an experienced group that finished 19-5 in 2021 and shared the Metro Suburban Conference championship with St. Francis at 6-2. 

RBHS lost to Benet 3-1 in the IHSA Class 3A regional final.

Murphy, a 6-foot-1 right-handed pitcher and shortstop, was named the Prep Baseball Report of Illinois Player of the Year last season. Till said Murphy likely will be a high pick in the upcoming Major League Baseball draft. MLB.com ranks Murphy as the No. 94 top prospect.

Seniors Jax Giampietro and Jack Niekrasz and sophomore Wyatt Murphy also will be part of the pitching staff. Niekrasz will play at the Illinois Institute of Technology.

Other key contributors will be senior Sean McDermott and junior Luke Yachnin, junior second baseball Rex Dockendorf, sophomore pitcher/utility Cooper Marrs and senior outfielder Matt Novak. 

The Bulldogs beat DePaul Prep 8-0 in Thursday’s season opener. Murphy (8 strikeouts, 1 hit allowed in 4 innings) and Niekrasz (3 innings) combined on a three-hitter with no walks.

Senior leaders anchor LTHS baseball

Jack McNamara

With several returning all-conference and college-bound seniors, the Lyons Township High School baseball team is committed to another strong season.

“[Our strengths are] the leadership, work ethic and effort given,” coach Kevin Diete said. “A lot of players spent time in the weight room to get stronger and concentrate on improving their baseball skills.”

Seniors Jack McNamara, Luke Stockbridge and Bo Karlson earned All-West Suburban Conference-Silver Division honors in 2021, when the Lions finished 15-11 (12-6 in league) and lost to Oak Lawn in the IHSA Class 4A regional semifinals.

Cather/infielder McNamara also was named the team’s Most Valuable Player after hitting .329 with 12 runs batted in, 10 extra-base hits and a team-high 25 runs scored. McNamara, who will play at Wisconsin-Oshkosh, also was a standout for the football team.

Pitcher Stockbridge also played goalie for the boys soccer team. Karlson will miss the season due to torn labrum surgery during the winter.

Other key seniors are infielder/outfielder Cooper Ohlson (.323, 4 HR, 23 RBI in 2021), infielder Charlie Greifenkamp (.389 in 7 games), pitcher Adam Severson and outfielder Charlie Breen. Ohlson (John Logan), Severson (Coe) and Breen (Wisconsin-Platteville) plan to play collegiately.

Juniors Troy Stukenberg (.250, 12 RBIs) and Frederick Ragsdale III, an outfielder who has verbally committed to Kent State, joined the varsity as sophomores. Other contributors are junior pitcher/infielder Jack Falls and sophomore pitchers/first basemen Nathan Anderson and Brady Chambers, who both were promoted as freshmen.