Former Riverside-Brookfield star Ryan Cermak celebrates a grand slam against Western Illinois. Photo courtesy of Illinois State University
College report: Former Riverside-Brookfield star homers in four consecutive at-bats
By Jeff Vorva
Former Riverside-Brookfield baseball standout Ryan Cermak is a leadoff hitter who is belting the ball like a cleanup hitter.
The Illinois State University centerfielder hit three straight homers — including grand slams in consecutive at-bats— and broke a school record with 10 RBIs in a 15-7 victory over Western Illinois on April 6 in Macomb.
“I saw the ball very well today,” Cermak told the Bloomington Pantagraph after the game. “The first grand slam his breaking ball hung a little bit, and I just tried hitting it hard. The second time up, seeing the bases loaded, I of course thought about doing it again but got to two strikes. I finally got my pitch and did it again.
“The next at-bat I was just trying to stay in my approach and hit it hard the other way, and did just that.”
Two days later, the Redbirds played Kansas for the first time in program history. Cermak led off the game with another homer, giving him four home runs in four at-bats.
Through the Redbirds’ first 25 games, he was hitting .389 with 11 homers and 24 RBIs.
The third-year player had 13 starts at third base in 2020 — a COVID-shortened season — and had two homers and seven RBIs. In 2021, he led the team with 11 homers and 40 RBIs and was named a freshman All-American.
At R-B, he was a Metro Suburban Conference Player of the year, had a .396 batting average and was also a top pitcher for the Bulldogs.
Locking up the awards
Saint Xavier senior setter Joe Lock was named the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference Player of the Year and CCAC Setter of the Year, and also earned All-CCAC first-team recognition.
It is the third consecutive season the Cougars have had a player earn CCAC Player of the Year. Senior outside hitter Grant Ooms won the award in 2020 and former NAIA All-American Aaron Kummer claimed the honor last season.
Lock, a Wisconsin native, also joins Kummer in being named CCAC Setter of the Year. Kummer won the award in 2021.
Ooms and his younger brother, sophomore opposite hitter Shane Ooms, also made the CCAC first team this season.
Sophomore middle blocker Jake McClain, a Marist graduate, was named to the All-CCAC Second Team for the second straight season. Junior middle blocker Drew Ehlers earned All-CCAC Second Team honors for the first time.
In 31 matches and 111 sets, Lock produced 1,124 assists and set the SXU single-season record. He also smashed the program record for services aces with 91, topping the previous best of 56 set in 2015 by Sam Kull (2013-15). Lock added 163 digs, 69 kills and 40 blocks (five solos) for the Cougars. He leads the nation in total assists, total aces and aces per set at 0.82.
SXU (26-9, 13-0 CCAC) was scheduled to open play in the NAIA Men’s Volleyball National Championship Tournament with a match April 12 against Ottawa University and April 13 against Park University.
Moraine Valley Community College will host the Athletics 45th anniversary celebration from 1 to 3 p.m. April 30 on the soccer game field, west of the Health, Fitness & Recreation Center, 9000 W. College Parkway in Palos Hills.
This free event is geared toward alumni and members of the community as well as their families. There will be giveaways, food and music, as well as games for children and the opportunity to watch the Cyclone men’s tennis team and softball team compete. The annual Athletics Hall of Fame ceremony is scheduled to take place at 2 p.m.
“We’re very proud of how much our Athletics program has grown over these last 45 years from its humble beginnings. We’ve had many influential coaches, some amazing athletes and supportive staff to make Moraine Valley Athletics so successful,” said Moraine Valley Athletics Director Bill Finn. “We’re really excited to showcase our facilities and athletes while celebrating our proud traditions at our celebration, especially since it’ll coincide with our Hall of Fame ceremony. It’ll be a fun day for everyone.”
For more information, visit mvcyclones.com/45th_anniversary or contact Maura Vizza, Moraine Valley communications specialist and sports information coordinator, at [email protected] or (708) 974-5742.
College Notebook | Marist grad Alex Knight slaying buckets for Lake Forest
Spread the loveBy Mike Walsh Correspondent Lake Forest College’s Alex Knight has been named to the All-Midwest Conference First Team in men’s basketball for the 2022-23 season. Knight, a 6-foot-1 sophomore guard who prepped at Marist, was the league’s leading scorer this season, averaging 18.1 points per conference game. He finished third in the MWC…
Pro Sports Report | SeatGeek to host Major League Rugby championship; Hounds sniff out first win
Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva Staff Writer SeatGeek Stadium, host of the expansion Chicago Hounds, will host this season’s Major League Rugby championship game. The game is scheduled to be played July 8 in Bridgeview. It will air nationally on FOX. “Moving the championship match to a predetermined venue has long been a goal of…
Area Sports Roundup | Nazareth grads Martinucci, Evans have unfinished business at NJCAA National Tourney
Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva Staff writer The Martinucci family carries a lot of weight in the Berwyn-Cicero area. Tony Martinucci has coached boys basketball at Morton High School for 24 years, racking up five regional titles and a trio of conference crowns during his tenure. His daughter, Jovanna, is hoping to do something even…
Call me Arab, not MENA
Spread the loveBy Ray Hanania No ethnic group in America suffers more than Arabs, even more so than African Americans, Asian Americans, Hispanic Americans and Native Americans. Why do I say that? Because all of the groups I mentioned, with the exception of Arab Americans, are protected by American laws against discrimination and included in…
Bribery or lobbying? ComEd 4 jurors will decide
Spread the love, By Rich Miller ComEd has long been a source of political patronage. The company’s Deferred Prosecution Agreement with federal prosecutors even references how former House Speaker Michael Madigan’s “old-fashioned patronage system” obtained ComEd meter reader jobs for its precinct workers. Madigan’s wasn’t the only patronage network to do this. It was a…
‘He’s our brother’
Spread the love. Clearing, Garfield Ridge mourn Officer Vásquez Lasso By Tim Hadac Chicago Police Officer Andrés Mauricio Vásquez Lasso didn’t live in Clearing or Garfield Ridge—he lived east of the airport, in West Lawn—but he and his family were essentially adopted by as many as 700 men, women and children here earlier this month.…
$15 million expansion for Stagg approved
Spread the loveFrom staff reports The Consolidated High School District 230 Board of Education last week approved a $15 million expansion at Amos Alonzo Stagg High School in Palos Hills. The expansion will include much-needed classroom space, several science labs, offices and teacher workspace, as well as a rooftop environmental learning space. The project is…
Lake Katherine goes green again for St. Patrick’s Day
Spread the love By Kelly White One of Lake Katherine Nature Center & Botanical Gardens’ most popular features is its large waterfall, which tumbles over four separate falls, travels a distance of over 300 feet and descends approximately 30 feet before joining the lake itself on the east side. With Irish festivities in full swing…
Orland Township offers scholarships to high school seniors
Spread the loveLocal students graduating high school in 2023 and heading to college are encouraged to apply for an Orland Township Scholarship Foundation award. This program, launched in 1998, has since awarded over 340 scholarships to township students totaling more than $280,000. The Orland Township Scholarship Foundation award scholarships based on a combination of the…
Shepard breaks record for Special Olympics fund raising
Spread the loveMostly through the traditional Polar Plunge, this year Shepard High School broke its record for fund raising for Special Olympics. More students and staff — including nearly all administrators, band director Chris Pitlik, and choir director Roland Hatcher — participated than ever. This year also featured a new fundraising vehicle: A pie-in-the-face contest. …
Lawmakers advance measure to regulate ride-shares as ‘common carriers’
By NIKA SCHOONOVER Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Lawmakers are considering a bill that would treat ride-share companies such as Uber and Lyft as “common carriers,” opening them up to the same level of liability as other forms of public transportation. House Bill 2231 passed on the House floor this week with a 73-36…
Nuclear option: Illinois grapples with the future of nuclear power
By ANDREW ADAMS Capitol News Illinois [email protected] CHICAGO – A measure allowing the construction of new commercial nuclear power plants has bipartisan, bicameral support in the state legislature as the body considers its next steps in meeting carbon-free energy goals while maintaining grid reliability. Its advocates say the measure would open the door for the…
Wiretaps show Madigan, through McClain, forced ally out of legislature to protect himself
By HANNAH MEISEL Capitol News Illinois [email protected] CHICAGO – In fall 2018, longtime former State Rep. Lou Lang, D-Skokie, received a phone call from Mike McClain, who had spent decades lobbying for electric utility Commonwealth Edison after 10 years in the General Assembly. McClain was delivering a message from House Speaker Michael Madigan, who was…
House panel debates ranked choice voting
By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Illinois lawmakers are debating whether the state should join a growing list of jurisdictions in the United States that allow voters to pick more than one candidate for an office, ranking them in order of preference rather than choosing just one. Ranked choice voting, or as…
Madigan looms large in trial of ex-ComEd lobbyists, exec
By HANNAH MEISEL Capitol News Illinois [email protected] CHICAGO – Former Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan isn’t set to go on trial for racketeering and corruption charges until next summer, but his decades of power in Illinois government and politics loomed large Wednesday as opening arguments got underway in a related case. Madigan’s name was uttered…
Transit agencies look to the state to help make up projected $730 million budget gap
By ANDREW ADAMS Capitol News Illinois [email protected] CHICAGO – Officials with the state’s largest transit agencies met with lawmakers on Tuesday to sound the alarm for what Regional Transportation Authority Executive Director Leanne Redden called a “looming operational crisis.” “By 2026, the region will face an annual budget deficit of nearly $730 million per year,”…
Pritzker: Tax cuts on the table if state revenues continue to exceed expectations
By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – With two months to go before the legislature adjourns and current-year revenues continuing to smash expectations, Gov. JB Pritzker said he and legislative leaders are considering tax cuts. His comments came one week after the legislature’s nonpartisan Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability, or COGFA, increased…
Pritzker touts higher education plan, joins call for pharmacies to state abortion pill plans
By NIKA SCHOONOVER Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – On his latest marketing tour to sell his state budget plan, Gov. JB Pritzker visited a community college in Normal Tuesday to highlight his proposed investments in higher education. “With an additional $100 million directed to the (Monetary Award Program) grant program, a student can pair…
Justices consider constitutionality of SAFE-T Act’s pretrial detention provisions
By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – The state’s highest court heard arguments Tuesday in a case that could drastically alter the legal landscape for criminal defendants who are incarcerated as they await trial. It’s the latest development in the ongoing legal challenge to the pretrial detention provisions of the SAFE-T Act criminal…
Moody’s gives Illinois another credit upgrade
By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Moody’s Investors Service announced Tuesday that it has upgraded Illinois’ bond rating to A3, up from Baa1, marking the eighth credit upgrade the state has received in less than two years. Moody’s is now the second major rating agency to put Illinois in the ‘A’ category…