Meet the All-Area Baseball First Team

Louis Acklin, Sr.
St. Joseph-Ogden, Pitcher

The numbers: Illinois Wesleyan recruit tied for third in area with eight pitching wins and was eighth overall with a 1.06 earned-run average. In 58 innings, he struck out 83. A special mention All-Area pick in football and basketball, he hit .362 this spring and was second on Spartans with 17 stolen bases.
Favorite entertainer: Kevin Hart
Favorite class: Economics
Favorite movie: Stepbrothers
Favorite store: Walmart
Favorite fast food joint: McDonald’s
Favorite car: Corvette
Pet peeve: Tyler McCormick
My first job was: Working at the McKinley Fitness Center
I’m always texting: Friends
Three things on my bucket list: Go skydiving, go to a World Series game and throw as fast as Hunter Hart.

Kurtis Brown, Sr.
Champaign Central, Infielder

The numbers: Bellarmine University recruit is a repeat All-Area first-team selection who was fifth in the area with 36 runs batted in. Batted .370 and established Central career records for home runs (12), doubles (45) and runs batted in (108). Drew 15 walks and struck out 13 times for a 19-18 team. A three-year All-Big 12 first-teamer.
Favorite entertainer: Justin Timberlake
Favorite class: Spanish
Favorite movie: The Social Network
Favorite store: J. Crew
Favorite fast food joint: Chipotle
Favorite car: Volkswagon Passat
Pet peeve: Bad breath
My first job was: Cashier at Culver’s
I’m always texting: My beautiful mother
Three things on my bucket list: Ask out Olivia Wilde, go on a missionary trip and climb a mountain.

Cully Day, Jr.
Mahomet-Seymour, Outfielder

The numbers: A two-time All-Corn belt Conference first-teamer, he was second on 16-9 Bulldogs with a .387 average. Among colleges showing the most interest in the center fielder are Bradley and Illinois State. Had a team-high 11 extra-base hits. Drew a team-high 16 walks and struck out nine times in 91 plate appearances.
Favorite entertainer: Chandler Stone
Favorite class: U.S. History with Mr. Seal
Favorite movie: Saving Private Ryan
Favorite store: Scheel’s
Favorite fast food joint: Penn Station
Favorite car: White station wagon
Pet peeve: Joe Kenney
My first job was: Day Dramage
I’m always texting: Allie Melchi
Three things on my bucket list: Visit Dubai, visit every Major League stadium and go on a date with Julie Kenney.

Dylan Grady, So.
Centennial, Infielder

The numbers: Finished fourth in the area with 37 runs batted in. Led the 22-win regional-champion Chargers in extra-base hits with 17. Drew a team-high 19 walks while striking out 11 times in 137 plate appearances. Finished with a .391 batting average. Split time between shortstop and third base.
Favorite entertainer: 2$wole from Centennial
Favorite class: Accounting
Favorite movie: Out Cold
Favorite store: Dick’s Sporting Goods
Favorite fast food joint: Taco Bell
Favorite car: 2006 Toyota Camry
Pet peeve: When people match their elite socks with the rest of their outfit
My first job was: Lawn mowing
I’m always texting: Marybeth Duncan
Three things on my bucket list: Visit Ireland, obtain Joe Kenney’s autograph and go skydiving.

Connor Gross, Jr.
Cerro Gordo/Bement, Infielder

The numbers: Two-way standout was third in area in batting (.475), tied for third in pitching wins (eight) and fifth in strikeouts (95). In 652/3 innings for the 20-win LOVC champs, he issued 11 walks. Also stole 20 bases and pounded 20 of 38 hits for extra bases. Drew 16 walks and struck out eight times.
Favorite entertainer: Kevin Hart
Favorite class: Physical education
Favorite movie: 42
Favorite store: Finish Line
Favorite fast food joint: Mexican
Favorite car: Bugatti
Pet peeve: Chewing with mouth open
My first job was: A lemonade stand
I’m always texting: Allie Hislope, Andy Webb and Evan Seegmiller
Three things on my bucket list: Sleep in back of the truck with blankets in the middle of the country, go to a Cubs World Series game and meet Michael Jordan.

Hunter Hart, Jr.
St. Joseph-Ogden, Pitcher/Player of the Year

The numbers: Coaches Association 2A all-stater led the area with 11 pitching wins and was first with 136 strikeouts (in 661/3 innings). Tied for first by hitting five home runs, tied for second with 38 runs batted in and was seventh in batting with a .464 average. Had a 1.16 earned run average. In one stretch of eight consecutive starts, did not allow more than one hit in any of them.
Favorite entertainer: Dave Chappelle
Favorite class: Study hall
Favorite movie: Major League
Favorite store: Walmart
Favorite fast food joint: McDonald’s
Favorite car: My 2001 Pontiac Grand Prix
Pet peeve: Tyler McCormick
My first job was: None yet
I’m always texting: Friends
Three things on my bucket list: Go skydiving, travel the world and go deep-sea fishing.  

Joe Kenney, So.
Mahomet-Seymour, Infielder

The numbers: A repeat first-teamer, tied for ninth in the area with a team-high .451 batting average. Prep Baseball Report, based in Chicago, listed Kenney among the state’s top 50 players — regardless of position — in the Class of 2015. “A difference-maker in every game he plays,” M-S coach Nic DiFilippo said.
Favorite entertainer: Ralphie May
Favorite class: World History with Coach Pogue
Favorite movie: Division III: Football’s Finest
Favorite store: Scheel’s
Favorite fast food joint: Culver’s
Favorite car: Enzo Ferrari
Pet peeve: When my parents don’t answer the phone when I call
My first job was: Working for my dad
I’m always texting: Olivia Turner
Three things on my bucket list: Travel the world, obtain Albert Pujols’ autograph and meet the President of the United States.

Ross Learnard, Jr.
Salt Fork, Designated hitter

The numbers: Coaches Association 1A all-stater led the fourth-place Class 1A team with a .411 batting average. In his three-year varsity career, the center fielder has committed one error, none in the past two years. Drew team-high 21 walks and struck out four times in 116 plate appearances. Set school record for season stolen bases (24) in 2012.
Favorite entertainer: Cole Taylor
Favorite class: Mr. B’s U.S. History Class
Favorite movie: Joe Dirt
Favorite store: Dick’s Sporting Goods
Favorite fast food joint: Arby’s
Favorite car: Nick Stokowski’s Prius
Pet peeve: Bad grammar
My first job was: None yet
I’m always texting: Friends, Regan
Three things on my bucket list: Go to famous sporting events, eat dinner with Nick Stokowski and go skydiving.

Mitch Negangard, Sr.
Unity, Utility

The numbers: St. Ambrose football recruit (and an All-Area first-teamer in football) led the Rockets with a .407 batting average and tied for fourth in the area with four home runs. Scored a team-high 27 runs and stole nine bases. As a pitcher, won a team-high six games for an 18-11 squad and struck out 57 batters in 61 innings. Versatile athlete was a special mention All-Area pick in basketball.
Favorite entertainer: Kevin Hart
Favorite class: Advanced U.S. History
Favorite movie: Friday Night Lights
Favorite store: Dick’s Sporting Goods
Favorite fast food joint: Taco Bell
Favorite car: Camero
Pet peeve: When someone does not give it their all
My first job was: Picking pumpkins
I’m always texting: Friends
Three things on my bucket list: Skydiving, go to Europe and make a million dollars.

Mike Plecki, Jr.
St. Thomas More, Outfielder

The numbers: Repeat first-teamer finished sixth in area in batting (.465). Led team with 40 hits and 37 runs scored. The left-hander led the SVC co-champion Sabers in pitching with a 5-0 record and 46 strikeouts in 411/3 innings. Fielded flawlessly in 64 chances, and the three-year starter made his only career error as a freshman.
Favorite entertainer: Jason Aldean
Favorite class: American History
Favorite movie: Iron Man 3
Favorite store: Nike Outlet
Favorite fast food joint: McDonald’s
Favorite car: My 1996 Nissan Maxima, Betty
Pet peeve: When people say they work hard, but they don’t
My first job was: A lemonade stand
I’m always texting: Brooke Plotner
Three things on my bucket list: Go to Las Vegas, go to Italy and go skydiving.

Chuckie Robinson III, Sr.
Danville, Catcher

The numbers: Southern Miss recruit is a three-time All-Area first-teamer who led the Vikings with a .372 batting average (on a team with a .196 cumulative average) and tied for fourth in the area with four home runs. Stole a team-high 11 bases. Established school career record for homers (19).
Favorite entertainer: Kevin Hart
Favorite class: Physical education
Favorite movie: Forrest Gump
Favorite store: Dunham’s Sports
Favorite fast food joint: Wendy’s
Favorite car: Ford Raptor
Pet peeve: None
My first job was: None yet
I’m always texting: Ka’Lynn Mason
Three things on my bucket list: Go skydiving, play Major League Baseball and go on a date with Alicia Keys.

Nick Stokowski, Jr.
Monticello, Outfielder

The numbers: An All-Area first-teamer in basketball, the center fielder was area’s top batter this spring with a .512 average. Drew 20 walks and struck out four times. Thirteen of 22 hits were for extra bases. A three-year starter, has 44 career walks and 26 career strikeouts.
Favorite entertainer: Kevin Hart
Favorite class: Social studies
Favorite movie: Clint Eastwood movies
Favorite store: The mall
Favorite fast food joint: Portillo’s
Favorite car: Hot Wheels
Pet peeve: Uncanny sounds
My first job was: Farm worker
I’m always texting: Adam Peters, Samantha Terstriep and Yung Polo, AKA Matt Kruse
Three things on my bucket list: Go to Italy, watch a World Series game and meet Clint Eastwood.

Cole Taylor, Jr.
Salt Fork, Pitcher

The numbers: Coaches Association 1A all-stater was second in area with nine pitching wins and third with 105 strikeouts. Compiled ERA of 1.18 for a 22-9 team that placed fourth in 1A. In 771/3 innings, allowed 49 hits and struck out 105. Offensively, batted .402 (second on the Storm) and had the most RBI (26) and extra-base hits (12).
Favorite entertainer: Adam Sandler
Favorite class: Physical education
Favorite movie: Mr. and Mrs. Smith
Favorite store: Dick’s Sporting Goods
Favorite fast food joint: Arby’s
Favorite car: Dodge Viper
Pet peeve: Not being on time
My first job was: Helping grandpa on the farm
I’m always texting: Toria Plotner
Three things on my bucket list: Visit every Major League stadium, vacation in Hawaii and be on SportsCenter.

Sections (3):Baseball, Prep Sports, Sports

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