1A baseball: A closer look at the state final four

Marquette plays Jacksonville Routt in semifinals at 10 a.m. on Friday

Marquette celebrates the win over Harvest Christian at the Class 1A Sectional Final on Saturday May 25, 2024 in Elgin.

Here is a look at the four schools that will be participating in the IHSA Class 1A baseball state finals this weekend at Dozer Park in Peoria.

Marquette Academy Crusaders

Enrollment: 254.1

County: La Salle

Conference: Tri-County

Record: 29-2

Current win streak: 7 games

Head coach: Todd Hopkins (26 years, 648-182)

Assistant coaches: Brad Waldron, Brian Bressner, Matt Nelson

Athletic Trainer: Brandi Peters

Manager: Steve “Pizza” Scherer

Previous state appearances: 1999 4th in A; 2018 4th in 1A; 2019 1st in 1A; 2022 3rd in 1A.

Top arms:

RHP Alec Novotney, so., 9-0, 53.0 IP, 0.66 ERA, 93 K, 5 BB

RHP Carson Zellers, sr., 7-1, 57.0 IP, 1.60 ERA, 75 K, 11 BB

RHP Anthony Couch, so., 5-1, 26.0 IP, 1.62 ERA, 43K, 11 BB

RHP Griffin Dobberstein, fr., 5-0, 29.0 IP, 1.45 ERA, 31 K, 6 BB

RHP Ryan Peterson, jr., 0-0, 18 IP, 3.50 ERA, 30 K, 6 BB

Top bats:

RH Sam Mitre, jr., .442, 36 RBI, 31 R, 4 HR

RH Griffin Dobberstein, fr., .407, 24 RBI, 25 R, 0 HR

RH Anthony Couch, so., .373, 24 RBI, 18 R, 0 HR

RH Alec Novotney, so., .358, 14 RBI, 39 R, 0 HR

RH Keaton Davis, jr., .352, 23 RBI, 12 R, 1 HR

RH Carson Zellers, sr., .343, 18 RBI, 36 R, 0 HR

LH Charlie Mullen, sr., .324, 28 RBI, 25 R, 0 HR

Road to Peoria: Beat Newark 18-3 and Serena 7-0 at the Serena 1A Regional.

Beat North Shore Country Day 10-0 and Elgin Harvest Christian 1-0 at the Harvest Christian 1A Sectional.

Beat East Dubuque 5-0 at the Rockford Rivets 1A Supersectional

Quick stats: The Crusaders average 8.5 runs an outing, but it’s been the postseason pitching of Novotney and Zellers that has them in Peoria. Each has two complete game shutouts since the regional final, surrendering just nine hits in those 27 innings. For the season, Marquette’s team ERA is 1.50 with a WHIP of 1.04.

In a few sentences: Despite losing a huge and talented senior class from last year’s 28-3 club, Marquette’s program continues to roll with only three seniors on its roster, giving it an amazing 151-14 mark in the last five full seasons (discounting the COVID shortened 2021 season).

“This is unexpected. We knew we’d be solid, but not this,” Hopkins said. “I’m not patting our staff on the back, but it’s a culture. The kids come in, know what’s expected of them and they bust their butts. They get along, they play the game the right way and they know they’ll get rewarded for it. I’m just so proud of them.”

Jacksonville Routt Rockets

Enrollment: 122

County: Morgan

Conference: Western Illinois Valley

Record: 32-7

Current win streak: 12

Head coach: Ryan Turner (4 years, 94-32-1)

Previous state appearance: 2008 1st in 1A

Top arms:

RHP A.J. Charpentier, so., 6-0, 32.0 IP, 2.63 ERA, 38 K, 9 BB

LHP Conrad Charpentier, sr., 6-3, 58.0 IP, 1.93 ERA, 76 K, 19 BB

RHP Eli Olson, jr., 6-0, 34.0 IP, 2.06 ERA, 56 K, 24 BB

RHP Brock Runyon, jr., 3-2, 32.0 IP, 2.63 ERA, 30 K, 14 BB

LHP Brady Turner, so., 6-2, 9 IP, 2.29 ERA, 59 K, 17 BB

Top bats:

LH Conrad Charpentier, sr., .400, 45 RBI, 41 R, 3 HR

LH Nolan Turner, sr., .395, 27 RBI, 54 R, 1 HR

LH Brady Turner, so., .385, 41 RBI, 34 R, 0 HR

LH Eli Olson, jr., .358, 32 RBI, 30 R, 2 HR

LH Bryson Mossman, so., .352, 21 RBI, 43 R, 0 HR

LH Isaac Long, sr., .333, 38 RBI, 39 R, 5 HR

Road to Peoria:

Beat Rushville Industry 4-1 and Concord Triopia 11-2 at the Concord Triopia 1A Regional

Beat Glasford Illini Bluffs 12-1 and Delavan 12-0 at the Mendon Unity 1A Sectional

Beat Glen Carbon Father McGivney 4-1 at the Springfield Lincoln Land Supersectional

Quick stats: While the Routt pitching has been solid, the bats have been even more stellar, the order boasting nine players with 29 or more hits and 20 or more RBIs. Still, it took a game-tying home run by Mossman in the sixth, plus a game-saving catch in the home seventh and two-run triple in the eighth, the latter two by Jace Lautemann, to get the Rockets past Father McGivney.

In a few sentences: The Rockets may have only one state trophy to their credit, but since that 1A title in 2008, they’ve won 11 regionals and five sectionals, the last two in a row. This year, Routt started 6-0, but was just 8-4 entering April before winning 12 of 13 and have won 21 of its last 23 contests.

Altamont Indians

Enrollment: 241.5

County: Effingham

Conference: National Trail

Record: 30-9

Current win streak: 7

Head coach: Alan Whitt (8 years, 148-93-1)

Previous state appearance: First appearance at state.

Top arms:

RHP Dillon Elam, sr., 9-0, 55.0 IP, 1.02 ERA, 69 K, 17 BB

LHP Ethan Robbins, sr., 4-1, 38.0 IP, 1.11 ERA, 58 K, 22 BB

RHP Kade Milleville, so., 4-2, 50.0 IP, 1.82 ERA, 62 K, 10 BB

LHP Adan McManaway, sr., 4-1, 29.0 IP, 2.41 ERA, 47 K, 33 BB

RHP Eli Miller, sr., 1-1, 17.0 IP, 2.88 ERA, 26 K, 5 BB

Top bats:

RH Keegan Schultz, jr., .362, 31 RBI, 30 R, 6 HR

RH Nathan Stuemke, sr., .352, 26 RBI, 23 R, 3 HR

RH Kaidyn Miller, sr., .345, 22 RBI, 28 R, 2 HR

RH Kaden Davis, sr., .339, 16 RBI, 30 R, 1 HR

RH Dillan Elam, sr., .305, 25 RBI, 31 R, 2 HR

LH Ethan Robbins, sr., .298, 25 RBI, 16 R, 2 HR

RH Eli Miller, sr., .280, 23 RBI, 22 R, 2 HR

Road to Peoria:

Beat Dieterich 14-1 and Louisville North Clay n the North Clay 1A Regional

Beat Okaw Valley 11-2 and Farina South Central 5-4 at the South Central 1A Sectional

Beat Hardin County 7-6 at the Carbondale SIU 1A Supersectional

Quick stats: The Indians started out this season 4-4, but then caught their stride in winning 11 of their next 12 and have won the last seven games to get to Dozer Field for the first time. Altamont has a powerful order, its 17 home runs lead the final four.

In a few sentences: Don’t let the lack of state experience fool you, Altamont has been knocking on the door, winning sectionals in 2018 and ‘19 and going 25-9, all under Whitt.

Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley Falcons

Enrollment: 279.5

County: Ford

Conference: Heart of Illinois

Record: 22-7-1

Current win streak: 5

Head Coach: Dustin White (21 years, 304-301-4)

Previous state appearance: First appearance at state.

Top arms:

RHP Brayden Elliott, sr., 6-0, 53.0 IP, 1.98 ERA, 76 K, 17 BB

RHP Graydon Leonard, fr., 5-0, 39.0 IP, 1.26 ERA, 53 K, 16 BB

RHP Atlin Nettleton, sr., 5-1, 44.0 IP 2.70 ERA, 42 K, 4 BB

RHP Zeb Greer, so., 2-1, 21 IP, 3.67 ERA, 22 K, 11 BB

RHP David Hull, jr., 2-3, 27.0 IP, 5.70 ERA, 12 K, 21 BB

Top bats:

RH Brayden Elliott, sr., .430, 41 RBI, 25 R, 2 HR

LH Ty Cribbett, sr., .390, 29 RBI, 38 R, 1 HR

RH Zach Price, sr., .283, 26 RBI, 4 R, 1 HR

RH David Hull, jr., .344, 16 RBI, 38 R, 0 HR

RH Isaiah Johnson, sr., .365, 19 RBI, 21 R, 0 HR

RH Altin Nettleton, sr., .281, 16 RBI, 12 R, 1 HR

Road to Peoria:

Beat Crete Illini Lutheran 15-1 and Milford 9-1 at the Grant Park 1A Regional

Beat Arcola 8-5 and Mt. Pulaski 7-1 at the Arcola 1A Sectional

Beat Kewanee Wethersfield 3-0 at the Illinois Wesleyan University Supersectional

Quick stats: The Falcons haven’t been exactly rolling over foes on their way to Peoria, but they’ve done what it takes to win, with nine double-digit scoring games and 12 games of a run or less allowed, four of the latter in the postseason.

In a few sentences: Coming into this season, the IHSA website season summaries has GCMS winning only one regional prior to this year, that back in White’s fourth season in 2006. If they can find a way past postseason nerves, it will give whoever it plays a tough time.

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