The Pantagraph All-Star Baseball Game, an annual showcase of Intercity and Area talent, will not disappoint in the 63rd edition of the contest.
The Intercity squad will have five Division I recruits when it takes on the Area at 5 p.m. June 9 at a new venue. The seniors-only game will be played at the Corn Crib in Normal for the first time.
Intercity players headed to Division I schools include Normal Community High School pitcher Nick Gilhaus (Milwaukee), U High pitcher Jack Sauser (Northwestern), U High infielder/pitcher Nate Hardman (Saint Louis), U High outfielder Parker Mathieson (Central Michigan) and Normal West outfielder CJ Lewis (Chicago State).
Rosters were selected by the Pantagraph sports staff from nominations submitted by coaches. Ryan Short of NCHS will serve as Intercity head coach, with Dustin White of Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley heading the area.
Each head coach will have the option of adding up to two players. Players are asked to contact Pantagraph sports editor Randy Kindred by noon Friday at email@example.com or 309-820-3402 regarding their availability for the game and with their school uniform number.
All players must appear in the nine-inning game (no re-entry) and a designated hitter can be used. Pregame ceremonies start at 4:50 p.m., with proceeds going to the Bloomington Normal Baseball Association.
Lewis is among five players selected from Big 12 Conference and Class 4A regional champion Normal West.
The Wildcats also will be represented by catcher Brennan Diedrich, infielder Austin Collinson and outfielders Brandon Roth and Cody Hardt.
Gilhaus heads six players from a 25-win NCHS team, joining catcher Jack Schirpke, infielders Jacob Newberry and Caleb Zbrozek, outfielder Sam Kahwaji and pitcher Brendan Short.
U High's three Division I recruits will be joined by slugging teammate Paul Africano, the Pioneers' catcher.
Bloomington is represented by pitcher Jesse Goropesek and infielder Ethan Crutcher, while Central Catholic players include outfielder Braden Glowacki, utility man Gage Juarez and pitcher Ben Winslow.
Eureka's Class 2A sectional finalists head the Area squad with four selections, including pitchers Brady Krile and Aaron Schwab. Krile will play at Missouri-St. Louis next season.
Also chosen from the Hornets were infielder Austin Davis and catcher Daniel Frank.
GCMS' White will have two of his own players in pitcher Nathan Garard and outfielder Layne Harden. Prairie Central has two players on the roster as well in pitcher Ryan Rhoda and outfielder Carter Nowak.
Silas Israel of Tremont is among the Area pitchers, while joining Frank as catchers will be Keegan Lyle of Blue Ridge and Jalen Duncan of Ridgeview.
Infield selections include Davis, El Paso-Gridley's Teron Fairchild, Mount Pulaski's Ben Fricke, Roanoke-Benson's Ben Monge, Pontiac's Ben Schuler and Deer Creek-Mackinaw's Ryan Deany.
Joining Harden and Nowak as outfielders are Kyle Fasse of Olympia and Logan Petersen of Clinton. The Area also has two talented utility men/pitchers in Charlie Hodges of Delavan and Nate Sammer of LeRoy.