Football is in the air, but it’s never too early to check in on local baseball powers. After all, it’s a long list. WillCountyBaseball.org got the offseason started with an exclusive interview with Phil Bodine. Listen while you read; and stayed tuned for the long, but not boring, 2017 preseason:
October 14, 2016
Plainfield South Head Coach Phil Bodine was on the phone and the names were rattled off, “Konnor Ash, Jordan Mikel, Austin Marozas, Justin McGuigan…” You couldn’t see him, but you knew he was smiling. Coach Bodine will be locked and loaded for 2017.
Every year tells a different story. You can’t judge the 2017 Plainfied South edition by its cover, but the introduction is fantastic.
The Cougars lost a heartbreaking 4-3 Supersectional to Providence last May in Champaign. After watching Provy celebrate Bodine promptly gathered his troops and South marched through Tinley Park, Providence, Joliet Catholic, Plainfield Central, Lyons Township, St. Charles North, Naperville Central, and Brother Rice on their way to the 2016 Phil Lawler Summer State Tournament. That’s a gauntlet.
Having the guns is one thing, but any serious baseball person knows that the guy calling the shots from the dugout is the key to making a run at a state title. Bodine has been at Plainfield South since 2009. The school opened in 2004 so Phil has had seven full years to build his program brick by brick.
Bodine started his career in Mendota in 1990 and won over 300 games before moving on to York. He has been named the Illinois High School Baseball Coaches Association North Coach of The Year three times. In 2012 Bodine was inducted into the IHSBCA Hall of Fame.
WCB.org talked to Coach Bodine about the state of Plainfield South baseball. The public schools in the area have long ago staked their claim to the elite of Will County and beyond. Bodine makes a strong case for his district.
Bodine also shared with WCB.org how his bench works during a game. Bodine pitched Division I baseball for the University of Illinois-Chicago. He takes charge of his pitching staff and defense. Offensive strategy and additional outfield help are shared between his assistants.
South plays with a distinctive flair for defensive attack. (see “Plainfied South vs Minooka: Baseball and The Art of War.”) They throw strikes and go get the ball. If you’re not careful on the bases they’re sure to throw behind you. Their pickoff game is precise and deadly.
As a trained D1 pitcher Bodine knows what to look for in a fatigued kid who has thrown too many pitches. He talks about the telltale signs that someone’s day on the mound is done; and how he handles a national prospect like Austin Marozas.
WCB.org sends out a huge thank you to Coach Bodine for his time and insights.
IHSA Pitch Count Update
Pitch count rules dominated high school baseball conversation over the summer. It looks like the IHSA is going to implement a plan to limit pitches to 115. That’s the short take on a story that will introduce a slew of brand new issues for coaches and umpires.
The latest news on new pitch count rules is that a final vote by the IHSA has been pushed back:
At its meeting Wednesday, the IHSA Board of Directors postponed a vote on the measure. The guidelines will be discussed throughout the month of November at annual IHSA rules meetings with principals. Meetings will be held at various high schools throughout the state.
– WTTW, October 13, 2016 1:10 pm.
For complete coverage of the pitch count issue please see the following WCB.org articles. Dr. Edward Joy is a Tinley Park orthopedic surgeon. Dr. Preston Wolin is an orthopedic surgeon, coach, and an influential member of the IHSA Sports Medicine Advisory Committee. Paul Belo is IHSBCA President and Palatine Head Coach. Hall of Fame coaches Terry Ayers from St. Charles North and Phil Bodine also provided commentary.
Join our Facebook group: The National High School Pitch Count Debate