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2008 IESA Boys State Baseball Tournaments This Weekend

Champions in Classes 1A, 2A and 3A will be crowned in the three-class Illinois Elementary School Association (IESA) Boys Baseball State Final Tournament this weekend on the diamonds at EastSide Centre in East Peoria.

Seven of the eight teams in Class 1A are making their first state final appearance in the three-class system. The other, Peoria Limestone Walters, is making its third straight appearance. Last year's Class 2A runner-up, McNabb Putnam County, and quarterfinalist Bluffs are among the eight qualifiers in the middle class. The other six in Class 2A are making their first state final appearances. A rematch of last year's Class 3A title game between defending champion Morton JHS and runner-up Normal Parkside is possible. Morton JHS won the 2007 championship game 2-1 in 8 innings.

The starting times of the games Friday and Saturday are the same in all three classes. Quarterfinals begin Friday at 10:00 a.m. The four quarterfinal winners advance to semifinal games Saturday morning with the third place and championship games set for Saturday afternoon. The semifinals get under way at 10:00 a.m. with the third place game set for 2:30 p.m. and the championship game at 4:45 p.m.

The price of admission Friday will be $5.00 for adults and high school students and $2.00 for senior citizens (62 and over) and students (K-8). Children younger than kindergarten are admitted free both days. Fans attending the games Saturday will receive a wristband that is to be worn all day and will be used for entry to the facility throughout the day. Each team advancing to the Saturday games will play two games that day. The price of admission for the wristband Saturday will be $7.00 for adults and high school students and $3.00 for senior citizens (62 and over) and students (K-8).

Complete pairings for each state final, plus the FanZone, can be found at www.iesa.org. Click on the Boys Baseball line in the orange box at the top of the IESA Web Site Home Page.

The IESA sanctioned boys baseball in 1955. There was one class of boys baseball until 1990 when the activity was split into A and AA based upon enrollment. It was split again in 2006 into the current three classes of 1A, 2A and 3A.

This year 264 member schools entered the tournament series. The enrollment range for each class was 1A at 0-94; 2A at 95-191; 3A at 192-above.

Class 1A

Peoria Limestone Walters advanced to the quarterfinals the first two years of the three-class series, losing to the eventual runner-up both years. In 2006 the Rockets dropped a 3-2 decision to Catlin and in 2007 they fell 9-6 to Danville St. Paul.

Pontiac St. Mary's (14-5) plays Tonica (9-2) in the first quarterfinal game Friday at 10:00 a.m. Then Jacksonville Our Saviour (13-2) meets Lincoln Chester-East Lincoln (9-4) at 12:15 p.m. Peoria Limestone Walters (13-3) battles Shorewood Holy Family (6-7) at 2:30 p.m. Champaign Holy Cross (10-4) and Windsor (11-7) square off at 4:45 p.m.

The combined record of the eight finalists is 85-34, a winning percentage of .714. The combined enrollment of the eight finalists is 461.

Pontiac St. Mary's, Shorewood Holy Family and Tonica each won the sectional with a shutout. Pontiac St. Mary's beat Potomac 4-0. Shorewood Holy Family beat Kankakee Aquinas 3-0 and Tonica beat Streator St. Anthony 10-0.

Pontiac St. Mary's has the most wins among the eight finalists and has outscored three state series opponents 30-4. The Saints blanked Piper City Tri-Point 13-0 and beat Normal Epiphany 13-4 in the regional before winning the sectional with the shutout.

Shorewood Holy Family began the state series with a 3-7 record. The Eagles were seeded No. 2 in the regional and beat Rockdale 15-2 in the semifinals and top-seeded Mazon-Verona-Kinsman 3-1 in the finals before blanking Kankakee Aquinas. There are only 12 players on their roster.

Tonica has outscored its state series opponents 24-2. The Braves were top-seeded in the regional and beat LaSalle Trinity Catholic 12-2 and Henry-Senachwine 12-0 in the regional.

Champaign Holy Cross has only two eighth graders on it's 16-player roster - outfielder R. J. Twohey and third baseman Paul Burton. The Crusaders have outscored their three state series opponents 29-8.

Jacksonville Our Saviour has been an offensive juggernaut in the state series. The Shamrocks have outscored three state series opponents 37-1, beating Jerseyville St. Francis HG 13-1 and Virginia 13-0 in the regional and Griggsville-Perry 11-1 in the sectional.

Of the 123 players listed on the rosters of the eight finalists, 1 is in fifth grade, 20 are in sixth grade, 43 in seventh grade and 59 in eighth grade.

In IESA competition, school enrollments are determined by the students in seventh and eighth grade. Class 1A is the smallest class. Enrollments of the eight finalists are: Peoria Limestone Walters 57, Pontiac St. Mary's 57, Shorewood Holy Family 57, Lincoln Chester-East Lincoln 62, Tonica 64, Jacksonville Our Saviour 73, Windsor 85 and Champaign Holy Cross 86.

Class 2A

Unbeaten Springfield St. Agnes (16-0) and Bluffs (11-0) lead the way in the Class 2A title chase. Bluffs, a co-op with Winchester, made it to the quarterfinals in 2007. The only other returning school from last year is McNabb Putnam County, the runner-up.

Springfield St. Agnes plays Beecher (15-2) in the first quarterfinal game at 10:00 a.m. McNabb Putnam County (15-3) faces Bluffs in the second game at 12:15. Watseka Glenn Raymond (13-2) meets Downs Tri-Valley (12-5) at 2:30 p.m. Brimfield (11-5) battles Shelbyville Moulton (13-4) in the last quarterfinal game at 4:45 p.m.

The combined record of the eight finalists is 106-22, a winning percentage of .828. Bluffs and Brimfield have the fewest wins with 11.

Springfield St. Agnes has outscored three state series foes 25-6. The Aces beat Athens 7-1 and Blue Mound Meridian 8-1 in the regional before stopping Gillespie 10-4 in the sectional. Pitchers listed for St. Agnes are 5-foot 1 seventh grader Peter Young and 5-foot 10 eighth grader David Jacob.

Beecher was second-seeded in the regional and beat S. Wilmington 4-1 and top-seeded Dwight 7-4 in the regional before dispatching the defending state champion Joliet St. Paul 15-0 in the sectional.

Bluffs has only 11 players on the roster - four in eighth grade and seven in seventh grade. The Bluejays topped Liberty 4-2 in the regional semifinals and Mendon Unity 13-1 in the finals of the regional before beating Nauvoo-Colusa 5-2 in the sectional. The only pitcher listed on the roster is 5-foot 9 eighth grader Kyle Mathews.

Downs Tri-Valley held off LeRoy 16-15 in the semifinals of the regional before stopping second-seeded Warrensburg-Latham 10-3 in the regional finals. The Vikings held off El Paso-Gridley 9-6 in the sectional.

Watseka Glenn Raymond's easiest state series game was in the sectional where the Utes stopped St. Joseph 8-3. In the regional semifinals Watseka Glenn Raymond beat Danville Oakwood 4-2 and in the finals the Utes nipped Onarga Iroquois West 2-1.

Of the 137 players listed on the rosters of the eight finalists, 11 are in sixth grade, 39 in seventh grade and 87 in eighth grade.

In IESA competition, school enrollments are determined by the students in seventh and eighth grade. Class 2A is the middle class. Enrollments of the eight finalists are: Springfield St. Agnes 104, Brimfield 113, Bluffs 134, McNabb Putnam County 148, Downs Tri-Valley 157, Beecher 180, Shelbyville Moulton 184 and Watseka Glenn Raymond 188.

Class 3A

Three of the eight finalists have won 19 games and neither Morton JHS nor Normal Parkside is among that trio. They are, however, in opposite brackets and could meet again in 2008 for the Class 3A title.

Teutopolis (19-1) meets Danville North Ridge (15-3) in the opening quarterfinal game at 10:00 a.m. Normal Parkside (14-4) plays Bolingbrook Brooks (15-3) at 12:15 p.m. Forrest Prairie Central (19-2) battles Frankfort Summit Hill (17-1) at 2:30 p.m. and Morton JHS (17-4) squares off against Pleasant Plains (19-3) at 4:45 p.m.

The combined won-loss record of the eight finalists is 135-21, a winning percentage of .865.

Teutopolis is rolling lucky sevens in the state series, winning all three of its games 7-1. The Wooden Shoes stopped Charleston and Effingham JHS in the regional and Chatham Glenwood in the sectional.

Normal Parkside was second-seeded in the regional and beat Stanford Olympia 6-2 in the semifinals and top-seeded Normal Kingsley JHS 5-0 in the regional finals before stopping Lincoln JHS 13-2 in the sectional.

Forrest Prairie Central has rolled through the state series outscoring its three opponents 27-11. The Hawks beat Peru Washington 11-3 in the regional semifinals and Morris Shabbona 9-2 in the finals before stopping Coal City 7-6 in the sectional.

Frankfort Summit Hill was seeded second in the regional and won both those games by a combined score of 20-1. The Spartans stopped Peotone 10-1 in the semifinals and top-seeded Frankfort Hickory Creek 10-0 in the finals. Summit Hill nipped Bourbonnais UGS 3-2 in the sectional.

The road to EastSide Centre for Morton JHS was rocky. The second-seeded Junior Potters got past rival East Peoria Central 11-6 in the regional semifinals before beating Germantown Hills 7-4 in the finals. In the sectional Morton JHS stopped Canton Ingersoll 7-3.

Pleasant Plains is the second-smallest school in Class 3A and the Redbirds knocked off the third largest school in IESA to win the regional. After stopping Augusta Southeastern 16-5 in the regional semifinals, Pleasant Plains handed Quincy (enrollment 995) a 5-3 loss in the regional finals and stopped Staunton 6-4 in the sectional.

Of the 145 players listed on the rosters of the eight finalists, 7 are in sixth grade, 28 in seventh grade and 110 in eighth grade.

In IESA competition, school enrollments are determined by the students in seventh and eighth grade. Class 3A is the largest class. Enrollments of the eight finalists are: Teutopolis 193, Pleasant Plains 241, Forrest Prairie Central 327, Morton JHS 446, Danville North Ridge 520, Normal Parkside 652, Frankfort Summit Hill 834 and Bolingbrook Brooks 871.



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