April 12 at Lindblom

Lindblom Academy
6130 S. Wolcott Ave.
Chicago

Start Time: 4:30 p.m. Final score: W 11-9
April 14 at Thornton Fractional South

Thornton Fractional South
18500 Burnham Ave.
Lansing

Start Time: 4:30 p.m. Final score: L 4-1
April 17 at Gwendolyn Brooks College Prep

Gwendolyn Brooks
250 East 111th Street
Chicago

Start Time: 11 a.m. Final score: L 13-3
Next Game
April 24 Leo vs. Westmont

Chicago State University
9501 S. King Drive
Chicago

Start Time: 10 a.m.
April 26 Leo vs. Marmion

Chicago State University
9501 S. King Drive
Chicago

Start Time: 4:30 p.m.
April 29 Leo vs. Loyola Academy

Chicago State University
9501 S. King Drive
Chicago

Start Time: 4:30 p.m.
May 3 Leo vs. DePaul Prep

Chicago State University
9501 S. King Drive
Chicago

Start Time: 4:30 p.m.
May 4 at DePaul Prep

DePaul Prep
3333 N. Rockwell St.
Chicago

Start Time: 4:30 p.m.
May 6 Leo vs. Fenwick

Chicago State University
9501 S. King Drive
Chicago

Start Time: 4:30 p.m.
May 8 at Fenwick

Fenwick High School
505 Washington Blvd.
Oak Park

Start Time: 11 a.m.
May 10 Leo vs. St. Ignatius

Chicago State University
9501 S. King Drive
Chicago

Start Time: 4:30 p.m.
May 11 at St. Ignatius

St. Ignatius
1076 Roosevelt Rd.
Chicago

Start Time: 4:30 p.m.
May 13 Leo vs. St. Joseph

Chicago State University
9501 S. King Drive
Chicago

Start Time: 4:30 p.m.
May 15 at St. Joseph

St. Joseph High School
10900 W. Cermak Rd.
Westchester

Start Time: 11 a.m.
May 18 Leo vs. Montini

Chicago State University
9501 S. King Drive
Chicago

Start Time: 4:30 p.m.
May 20 at Montini

Montini High School
19W070 16th St.
Lombard

Start Time: 4:30 p.m.
May 22 Leo vs. De La Salle

Chicago State University
9501 S. King Drive
Chicago

Start Time: 11 a.m.
May 25 at De La Salle

De La Salle Institute
3434 S. Michigan Ave.
Chicago

Start Time: 4:30 p.m.
May 27 at St. Francis de Sales

St. Francis de Sales High School
10155 S. Ewing Ave.
Chicago

Start Time: 4:30 p.m.
May 29 Leo vs. St. Francis de Sales

Chicago State University
9501 S. King Drive
Chicago

Start Time: 11 a.m.

By Dan McGrath

After losing the entire 2020 season to COVID issues, the Leo High School baseball team has embarked on a thorough rebuilding program as it takes to the field for the 2021 campaign.

The Lions are hoping to emulate the success the Chicago Cubs had with a rebuilding plan that produced a World Series title in 2016, or the Chicago White Sox with a rebuild that has transformed them into American League contenders this season.

Rebuilding usually means going young, and the Lions are doing that with a roster that  includes no seniors. Evan Hill and P.J. Brown are experienced, multi-position juniors whose leadership and versatility provide Coach Mike Anderson with a strong nucleus for a team otherwise consisting of freshmen and sophomores.

Obviously there’s risk involved with such heavy dependence on youth. But sophomores Matthew Hernandez, Esai Jacinto, Kyrent Cole, Jacob Douglas and Nate Sims and freshmen Shawn Phillips and Lalo Santana all come from high-level youth leagues. It will take them a while to adjust to the game at the high school level, but they know how to play baseball, which gives them an advantage over the woefully inexperienced teams Leo has fielded in recent years.

Despite a 1-2 record, early results have been encouraging. The Lions pounded out 15 hits in a season-opening, come-from-behind 11-9 win at Lindblom, with Hill slugging a home run and two triples. Those bats went silent in a 4-1 loss at TF South two days later, and a 13-3 loss at perennial Public League contender Brooks on Saturday, April 17 looks worse than it was.

Leo spotted Brooks a big early lead with two shaky innings, but settled down, cleaned things up and blanked the hosts the rest of the way.

The Tuesday, April 20 game at Thornwood was a weather casualty and will be made up later in the season. Next up for the Lions is their home opener: 10 a.m. Saturday, April 24 vs. Westmont at Chicago State University.

“The kids have been working really hard and have shown improvement every time we take the field,” Anderson said. “We’ve got some good young ballplayers who love the game. I think we’re going to surprise some people.”