Crystal Lake Cardinals: Cardinals News

Monday, September 23
Cardinals lose to the USA National Collegiate team

The Crystal Lake Cardinals faced off against the USA National Collegiate baseball team on Monday, July 15.

Tuesday, July 9
Cardinals to play USA Baseball National College Team
The Crystal Lake Cardinals College team will be playing the USA Baseball National Collegiate Team on Monday, July 15 at Fifth Third Bank Stadium in Geneva and home to the Kane County Cougars. Game time is at 7:00 PM. The USA Team will play the Cardinals in a scrimmage game prior to facing the Cuban National team on July 18. 

Thursday, July 26
Cardinals going back to Toledo for the 2012 NABF Summer College World Series

July 13, 2012 - The Crystal Lake Cardinals will be returning to the NABF College Summer World Series in Toledo, Ohio starting on Thursday, August 9, 2012. The Cardinals are the 2009 National Champions and Runner Up in 2011.

2013 POOL Play Schedule for the Cardinals;

Thursday, August 9, 2012 - game 1 at 12:30, game 2 at 4 pm - location and opponent TBD

Friday, August 10, 2012 - game 3 at 12:30

Qualifiers advance to single elimination Championship round;

Saturday, August 11th: Quarter-Finals at 2 sites 9am & 1230pm, Semi-Finals 4pm & 730pm

Sunday, August 12th: Finals 1pm

The Cardinals will be staying at:

Grand Plaza Hotel, downtown Toledo (blocks from the Mud Hen Stadium)

444 N. Summit Street, Toledo, Ohio 43604

Reservations at (419) 241-1411

....identify NABF College World Series Tournament - rooms at $84 per night plus tax


Friday, July 13
Cardinals make Summer All Star teams

Crystal Lake Cardinals players were selected to the All Star teams for the Metropolitan Collegiate Baseball League of Illinois as well as the Chicago Suburban Baseball League of Illinois.

For the Metro League West Team, Josh Harris (LHP) - Villanova University, Mark Hode (RHP) - King College TN., Will Krug (OF) - University of Illinois, Michael Morman (OF) -Valparaiso and Daniel Delaney (C) - Fresno State University represented the Cardinals. The West team defeated the East team by a score of 19-0 on Wednesday, July 11 at Judson University in Elgin, Illlinois.

 The All Star game for the CSBL will be played on Wednesday, July 18 at Madison Meadows Park in Lombard, Illinoois. Representing the Cardinals will be Anthony Milazzo (LHP) - University of Illinois, John Spoelstra (LHP) - Heartland Community College, Shota Runge (MIF) - Fresno State University and Will Wagner (1B) - Southern Missouri University.

Friday, June 8

Congratulations on MLB draft to Cardinals players Michael Heesch and Tom Harlan.

Michael Heesch (LHP) was picked in the 8th round by the Chicago Cubs.

Tom Harlan (LHP) was picked in the 13th round by the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Thursday, May 24
2012 Practice / Tryouts
The 2012 Crystal Lake Cardinals will have their first practice/tryout on Wednesday, May 30, 2012 starting at 6:00 PM at Judson University in Elgin.

Tuesday, August 9
2011 NABF World Series All Tournament Team


MVP                           Brayan Cacique, Utica Brewers (Lake Erie College)

Batting Champion       Joe Pantano, Buffalo Lieb’s (Erie CC)

C         Jacob Rhodes, Michigan Bulls (Murray State University)

C         Joe Stropp, Utica Brewers (Broward College)

1B       Luke Collins, Chicago Zephyrs (Elmhurst College)

2B       Brendan Barry, Long Island Sound (Post University)

3B       Pat MacKenzie, Michigan Bulls (Central Michigan University)

SS        Joe Pantano, Buffalo Lieb’s (Erie CC)

P          Mike Johnson, Utica Brewers (Hillsborough CC)

P          Mike Rivera, Crystal Lake Cardinals (College of Lake County)

P          Ryan Pollock, Crystal Lake Cardinals (Judson University)

P          Joe Scanio, Wildwood Dodgers (Northwestern State University)

P          Kevin Archbold, Dix Hills Dodgers (Albany University)

P          Jacob Pettit, Utica Brewers (Warner Southern University)

OF       Blake Schmenk, Toledo Gold Hawks (Owens CC)

OF       Charles Aldridge, Chicago Zephyrs (Grambling State University)

OF       Aaron Cieslak, Michigan Bulls (Oakland University)

OF       Brayan Cacique, Utica Brewers (Lake Erie College)

OF       Tom Roth, Crystal Lake Cardinals (Elgin CC)

DH      Dan Mims, Utica Brewers (Southeastern University)

DH      Lee Spinelle, Crystal Lake Cardinals (Lincoln Land JC)

Utility  Blake Farley, Wildwood Dodgers (Temple JC)

Utility  Luke Collins, Chicago Zephyrs (Elmhurst College) 

Tuesday, August 9
2011 NABF Wrap Up


The Utica Brewers (Eastern Collegiate Baseball League) from New York belted out 18 hits to defeat the Crystal Lake Cardinals (Metro Amateur Baseball League, Illinois) 10-1 in the National Amateur Baseball Federation College Division World Series championship at Fifth Third Field, the home of the world famous Toledo Mud Hens.The Brewers scored a single run in the third and seventh inning, and added two runs in the fourth and exploded for five in the fifth.Mike Johnson (Hillsborough CC) was the winning pitcher, going the distance, allowing one earned run, six hits, striking out 11 and walking two. Every Utica player got into the hit column, led by tournament MVP Brayan Cacique (Lake Erie College), who was 5-for-5 and had three RBIs. Cacique batted 12-for-22 (.545) with seven RBIs for the tournament.Tyler McKnight (Oklahoma State) was 3-for-6 and getting two hits apiece were Scott Krutel (Missouri Baptist University), Armando Gutierrez (Missouri Baptist University), and Joe Iorio (University of North Florida). Also getting a hit apiece was Jimmy Franklin (Christian Brothers University), Dan Mims (Southeastern University), Joe Stropp (Broward College), and Logan Morello (Gloucester CC). The Brewers had three doubles (McKnight, Krutel, Iorio).The Brewers went 3-0 in pool play, defeating the Illinois Jayhawks, 5-4, the Michigan Bulls, 10-7, and the Toledo Black Hawks, 4-3. The Brewers defeated the Long Island South 6-4 in the quarterfinals and the Chicago Zephyrs, 12-8, in the semifinals.Brewers’ players making the All-Tournament Team are outfielder Brayan Cacique, catcher Joe Stropp, pitchers Mike Johnson and Jacob Pettit (Warner Southern University), and designated hitter Dan Mims.

The Utica Brewers head coach is Dave Guido, and he is assisted by former Major League pitcher Russell Jacob Jr. The team is managed by Butch Russo. Brewers team members include Mitch Buerosse (Nova Southeastern), Ryan Yarborough (Santa Fe College), Skylar Sopotnik (Thomas University), Ryan Donovan (Saint Rose), Tyler Redding (Nova Southeastern), Brent Krauss (St. Petersburgh College), Craig Lejeune (George Washington University), Josh Scharff (Yale University), Todd Glime (Missouri Baptist University), Matt Marsh (Miami Dade), and Matt Marsh (Miami Dade).

Crystal Lake had six hits in the championship, including a triple by Tom Wilson (Elgin CC), who went 2-for-4. Nolan Jacoby (Oakland University), Lee Spinelle (Lincoln Land JC), Brian Padove (Butler University), and Drew Buddle (Lewis University) all had base hits.Crystal Lake was 2-1 in pool play, defeating the Kent White Sox, 3-0, and Genoa Rampage, 6-4, but losing to the Toledo Gold Hawks, 5-3. The Cardinals defeated the Buffalo Leib’s, 5-3, in the quarterfinals and the Michigan Bulls, 3-0, in the semifinal.Armando Bombino is the head coach of the Cardinals, and he is assisted by Matt Modlinski and Ted Ratliff. The Cardinals were NABF College World Series champions two years ago, defeating the Dix Hills Dodgers (Long Island, N.Y.) 3-0 in the championship.

Crystal Lake players making the All-Tourney Team include pitchers Mike Rivera (College of Lake County) and Ryan Pollock (Judson University), outfielder Tom Roth (Elgin CC), and designated hitter Lee Spinelle.Crystal Lake players include Ben Albano (Lewis University), Jake Alvarez (Fresno State University), Will Anderson (Fresno State University), Connor Buxton (Valparaiso University), Louis Cohen (Cal State Northridge), Scott Heelan (Virginia Tech), Mark Hode (Parkland CC), Dave Hoffman (Augustana College), Mike Hoscheit (Butler University), Matt Huck (St. Francis), Zach Klein (Quincy University), Billy Laing (Butler University), Zach Leibman (Elgin CC), Brett Loeding (Elgin CC), Brian Marquis (Elmhurst College), Michael Morman (Valparaiso University), Luke Mottashed (Heartland CC), Jordan Mullins (Fresno State University), Adam Nisenson (Coe College), and Devin Rowland (Elgin CC).

The College World Series batting champion is shortstop Joe Pantano (Erie CC) of the Buffalo Liebs, who went 12-for-17 (.706) with five RBI. Besides Fifth Third Field, tournament sites included the former home of the Toledo Mud Hens, Ned Skeldon Stadium, George Ousky Field at the City of Oregon’s William P. Coontz Recreation Center, the City of Toledo’s Rich Arbinger Field at Bowman Park, and Dan Kober Field at St. Francis DeSales High School. Games were also telecast by Buckeye Cable Sports Network ( and streamed live on the internet. The tournament was hosted by Toledo Amateur Baseball Federation.For the second straight year, Jon Kemmer (Kersey Diamonds/Clarion University) won the home run derby, defeating 2009 champion, 2010 finalist, and 2011 runner-up Omar Velazquez (Dix Hills Dodgers/Adelphi University) in a showdown under the lights at Ned Skeldon Stadium.  


Utica Brewers 10, Crystal Lake Cardinals 1


Utica Brewers 12, Chicago Zephyrs 8

Crystal Lake Cardinals 3, Michigan Bulls 0


Utica Brewers 6, Long Island Sound 4

Crystal Lake Cardinals 5, Buffalo Leib’s 3

Chicago Zephyrs 7, Toledo Gold Hawks 1

Michigan Bulls 6, Wildwood Dodgers 3

Monday, August 8
Cardinals finish second in 2011 NABF College Summer World Series

Toledo, Ohio

The Crystal Lake Cardinals completed their 2011 season as Runner Ups in the NABF College Summer World Series played in Toledo, Ohio. The Championship game was played at Fifth/Third Bank Stadium, home of the AAA Toledo Mudhens. The Utica Brewers from New York State defeated the Cardinals 10-1 and were for the first time crowned NABF Champions.

The Cardinals opened pool play with a with a 3-0 win against Kent White Sox from Brooklyn. Ryan Pollock pitched eight strong innings with Brett Loeding closing the game for the Cards.In the second game of the day, the Cards defeated the Genoa Rampage from Ohio with a score of 6-4. Zach Leibman recorded the win for the Cardinals. In the third game the Cardinals lost to the Toledo Gold Hawks 5-3, the 2010 NABF WS Champions. Brian Marquis took the loss while pitching a strong game and only allowing 2 earned runs to the reigning champions. With a record of 2-1 in pool play the Cardinals advanced to the single elimination round of the tournament.

 The Cardinals first faced the Buffalo Lieb's in their quarter final game. The Lieb's jumped to a one nothing lead off starter Will Anderson. The Cardinals came back in the bottom of the third inning to tie the game at one. In the top of the fourth, the Lieb's started with a single and then double off Anderson, when the game was stopped due to rain. The game was resumed six hours later, with Brian Padove now on the mound for the Cardinals. The Lieb's took a 3-1 lead into the bottom of the fourth, when the Cardinals battled back and tied the game at three. The Cardinals continued playing small ball and scored a run in the fifth and another one in the eight. Padove held the Lieb's thru the eight inning to no more runs. Brett Loeding closed another game succesfully for the Cards advancing the team to the Semi Finals - four teams left. Tom Roth and Jake Alvarez each had two hits for the Cardinals. Alvarez also had two key RBIs.

In the semi final game the Cardinals sent to the mound Mickey Rivera (9-0) against a strong Michigan Bulls team.  Mickey earned a 3-0 win moving the Cardinals to the Championship game at Fifth/Third Stadium. The cards jumped to an early lead in the first inning. Tom Roth walked to start the game. Dave Hoffman followed with a single and Tom Wilson bunted to move the runners to scoring position. Nolan Jacoby hit a sacrife fly to score Roth and Lee Spinelle followed with a double to bring Hoffman home. It turned out that Rivera would only need Roth's run to defeat the Bulls. The Cards scored an insurance run in the seventh inning when Drew Buddle started the inning with a single, followed by a single from Jake Alvarez and an RBI single from Tom Roth. Brett Loeding came in the ninth inning to pitch and got his 12 save of the summer. Loeding finished his 30th inning of relief for the summer without allowing an earned run.

In the Championship game, the Cardinals scattered six hits and could not hold a 10 run 21 hit attack by the Utica Brewers. The Brewers got on the board first with one run in the third inning and two more in fourth. The Cards responded in the fourth inning with one run when Tom Wilson hit a triple and Lee Spinelle drove him home. In the fifth inning the Brewers sent 9 players to the plate and scored five runs against starter Matt Huck and reliever Dev Rowland. Rowland held the Brewers to no runs in the sixth. The Cardinals threatened to cut the lead in the bottom of the sixth when Nolan Jacoby and Lee Spinelle had back to back singles, but the Cards offense could not bring them around. In the seventh Rowland opened the door to one more run with an error hit to the pitcher. The Brewers loaded the bases and threatened to score when Mark Hode came in relief of Rowland. Hode shut the door and got three outs to close the inning without further damage. Utica pitching shut the Cards out for the rest of the game. 

Monday, August 8
Cardinals 2011 Champions of the Metro College League of Illinois
The Cardinals completed a sweep of the Chicago Titans on Sunday July 31 and became the 2011 Metropolitan Collegiate League of Illinois Champions with a record of 21-2. The Cardinals finished the regular summer season with an overall record of 42-11.

Sunday, May 8
Cardinals COLLEGE Team 2011 OPEN Tryouts
The Cardinals College team will have OPEN tryouts on Wednesday, June 1, 2011 at 6 PM at Judson University in Elgin. This will be the ONLY tryout date. Returning players must attend the tryout.

Sunday, August 16
Cardinals Win the 2009 NABF Summer College World Series
The Crystal Lake Cardinals returned home from Toledo, OH as the 2009 National Amateur Baseball Federation College World Series Champions. The Cardinals started with two quick victories in pool play. Paul Duncan and Gannon Sadzeck threw strong games for the wins. The only loss the Cards had was in pool play to the Boyle Braves from PA even though Ryan Pollock threw a two hitter. The Cards flew to the championship with a 6-1 quarter-final  victory over the (Livonia) Michigan Bulls behind a complete game from Derek Eitel. Mike Heesch, Matt Modlinski and Scott Spinelle combined for a 7-6 semi-final victory over Shannon Fence (Youngstown, OH). In the championship game, the Cardinals fought for a 3-0 victory over the Dix Hills (NY) Dodgers.  Matt Huck threw 8 innings of three-hit baseball and Scott Spinelle came in for the save. Center-fielder Corey Moylan, who hit .571 for the tournament, went 3-4 with a homer and two rbi in the Championship. The Tournament web site is where you can find pictures, and other details.

Friday, August 8
Cards finish perfect in PR with 8-4 win

Fajardo, Puerto Rico - - The Cards finished their trip to Puerto Rico with their sixth win and no defeats. The Cardinals faced the Carolina Royals, the Champions of the U20 Puerto Rico Tournament of Excellence.

Crystal Lake used four pitchers and timely hitting to get the win. Royce Krueger (McHenry County College) pitched the first three innings and allowed three runs. Matt Modlinski (Texas Pan Am) went one and allowed one run, Scott Spinelle (SIU Edwardsville) pitched two with no runs and Ryan Knott closed it with no runs.

For the Cards, Jesse Wight (UNLV) went 2 for 2 with three RBIs, Kurtis Smith (Hofstra) had 2 hits in 3 AB with 1 RBI, Joe Bowens (Creighton) had an RBI double and John Waylock (Muscatine College) had two RBIs.

Thursday, August 7
Cardinals bats explode in 15-5 win in Puerto Rico

Fajardo, Puerto Rico - - Cardinals bats exploded for 15 runs in route to the Cards fourth win in Puerto Rico. Cody Beck (NIU) and Scott Spinelle (SIU Edwardsville) pitched for Crystal Lake. Spinelle took over for Beck in the third inning when Beck was hit in the foot by a hard hit ground ball. Spinelle kept PR hitters in check the rest of the game while the Cards offense exploded.

For the Cards Jesse Wight had four hits and three RBI, Chad Rebecca had three hits and Ryan Gathman and Rafael Bombino each had three RBIs. 

Friday, August 8
Cardinals defeat Metropolitan University baseball team

Naranjo, Puerto Rico - - The Cardinals defeated 10-6 the Turabo Metropolitan University Mets baseball team Thursday night at Naranjo's Community Park. The Mets are the 2007-2008 second place team of the Intercollegiate Athletic League (LAI) of Puerto Rico which is composed of twenty collegiate teams.

Gannon Sadzeck (Rose Hulman) took the win for Crystal Lake after five solid innings of pitching. Derek Eitel (Rose Hulman) and Kyle Kukulski (Elgin Community College) closed the game out.

Puerto scored 1 in the first, but the Cards responded with 3 in the bottom of the first. The Mets took the lead in the top of the second when they scored four runs. The lead would not hold as Crystal Lake responded with four runs of its own in the botton of the second to regain the lead. Sadzeck then controlled the PR bats until the seventh inning when the Mets scored on a solo HR of Kukulski.

For the Cards, Ryan Gathman (UNC Pembroke) went 3 for 3 with a Home Run and 2 RBI's.  John Waylock followed suit with a 3 for 3 performance with a double and 1 RBI. Jesse Wight (UNLV) had two hits in four at bats with one Home Run and three RBIs.   

Wednesday, August 6
Knott ties PR hitters in route to Cards third win

Fajardo, Puerto Rico - - The Cardinals won their third straight game 9-1 behind the strong pitching of Ryan Knott (Duke) and Kyle Kukulski (ECC). The Cardinals faced the PR CABA National champions that had just returned from a fourth place finish in South Carolina.

Knott pitched six innings allowing one earned run in the first inning while striking out seven, walking three and scattering three hits. Kukulski came in the seventh inning to close the game out. Kukulski faced four PR hitters allowing one hit and striking out one.

Crystal Lake got on the board in the first inning with a walk to Bryan Rudden, a sacrifice bunt from Chad Rebecca and a single from Jesse Wight driving Rudden in. Puerto Rico tied the game in the bottom of the first without hitting the ball out of the infield. Three walks and a slow fielder choice ground ball were all PR needed to score their lonely run.

The Cardinals scored four in the top of the second inning giving Knott everything he would need to beat PR. Ryan Gathman (UNC - Pembroke) walked. Joe Bowens (Creighton) bunted for a sacrifice but beat the throw when the pitcher doubled clutched the throw. John Waylock singled in Gathman and Rafael Bombino singled in Bowens. Bryan Rudden singled in Waylock after Zach Freudenheim sacrificed Waylock and Bombino over. Bombino scored the fourth run of the inning when Chad Rebecca hit a sacrifice fly to center-right.  Crystal Lake added two runs in the third and two more in the fifth.


Wednesday, August 6
Cards win second game in PR behind Hebard's pitching

Fajardo, Puerto Rico - - The Cardinals won their second game in Puerto Rico behind a solid pitching performance from Will Hebard (Villanova). Scott Spinelle (SIU Edwardsville) closed out the game with a perfect seventh.

The Cards scored two in the second and fourth innings and added a run in the fifth. In the second John Waylock (Muscatine IA) opened with a single and reached second on an errant throw. Rafael Bombino (NIU) got a single thru the infield to bring Waylock in. Bryan Rudden got on base on an error that drove Bombino in.

In the fourth inning, Zach Freudenheim (Hill College TX), opened with a single and was brought home when Chad Rebecca (Stony Bridge) delivered a 2B in the gap. Jesse Wight (UNLV) brought in Joe Dimaggio (UNLV) in for the second run after a Dimaggio's fielder choice.

Hebard pitched six innings with five Ks and only one hit allowed.  Spinelle struck out one and did not allow a hit in closing the game.

Sunday, August 3
Cards take first game in Puerto Rico

Fajardo, Puerto Rico - - The Cardinals won their opening game in Puerto Rico with a final score of 8-3. Derek Eitel (Rose Hulman) pitched the first five innings with Matt Modlinski (Texas Pan Am) throwing the last two.

The Cardinals struck in the first inning with three runs. Bryan Rudden (Southern Indiana) work a walk and then stole second base. Chad Rebecca (Stony Brook Univ) hit a double to score Rudden. Jesse Wight (UNLV) hit a hard liner over the third baseman that scored Rebecca and allowed Wight to get to second base. Wight scored the third run when Ryan Gathman (U.N.Carolina-Pembroke), who had walked, drew a throw in a second base steal attempt.

Joe Dimaggio (UNLV) scored the winning run in the top of the sixth. Dimaggio was hit by a pitch. Wight sacrificed him to second base. Dimaggio advanced to third and Gathman scored him with a ground ball.

The Cardinals scored again four runs in the seventh by combining walks to John Waylock (Muscatine JC Iowa), Rebecca, Wight with hits by Zach Freudenheim (Hill College Texas) and Ryan Gathman.

Derek Eitel had 11 strike outs, 5 walks, allowed 4 hits and 3 runs. Matt Modlinski had 5 strike outs in two innings, 1 walk, 1 hit and no runs.

The Cardinals play a double header on Monday night with the starting pitchers being Will Hebard (Villanova) and Ryan Knott (Duke).

Tuesday, August 7
Cardinals Sweep Puerto Rico teams
The Crystal Lake Cardinals won all five games it played against Puerto Rico teams during the week of July 30. The Cards defeated a select AA Puerto Rico team, the National U19 Champion that took 3rd place in the CABA World Series, and two other teams that were runner ups in the Puerto Rico national championship series for their particular age brackets. Games were played at the Fajardo and Carolina AA stadiums and the Roberto Clemente Walker professional stadium.