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2009 IESA Boys State Baseball Tournaments This Weekend

Three champions will be crowned in the Illinois Elementary School Association (IESA) Boys Baseball State Final Tournament this weekend on the diamonds at EastSide Centre in East Peoria. Eight teams in each of the three classes (1A, 2A, and 3A) have advanced to the finals.

Only four of the combined total of 24 teams that have advanced this year participated in the 2008 finals last year, but there are many teams competing this weekend that are no strangers to the state tournament. The four returning teams are: Peoria Limestone Walters, runner-up last year in Class 1A, Champaign Holy Cross in Class 2A after taking fourth in 1A in 2008, and perennial power Morton JHS and defending champion Frankfort Summit Hill in Class 3A.

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.

Should weather become a factor, the IESA web site will contain up-to-date information regarding the tournament playing schedule. Go to www.iesa.org.

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 Saturday's games will play twice 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 263 member schools entered the tournament series. The enrollment range for each class was 1A at 0-91; 2A at 92-198; 3A at 199-above.

Class 1A

Peoria Limestone Walters is the only team among the final eight to have Class 1A state final experience. In fact, the Rockets have been in the field each year since the move to three classes four years ago. Limestone Walters, the smallest school in the Class 1A field with a 7-8 enrollment of 44, lost in the quarterfinals in 2006 and 2007 to the eventual state champion before finishing second in 2008. The other seven teams are making their first state final appearances. Griggsville-Perry (15-0) is the only undefeated team.

Peoria Limestone Walters (16-1) meets Roanoke-Benson (12-6) in the first quarterfinal game Friday at 10:00 a.m. Kankakee Aquinas (14-5) plays Effingham Sacred Heart (15-2) at 12:15 p.m. while Mazon-Verona-Kinsman (13-7) squares off against Champaign St. Matthew (13-9) at 2:30 p.m. In the last quarterfinal game, Griggsville-Perry battles Pawnee (19-1) at 4:45 p.m.

The combined record of the eight finalists is 117-31, a winning percentage of .791.

Seeded No. 2 in the regional, Peoria Limestone Walters has outscored three state series opponents 28-8. The Rockets handed Lincoln Chester-East Lincoln only its third loss in 16 games in the sectional with a 6-3 win.

Roanoke-Benson's roster includes 9 eighth graders and 9 others. The Rockets have outscored three state series foes by a margin of 23-5, and three of those opponent runs came in Roanoke-Benson's 10-3 sectional win over Pontiac St. Mary's.

Kankakee Aquinas was the No. 3 seed in the regional and has only five eighth graders on its 13-player roster. The Saints have given up only 5 runs in three state series games, including three in their 4-3 win over Bourbonnais St. George in their first game in the regional. After that, Kankakee Aquinas stopped No. 1 seed Grant Park 7-1 in the regional title game and Potomac 2-1 in the sectional.

Effingham Sacred Heart has only 10 players on the roster and seven of them are seventh graders. Pitcher Dakota Hoene, shortstop Tedd Jansen and catcher Todd Jansen are the eighth graders on the team. The Shamrocks have scrambled to win three state series games, outscoring three opponents 22-17.

Mazon-Verona-Kinsman has only four eighth graders on its 18-player roster. They are second baseman James Miller, third baseman Brad Wyss, pitcher Brandon Pasdertz and outfielder Chance Gonnam. The Mavericks were seeded No. 2 in the regional and beat No. 4 seed Lockport Taft, 5-4, for the title. They stopped Grand Ridge 9-3 in the sectional.

Champaign St. Matthew has not allowed a run in three state series games, outscoring its opponents 28-0. Three pitchers are listed on the Raiders' roster, seventh grader Jeff Lindgren and eighth graders Noah Johnson and Conner Gross. In the regional Champaign St. Matthew dumped Champaign Judah Christian 15-0 and Royal Prairieview Ogden 12-0. The Raiders then beat Catlin 1-0 in nine innings in the sectional. Catliln's loss was only their fourth in 18 games this season.

Griggsville-Perry is another Class 1A team with only four 8th graders on its 14-player roster. They are catcher Mitchel Main, outfielder Hayden Bradshaw, shortstop Isaac Whitaker and pitcher Levi King. Defense has been a difference maker for the Eagles in the state series. Griggsville-Perry shut out both Colchester West Pike and Carthage 2-0 in the regional. In the sectional the Eagles stopped Jacksonville Our Saviour 6-2.

Pawnee has lit up the scoreboard in winning three state series games coming into the matchup with Griggsville-Perry. The Indians have outscored three state series foes 36-3 with the only runs scored by an opponent coming in their 12-3 sectional win over Springfield Christian.

Of the 125 players listed on the rosters of the eight finalists, 1 is in fifth grade, 18 are in sixth grade, 49 in seventh grade and 57 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 44, Effingham Sacred Heart 49, Mazon-Verona-Kinsman 57, Griggsville-Perry 59, Kankakee Aquinas 74, Roanoke-Benson 83, Champaign St. Matthew 89 and Pawnee 89.

Radio Note: Station WBBA, Pittsfield, will carry the Griggsville-Perry game(s) live and will stream the game(s) its originates on wbbaradio.com

Class 2A

Unbeaten Champaign Holy Cross, last year's fourth place finisher in the Class 1A state final, is one of six finalists in Class 2A with at least 18 wins. Champaign Holy Cross is 22-0, but Springfield Christ the King has the most wins among the final eight with its 23-1 record.

Revenge will be on the minds of Normal Epiphany (19-1) when they play undefeated Champaign Holy Cross (22-0) in the first quarterfinal game at 10:00 a.m. Epiphany's only loss this season was to Holy Cross, 9-4, in an opening day round robin tournament. El Paso-Gridley (19-1) battles Teutopolis (20-2-1) in the second game at 12:15 p.m. The afternoon games begin at 2:30 p.m. when perennial power Joliet St. Raymond (11-10-1) meets Springfield Christ the King. In the last quarterfinal game of the day at 4:45 p.m., Tremont (11-8) and Nauvoo-Colusa (18-2) square off.

Normal Epiphany won two slugfests on the way to the state tournament. Seeded No. 1 in the regional, the Knights got by rival Downs Tri-Valley 9-8 in the regional semifinals before stopping Heyworth 10-2 in the title game. Epiphany beat perennial power Agrenta-Oreana 11-8 in the sectional.

Last year, Champaign Holy Cross had only two eighth graders on its 4th place Class 1A team. This year with 11 eighth graders on the roster, the Crusaders come rolling into the state final having outscored three state series opponents 27-6. In the regional, Holy Cross won a pair of 10-0 games and handed Westville JHS just its second loss in 20 games in the sectional with a 7-6 victory.

El Paso-Gridley has given up only one run in three state series games. The Titans blanked Sparland Midland 3-0 and Wenona Fieldcrest 6-0 in the regional and stopped Mossville 2-1 in the sectional.

Teutopolis drops down from Class 3A where the Wooden Shoes finished second to Frankfort Summit Hill last year, losing the title game 2-0. This year Teutopolis has 16 eighth graders on its team and has blasted three state series opponents by a combined score of 32-1. Teutopolis beat Altamont 12-1 in the semifinals and Shelbyville Moulton 10-0 in the title game of the regional. Teutopolis blanked Paris Crestwood 10-0 in the sectional.

Joliet St. Raymond has only five 8th graders, six 6th graders and seven 7th graders on its roster of 18. The Rockets have outscored three state series opponents 20-7 with the most runs given up in the regional title game in a 5-3 win over Seneca.

Springfield Christ the King is another team with batting firepower. The Cougars have outscored three state series opponents 31-1. In the regional, Christ the King stopped rugged Ashland A-C Central 7-0, and city rival Springfield St. Agnes 10-0. Bunker Hill Wolf Ridge fell 14-1 in the sectional. Springfield Christ the King's only loss was to Normal Epiphany in the championship game of the Bloomington Holy Trinity Tournament that was held the second week of the season.

Tremont is appearing in the Class 2A state final for the third time in four years. The Turks lost in the quarterfinals in 2006 and finished third in 2007. Seeded No. 2 in the regional, Tremont rolled over Deer Creek-Mackinaw 12-2 before beating Green Valley Midwest Central 3-1 in the title game. The Turks got to the state tournament by beating rival Elmwood 1-0 in 10 innings in the sectional.

Nauvoo-Colusa has outscored three state series foes 24-7 with no team scoring more than 3 runs against the Vikings in a single game. After stopping Stronghurst West Central 7-1 in the first game of the regional, Nauvoo-Colusa took the title with a 10-3 win over Mendon Unity and followed that win with a 7-3 win in the sectional over Bluffs.

Of the 134 players listed on the rosters of the eight finalists, 7 are in sixth grade, 45 in seventh grade and 82 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: Champaign Holy Cross 92, Normal Epiphany 94, Joliet St. Raymond 97, Springfield Christ The King 110, Nauvoo-Colusa 116, Tremont 164, Teutopolis 166 and El Paso-Gridley 192.

Class 3A

Seven of the eight qualifiers have pounded their state series opponents on the way to the EastSide Centre, outscoring the opposition by at least 15 runs. The eight finalists have a combined record of 127-31, a winning percentage of .803. The only team not to outscore its opponents by at least 15 runs is St. Joseph, which has scored 14 runs in three state series games and has given up 11.

Five of the eight Class 3A finalists have lost only three or less games. The only unbeaten team is Normal Kingsley at 20-0. Defending champion Frankfort Summit Hill is 14-3.

St. Joseph (15-2) meets Homer Glen Homer (15-2) in the first quarterfinal game Friday at 10:00 a.m. Morton (18-5) plays Mattoon (13-8) at 12:15 p.m. Greenville (14-9-1) takes on Frankfort Summit Hill at 2:30 p.m. In the last quarterfinal game at 4:45 p.m. perennial power Minooka (18-2) battles Normal Kingsley.

St. Joseph, which was a class 2A school last year, survived three one-run games to get to the state tournament. Seeded No. 1 in the regional, the Panthers stopped Danville South View and Champaign Jefferson by identical 5-4 scores before beating Paxton-Buckley-Loda 4-3 in the sectional. St. Joseph is making its first appearance in the state tournament.

Homer Glen Homer has given up only four runs to three state series opponents and blanked Glendale Hts. Glenside 10-0 in the sectional. The Mustangs have outscored three state series foes by a 19-4 margin.

Morton JHS was Class 3A champion in 2007, fourth in 2008, and has outscored three state series opponents 24-4. The Junior Potters handed Washington Central only their third loss in 23 games when they won the sectional 6-2.

Mattoon was seeded No. 2 in the regional and scored in double digits in both regional games, stopping Effingham JHS 16-4 in the semifinals and Charleston 11-6 in the title game before defeating Chatham Glenwood 2-1 in the sectional. The Wildcats have outscored three state series foes 29-11.

With a roster of 12 seventh graders and only six eighth graders, Greenville is the Cinderella team in this year's tournament. The Bluejays were seeded No. 4 in the regional. They beat number 5 seeded Staunton, 11-1; No. 1 seeded Gillespie 13-5 in the semifinals and No. 2 seeded Alton 5-4 in the title game. Greenville stopped Pleasant Plains 4-1 in the sectional. In four state series games, Greenville has outscored opponents 33-11.

Defending champion Frankfort Summit Hill, seeded No. 1 in the regional, did not allow a run in two regional games and blasted Bourbonnais UGC, 9-5 in the sectional. Summit Hill has outscored three state series foes 29-5.

Minooka, state champion in 2006, handed Coal City its fifth loss in 25 games with a 4-2 win in the sectional. The Indians have outscored three state series opponents 28-9.

Normal Kingsley has powered its way past three tough teams in the state series, outscoring them by a combined 36-7. Normal Kingsley beat Stanford Olympia 10-4 and Normal Parkside 12-2 in the regional. They defeated Williamsville 14-1 in the sectional.

Of the 142 players listed on the rosters of the eight finalists, 39 are in seventh grade and 103 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: St. Joseph 209, Greenville 276, Morton JHS 421, Mattoon 512, Normal Kingsley 679, Minooka 761, Homer Glen Homer 821 and Frankfort Summit Hill 879.



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