Baseball: Low-key Randau has quietly put together a big season for Mustangs
Senior Torr Randau, seen here taking a healthy cut during earlier action this spring, was one of six Mustangs to earn first-team all-conference. | Michael Schmidt~Sun-Times Media
Updated: July 3, 2012 12:46PM
The cleanup hitter for Mundelein’s baseball team, senior right fielder/DH Torr Randau, is rather soft-spoken around his teammates.
But as far as his coaches and those close to him are concerned, that’s fine — especially considering the way he lets his bat do most of the talking.
“The ball just explodes off his bat,” said Mustangs’ pitching ace Ryan Borucki. “Every time he hits the ball, it just seems to carry. He’s intimidating, and he’s also a leader. I think his game has become even more well-rounded since he started playing in the outfield more in addition to DH’ing.”
In a game at Libertyville — with the division lead on the line at the time — on May 1, Randau showed just how dangerous he can be. He finished 3-for-4, with a pair of singles, a bases-clearing double and a career-high six RBI.
While his overall batting average (.327), and slugging percentage (.515) are solid, his .438 batting average against conference opponents was a big reason why he was named to the NSC all-conference first team along with fellow Mustangs Chris Maranto, Jared Mandel, Matt Langlie, Jordan Wiegold and Will Farmer. Randau has one homer, 10 doubles, three triples and 29 RBI in 37 games. He’s also among the team’s leaders in quality at-bats (68).
“He’s had a lot of timely hits for us, and that continues,” said Mundelein coach Todd Parola. “He’s been sound defensively for us as well. He’s got a good arm, and much like the rest of the seniors on our team, he’s a quiet leader. He does it with his actions.”
Such actions have been noticed by college scouts, too, as Randau agreed to play for NCAA Division III Augustana College next season.
“I didn’t really tell too many people, or make a big official announcement after it happened,” said Randau, who finished the school year with a 3.7 grade-point average. “Our coaches are always preaching that talent doesn’t win games if you’re not working hard or getting along with your teammates, so I’ve been focusing on that aspect of things as much as possible right now.”
Injury report: Senior left fielder and leadoff hitter Thomas Gandolfi was out of the lineup with a hamstring injury in the Mustangs’ 7-3 win over Fremd in the Mundelein Regional championship game on Saturday. He remains day-to-day.
An equally big story is the status of Borucki, who has defied logic by making a late-season comeback after being told he needed Tommy John elbow ligament replacement surgery in April. Not only does he continue to hit 90-92 mph on the radar gun, but he remains pain-free while doing so.
Borucki, who has allowed just one earned run in 17 2/3 innings this year (0.40 ERA), threw two innings against Highland Park on May 19, and tossed one shutout inning against Zion-Benton on May 23. He has struck out 30 of the 68 batters he’s faced this season.
With the Major League Baseball amateur draft looming on June 4, Borucki likely faces a huge decision — one that could be life-changing.
“I’ve been told by probably 10 scouts that there’s a good chance I’ll be drafted in the first five rounds, even with the arm injury,” Borucki, a 6-foot-4 lefty, said. “I’ll be honest, I’m really hoping I get drafted high. Just to be put in that spot would fulfill a life-long dream of mine.”
Depending on how high he’s picked, Borucki will have a choice to make: either accept a full-ride, Division I scholarship from the University of Iowa, or take a signing bonus that could reach $1 million and pitch in the minor leagues, starting at the Single A level.
“It all depends on how high up I get picked, and how much money I’m offered,” Borucki said. “If the offer is right, I would definitely consider going pro. But if that happens, whatever team drafts me is probably still going to want me to have the surgery first.”
Heating up: While the Mustangs’ trio of Borucki, Matt Langlie and Jared Mandel have garnered a huge amount of attention for their outstanding numbers on the mound (sub-1.00 ERA for each), Mundelein’s bats have been quietly heating up. Since May 1, the Mustangs have scored 10 or more runs eight times. During that span, they’ve scored six or more runs in 12 out of 14 games.
The result has been a 33-4 overall record for the most wins in school history.
“We didn’t expect that, that’s for sure,” Parola said. “They’ve obviously gone well above any expectations we’ve had.”
Recap: Mundelein crushed Zion Benton 10-0, in five innings, in a regional semifinal game on May 23. Langlie threw four shutout innings to get the win.
In the regional title game, Mandel tossed a complete game in what was a comeback win over Fremd. The Mustangs scored seven unanswered runs, ignited by Chris Maranto (2-for-3, walk, 2 RBI), who hit a solo homer in the bottom of the first with his team trailing 3-0. Zach Osisek, Will Farmer and Bryan Wiener also drove in runs.
On deck: Top-seeded Mundelein was scheduled to face 14th-seeded Palatine in an IHSA Class 4A sectional semifinal game on Wednesday evening, at Glenbrook South High School, in Glenview.
If the Mustangs advance, they would play the winner of the other sectional semifnal between Stevenson (7 seed) and Highland Park (13 seed) — on Saturday, June 2 — for the sectional championship. Mundelein beat Stevenson twice, and Highland Park once, during the regular season.