Climbing the Charts
(March 2013) In the latest NJCAA Division II Top 20 National Baseball Poll released on March 13, the Raiders rank No.15, up three spots from last week’s standings. During their annual Florida Trip, which concludes today (March 15), the Raiders have gone 10-3 and won their last four consecutive games. Sophomore outfielder Conner Skoczynski (Maine West) leads the Raiders with a .500 batting average, which also ranks No. 16 in NJCAA Division II.
Boomers Gig a Boon for T.J. Nall
(February, 2013) Seven minutes is all it takes T.J. Nall to walk from the front door of his home in Roselle to home plate at Schaumburg Boomers Stadium. Read the full story in the Daily Herald.
(February 2013) The Raiders begin the 2013 season undefeated (4-0) by sweeping two doubleheaders played at the Metrodome in Minneapolis. On February 22, the team bested nationally-ranked Century College by the identical scores of 4-3 in the twinbill.
Sophomore pitcher Kenny Lowden (South Elgin) notched his first victory of the season in the opening contest against Century College. In the second game of the day, sophomore pitcher Joe Walsh (Palatine) picked up the win.
On February 21, Oakton defeated the University of Winnipeg-Wesman 7-4 and 5-3. Pitcher Dante Martinez (Mundelein) won the opener and in the second game, Oakton rallied from a 3-0 deficit as freshman pitcher Danny Guido (Elk Grove) nailed down the save.
Oakton Pitcher Commits to Judson University
(November 15, 2012) Oakton sophomore right-hand pitcher Kenny Lowden (South Elgin) recently committed to attend Elgin’s Judson University, a National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics institution that competes in the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference.
The Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference named Lowden to its 2012 All-Illinois Skyway Collegiate First Team. In the league, Lowden went 4-1 with a 1.43 earned run average. As a freshman, he sported an overall 7-4 record along with a 3.40 ERA. A pinpoint control pitcher, Lowden walked just 16 batters in 84 2/3 innings.
Lowden will complete his sophomore year for the Raiders in 2013 and play for the Judson University Eagles the following season.
“Kenny was one of our best pitchers last season,” said Raiders head coach Bill Fratto. “This season, he figures to be our ace. Judson University will be getting a top-caliber pitcher.”
Oakton Infielder Commits to Evansville University
(November 7, 2012) Sophomore infielder Brett Synek (Glenbrook North) recently committed to attend Evansville University, an NCAA Division I institution that competes in the Missouri Valley Conference.
The Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference named Synek to its 2012 All-Illinois Skyway Collegiate First Team. As a freshman, he compiled a .439 batting average, scored 72 runs, knocked in 56 runs, and stole 22 bases.
Synek will finish out his sophomore year for the Raiders in 2013 and play for the Evansville Purple Aces the following season.
“I’m very proud of Brett,” said Raiders head coach Bill Fratto. “He was one of the main reasons we finished last season with a school record 43 wins. He’s one of the purest hitters I’ve ever seen and I believe he will be a major player for Evansville. With lots of hard work, he has a shot at the pros.”
(June 12, 2012) Freshman infielder Tyler Palmer (Wayne County High School/Georgia) was named an NJCAA Division II Third Team All-American. During the 2012 campaign Palmer batted .395 on the season with 69 runs scored and 28 runs batted in. Palmer was one of just 126 players to receive All-American honors by the NJCAA.
Pitcher Heading to WIU on a Scholarship
(June 7, 2012) Riley Perry, a right-handed pitcher from Geneva High School, will attend Western Illinois University this fall on a scholarship. Perry finished the 2012 season with a 4-6 record and a 4.38 earned run average.
Oakton Baseball Sets School Record for Wins in a Season
(May 22, 2012) The 2012 baseball team did something no other team has done before in Oakton history – win 43 games in a single season, a school record. The Raiders, ranked No. 17 in the latest NJCAA Division II Top 20 National Poll released on May 23, also finished the campaign as the runner-up in the NJCAA Region IV Finals hosted by Madison College last weekend.
On May 18, the Raiders dropped a heartbreaking 3-2 loss to Madison to open the double elimination tournament. Oakton roared back to defeat Kankakee Community College 9-1 on May 19 and later that day cruised to a 13-6 victory over Black Hawk College.
Those two wins set up another showdown with Madison in the finals on May 20. However, history repeated itself as Madison handed the Raiders a 7-4 loss ending Oakton’s hopes of reaching the NJCAA Division II Baseball National Championship.
“Our team never quit,” said Head Coach Bill Fratto. “Our players were grinders – day in and day out they played the game hard and the right way. Overall, we had a fantastic season. This year we took a step forward winning the Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference championship, setting a school record for wins, and advancing to our first region IV final championship game.”
Freshman infielder Brett Synek (Glenbrook North), who batted .439 on the season and set a school record with 10 home runs, was voted as the Raiders MVP of the 2012 campaign. Sophomore Derek De Young (Plainfield), who boasted an 8-4 record, a 2.19 earned run average, and a school record 104 strikeouts on the season, was named the team’s pitcher of the year.
In other team news, speedy freshman infielder Tyler Palmer (Wayne County/Georgia) set a school record by swiping 49 bases on the season and sophomore outfielder Joe Igyarto (St. Patrick) was named the Region IV Rawlings Gold Glove Player of the Year. Igyarto finished the season with a perfect fielding percentage. He had no errors in 126 chances.
“We have a lot of returning players and a strong recruiting class, said Fratto. “Next season looks extremely promising. I already can’t wait until 2013.”
Baseball Team Eyeing National Tournament
(May 14, 2012) After winning an NJCAA sectional tournament this past weekend, Oakton’s baseball team is now three wins away from making its first appearance in the NJCAA Division II Baseball National Championship.
The Raiders put themselves in an early hole by losing 7-5 to Prairie State in extra innings to open the double-elimination tournament on May 12. However, Oakton stormed back by defeating Moraine Valley 11-3 later that day to advance to the championship game.
In the finals on May 13, the Raiders pulled out a 5-4 victory over Moraine Valley. In the win, freshman Brett Synek hit his school record ninth home run of the season and finished the day 3-for-3 with three runs batted in. He scored the winning run on a base hit by sophomore Dan Lauria in the seventh inning. Sophomore pitcher Nick Vidas picked up his sixth win of the season by pitching five scoreless innings.
Oakton (41-17) opens the NJCAA Region IV Finals on the road by taking on Madison College (40-11) at 12 p.m., Friday, May 18. The double-elimination tournament also includes Kankakee Community College (38-19) and Black Hawk College (43-9).
“We’re very excited about advancing to the final four,” said Head Coach Bill Fratto. “Our team never gave up and we came back to win in thrilling fashion. Earlier this year we defeated Black Hawk and Madison so we know we can compete with the best teams. It would be pretty special if we made it to the national tournament – that’s never been done before in school history.”
The NJCAA Division II Baseball National Championship takes place May 26 – June 2, in Enid, Oklahoma.
Oakton Baseball Team Reigns as Conference Champion
For the first time since 2006, the Raiders are champions of the Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference.
Headed into Saturday, April 21, the Raiders sat atop of the Illinois Skyway with a 9-3 record. To win the conference crown, all Oakton had to do was sweep a doubleheader from last place Morton College on the road. The Raiders completed conference play by securing two wins via the decisive scores of 8-2 and 12-1.
“The goal from day one was to win the conference championship,” said head coach Bill Fratto. “Even though Morton was in last place, our team didn’t take it lightly. The Raiders had a job to do and they got it done. It was an emotional day and I’m excited for our players. Our team is well deserving of the conference title.”
Now that the Raiders have won the Illinois Skyway by outscoring conference opponents, 88-35, Fratto knows there is still work left for his team, which stands at 34-13 on the season.
“There’s only two weeks left until the playoffs begin and we want to finish strong,” said Fratto. “This team is right there with the best of them and we’re capable of going far in the playoffs.”
The Raiders opened the 2012 season with a convincing 13-6 win over nationally ranked Century College (Minnesota) at the Metrodome in Minneapolis on Thursday, February 23. Sophomore Ryan Tuntland (Maine West) led the way on offense with his three doubles and six runs batted in. On the mound, sophomore Derek De Young (Plainfield) picked up the win, notching nine strikeouts over five innings.
Assistant Head Coach