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Half of 2004 Class A Boys Baseball Field Returns in 2005

Four of the eight teams that played in last year's Illinois Elementary School Association (IESA) Class A Boys State Final Baseball Tournament return for the 2005 event this Friday-Saturday at EastSide Centre in East Peoria. Heading the field is defending champion and perennial powerhouse Joliet St. Raymond. The other returnees are Bloomington Holy Trinity, Champaign Holy Cross and Brimfield.

Joliet St. Raymond (16-1) is making its seventh straight appearance in the Class A State Final and tenth since IESA went to the two-class system in 1990. The last time St. Raymond was not in the State Tournament was 1998.

The Rockets roared to the 2004 title with a 17-2 win over Raymond Lincolnwood in six innings in the championship game. St. Raymond also took the crown in 2000 and 1993, and finished second in 1997-99-01-02. The Rockets' only loss this year was on August 31 to Channahon, 9-7.

Competition gets under way Friday at 10:00 a.m. in the first of four quarterfinal games. Semifinals are set to begin Saturday at 10:00 a.m. The third place game is set for 2:30 p.m. Saturday and the title game is scheduled to begin at 4:30 p.m. Saturday. The Class AA Sate Final also is being played at EastSide Centre in East on different diamonds. The four quarterfinal games in the Class AA tournament are scheduled for Friday, beginning at 10:00 a.m.

The Class A quarterfinal Games Friday are: South Wilmington (10-6) vs. Bloomington Holy Trinity (21-4) at 10:00 a.m. In game 2 at 12:15 Effingham St. Anthony (13-5) meets Brimfield (14-6). Joliet St. Raymond (16-1) meets La Harpe (14-1) at 2:30 p.m. In the nightcap at 4:45 p.m. Champaign Holy Cross (15-2) faces Springfield St. Agnes (15-4). The eight teams have a combined won-loss record of 118-28, a winning percentage of .808.

IESA boys baseball began in 1955 and was a one-class state series until 1990 when it split to Class A and Class AA competition bringing eight teams in each class to the state final. Classes in IESA two-class competition are determined by dividing the schools entered in the sport evenly. This year a total of 245 schools entered the baseball series and 123 began Class A competition at the regional level. Class A enrollment range was 1-130 for seventh and eighth graders. Class AA began at 131.

The combined enrollment of the eight Class A finalists is 750. Bloomington Holy Trinity is the largest at 127. South Wilmington is the smallest at 16.

The other enrollments are Effingham St. Anthony 109, Brimfield 118, Joliet St. Raymond 109, La Harpe 81, Champaign Holy Cross 83 and Springfield St. Agnes 107. The combined enrollment of the 2005 Class AA schools is 3,641 and Kankakee JHS has 812 seventh and eighth graders. All enrollments reflect a school's 7-8 grade enrollment.

South Wilmington won the title in 1996 in its only other appearance in the State Final. The only school appearing in the Class A state final for the first time is Springfield St. Agnes. This year's appearance for the others is: Effingham St. Anthony and Brimfield fourth, Bloomington Holy Trinity third, South Wilmington, La Harpe and Champaign Holy Cross second.

State Final scores will be posted on the IESA website at the conclusion of each contest (http://www.iesa.org).

Friday, September 30 (Quarterfinals)
Game 1-- 10:00 a.m. South Wilmington (10-6) vs. Bloomington Holy
Trinity (21-4)
Game 2-- 12:15 p.m. Effingham St. Anthony (13-5) vs. Brimfield (14-6)
Game 3-- 2:30 p.m. Joliet St. Raymond (16-1) vs.La Harpe (14-1)
Game 4-- 4:45 p.m. Sectional F winner vs. Springfield St. Agnes (15-4)

Saturday, October 1 (Semifinals & Finals)
Game 5-- 10:00 a.m. Winners of Games 1 and 2
Game 6-- 12:15 p.m. Winners of Games 3 and 4
Game 7-- 2:30 p.m. Losers of Games 5 and 6 (Third Place)
Game 8-- 4:45 p.m. Winners of Games 5 and 6 (State Championship)
Coin flip determines home team for all games.

Class A Sectional Scores

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