Father and Son Coach Teams to Near Perfect Season
Last updated 7/20/2022 at 8:20pm
The Marshall name has been a constant in the local sports scene for more than four decades, as Joe Marshall has coached a Pony Division team in Crest Hill for 43 years and he and his wife Donna have run Crest Hill Pony for most of that time.
Their sons have played and coached at Crest Hill and grandchildren have gone through the program.
This year, Joe and his youngest son Dan, nearly completed a combined perfect season, as Joe's 13-and-14-year olds were 30-1, while Dan coached the 11-and-12-year olds to a 23-0 campaign.
Both teams were DuPage River Conference and tournament champions.
Dan's Paradise Pools and Spa team posted an overall run differential this season of 333-57 and outscored opponents 38-6 in the playoffs.
Dan contributes the success to the fact that the core group of players have played together for six seasons.
"I have had this group since they were 6, so it has been nice. They are very coachable," Dan said. "They love to learn the game."
The team was made up of Brooke Marshall, Andrae Lyles, Landon Callozzo, John Studer, David Ramirez, Orlando Rosado, Bennett Normand, Brayden Schmitt, Mohammed Jaber, Mason Baeutschi, Andrew Schmitt and Ethan Moats. Chris Baertschi, Ron Callozzo and Bill Normand helped Dan Marshall as coaches.
The one combined loss was a 4-3, road loss for Joe's group.
While the teams may not have been overall perfect, they both defended home turf, as it was Joe's first team other than the 2020 Covid-shortened season, to not lose a game at home.
Joe's Sports Huddle team saw Jerry Ramirez pitch a program record five no hitters during the season, including a perfect game.
In the championship game, Sports Huddle defeated Channahon Vast Investment Properties 14-3 after trailing 2-0 in the top of the first inning.
Crest Hill came back in the bottom of the first and scored nine times, including a trademark suicide squeeze bunt by Dylan Sanchez with a two-strike count.
Damian Herrera led the team in batting average on the season, hitting .438, with five triples and a pair of home runs.
He recorded eight wins on the mound with a 1.80 ERA. Opposing hitters batted just .124 against him. He tallied a 1.33 WHIP and had 78 strikeouts, an average of 11.70 per seven innings.
Catcher Naseem Jaber hit .413 and set team record with 82 stolen bases, while not being caught all year.
He led the team with runs 60 scored 60, 33 hits and nine doubles. He hit 706 with runners in scoring position
Behind the plate, Jaber threw out 21 and allowed 43 stolen bases and allowed only two pass balls in 31 games in only his second year as a catcher.
Shortstop and pitcher Gordie Kairis hit .419 with 62 stolen bases.
As a pitcher, he won nine games with an ERA of and opponents average of .151. He led the team ith 95 strikeouts and a 0.95 WHIP.
Ramirez made only three errors at first base and hit .403 on the year.
On the mound, he was 8-0 and had a team-best 0.34, ERA and 0.50 WHIP. Opponents hit just 0.61 against him.
One of those no-hitters was saved by a catch from left fielder Damian Arteaga who hit .333 on the year.
Freddy Casas hit .328 and went 4-1 on the mound with an ERA of 1.76.
Mikey Laudadio, Jayson Kolaski, Austin Licausi and Mason Russell all played good defense and improved this season, according to Joe Marshall
Dylan Sanchez and Tommy Kairis will both be eligible to return next season as the lone 13-year-olds on the roster.
Like many leagues, Crest Hill has taken a hit over the years in terms of numbers, losing players to travel teams.
So, with lack of numbers entering the Bronco level next year, the plan is to move 11-year-olds up to play an extra year of Pony baseball.
That includes Dan's daughter, Brooke, who will play for Joe next season, while Dan assists.
"It has always been my goal to have my daughter play for my dad," Dan said.