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IESA Boys Baseball Tournaments Set 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.

Two of the teams in the Class 1A field were in last year's tournament. Donovan and Peoria Limestone Walters were quarterfinalists. Last year's Class 1A state champion Joliet St. Paul has moved up in class and qualified for the Class 2A field along with defending champion Carthage and 2006 quarterfinalist Tremont. All eight teams in Class 3A are making their first appearances at the state tournament.

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 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 256 member schools entered the tournament series. The enrollment range for each class was 1A at 0-94; 2A at 95-185; 3A at 186-above.

Class 1A

One unbeaten team and two teams with only one loss are in the same bracket. Unbeaten Danville St. Paul (18-0) and once-beaten Dieterich (16-1) and Peoria Limestone Walters (17-1) are in the lower half of the Class 1A bracket.

Pairings for the quarterfinals are: 10:00 a.m. - Hartsburg-Emden (8-8) vs. Springfield St. Agnes (19-3); 12:15 p.m. - Streator St. Anthony (15-2) vs. Bourbonnais St. George (7-7); 2:30 p.m. - Donovan (14-7) vs. Dieterich (16-1); 4:45 p.m. - Danville St. Paul (18-0) vs. Peoria Limestone Walters (17-1).

Springfield St. Agnes has only four eighth graders on its 15-player tournament roster. The Aces were seeded No. 4 in the regional and knocked off No. 1 seed Springfield Blessed Sacrament and No. 2 seed Springfield Little Flower to win it. In the sectional St. Agnes stopped Raymond Lincolnwood, 10-1. In those three games, St. Agnes has outscored its opponents 27-7.

Dieterich's only loss this year was a 7-4 decision to Newton Jasper County, which has advanced to the Class 2A state final. Right-hander Nathan Garbe, a 5-9 eighth grader, is the ace of the staff. The Roadrunners have a balanced offense with any one of six players able to jump start the offense. They are outfielder Dalton Hinterscher, shortstop Derek Cox, second baseman Seth Flach, catcher Devin Wright, outfielder Brandon Westjohn and Garbe.

Unbeaten Danville St. Paul is making the school's second trip in school history to the state final. The Sabres lost 5-3 to Media Southern in eight innings in the quarterfinals of the 2001 Class A state final. A trio of eighth grade right-handed pitchers carries the load for St. Paul. They are 5-5 Tyler Brennan, 5-5 Lucas Spezia and 5-7 Zack Miller. Leading hitters are outfielder Jordan King, shortstop Brock Drews and Miller.

Peoria Limestone Walters outscored three state series opponents by a combined 38-6. The Rockets' only loss during the regular season was to Mossville. Pitchers Robbie Grossmeyer and Joben Barnes give the Rockets a 1-2 punch on the mound. Both eighth graders, Grossmeyer is a 5-4 right-hander and Barnes is a 5-8 lefthander. Grossmeyer plays shortstop when not on the mound and Barnes plays first base.

Of the 112 players listed on the rosters of the eight finalists, one is a fifth grader, 18 are sixth graders, 41 are seventh graders and 52 are eighth graders.

Total enrollment of the eight finalists is 502. The number of students in the seventh and eighth grade determines IESA enrollments. The enrollments for this year's Class 1A field are: Hartsburg-Emden 40, Peoria Limestone Walters 48, Danville St. Paul 50, Streator St. Anthony 52, Dieterich 72, Bourbonnais St. George 76, Donovan 79 and Springfield St. Agnes 85.

Class 2A

Defending Class 2A champion Carthage (16-2) and last year's Class 1A champion, Joliet (St. Paul (16-2) are in opposite brackets and a showdown in the championship game is possible. However, every team in the Class 2A state final has at least 13 wins. The combined won-loss record of the eight teams is 115-21, a winning percentage of .846.

Pairings for the quarterfinals are: 10:00 a.m. - Carthage (16-2) vs. Tremont (15-2); 12:12 p.m. - McNabb Putnam County (13-3) vs. Newton Jasper County (13-4); 2:30 p.m. - El Paso-Gridley (14-3) vs. Bluffs (14-0); 4:45 p.m. - Joliet St. Paul (16-2) vs. Pawnee (14-5).

Carthage has three stalwarts returning from last year's state championship team that went 21-0. They are pitcher-catcher Evan McGaughey, pitcher-shortstop Jack Bastert and 5-10 third baseman Kayden Guymon. The 5-9 McGaughey and 5-6 Bastert are right-handers. Joining them in the rotation is 5-9 lefthander Tanner Bainter. McGaughey and Bastert lead the Carthage offense, too. Carthage's losses were to Pittsfield and Mendon Unity.

Tremont, which was a quarterfinalist a year ago, has lost this year only to Eureka and Lincoln JHS. The Turks have a pair of pitchers that carry the load. They are 5-9 Blake Uhlman and 6-0 Jerry Herbst, both eighth graders. Herbst will play on the infield when not pitching. Joining the two pitchers in leading the offense are 6-0 catcher Cody Herbst and 5-5 outfielder Drake Sinn.

Undefeated Bluffs is led by a pair of pitchers. One is 5-6 right-hander Luke Nash and the other is 6-3 lefthander McCoy Dejaynes, last year's seventh grade Class A state shot put champion. Nash and 5-7 outfielder Parker Day lead the Bluejays' offense. Bluffs has outscored its state series opponents 23-1.

Joliet St. Paul went 23-0 to take the inaugural Class 1A crown a year ago. This year Joliet St. Paul has outscored its state series opponents 46-11. The only losses this year were to perennial Class 3A powers Minooka and Homer Glen Homer. A trio of right-handed pitchers is a key to the Joliet St. Paul success. They are 5-7 pitcher-first baseman Kevin Duchene, 6-0 Christian Ochoa and 5-11 pitcher first baseman Collin Boggetto. Leading hitters are second baseman Zack Melone, shortstop Branden Boggetto and Collin Boggetto. Branden is the son of head coach Brad Boggetto and Collin is the coach's nephew.

Of the 134 players listed on the rosters of the eight finalists, 7 are sixth graders, 32 are seventh graders and 95 are eighth graders.

Total enrollment of the eight finalists is 1,148. The number of students in the seventh and eighth grade determines IESA enrollments. The enrollments for this year's Class 2A field are: Joliet St. Paul 96, Pawnee 108, Carthage 131, McNabb Putnam County 147, Bluffs 148, Tremont 154, El Paso-Gridley 180 and Newton Jasper County 184.

Class 3A

A trio of twice-beaten teams leads the pack in Class 3A. Greenville (21-2) and Morton JHS (16-2) are in the upper bracket. Normal Parkside (15-2) is in the lower bracket.

Quarterfinal pairings are: 10:00 a.m. . Menteno (16-6) vs. Greenville (21-2); 12:15 p.m. - Frankfort Hickory Creek (8-5) vs. Morton JHS (16-2); 2:30 p.m. - Normal Parkside (15-2) vs. Auburn JHS at Divernon (12-4); 4:45 p.m. - Lisle (12-5) vs. Mattoon (13-4).

A pair of high-scoring teams will meet in the first quarterfinal game. Manteno, which rolled past Forrest Prairie Central, 16-4, in the sectional, has outscored its state series opponents 35-6. Greenville, which edged perennial power Chatham Glenwood, 5-4, in the sectional, has outscored its state series opponents 30-6.

Greenville is led by pitchers Dylan Bone, a 5-6 eighth grader who also plays shortstop, and 5-6 A. J. Childerson. Bone, first baseman Jordan Zeeb and 5-10 catcher Brady Huber lead the Bluejays at the plate. Greenville's only losses were to Teutopolis and St. Jacob Triad.

Morton JHS lost to both Washington MS and East Peoria Central during the regular season. Seeded third in the regional the Junior Potters knocked off Washington MS 9-1 and then East Peoria Central 3-1 to advance to the sectional where they pounded Wenona Fieldcrest 14-0. A pair of left-handed pitchers is a key to Morton JHS success. They are 5-4 Mike Lacy and 5-10 Will Headean. The offense is sparked by 6-2 outfielder Matt Hungate and 5-10 catcher Brock Christianson.

Normal Parkside comes into the state final riding a two-game shutout streak. After stopping Normal Kingsley 7-4 in the regional semifinals the Pythons blanked perennial power Stanford Olympia, 10-0, in the regional finale. Then Parkside beat Dunlap MS 11-0 in the sectional. Four eighth graders provide the Python pitching. They are 5-10 pitcher-third baseman Wes Sery, 5-3 pitcher-first baseman Adam Klante, 5-8 Dustin Detweiler and 6-0 Ben Smith. Leading batters are outfielder Calloway Clover, catcher Jake McDowell, Sery and Smith.

Auburn and Divernon schools consolidated this year, creating the Auburn JHS at Divernon. Before the consolidation Divernon was a Class 1A school and Auburn was generally Class 2A in the multiple-class IESA state series. In their first year together the baseball team made the Class 3A state final. Pitchers for the Trojans are 5-9 right-hander Zack Patton and 5-3 right-hander Colby Butler. Patton and 5-8 catcher Travis Cumming lead the hitters.

Of the 138 players listed on the rosters of the eight finalists, 4 are sixth graders, 33 are seventh graders and 101 are eighth graders.

Total enrollment of the eight finalists is 3,139. The number of students in the seventh and eighth grade determines IESA enrollments. The enrollments for this year's Class 3A field are: Greenville 217, Auburn JHS at Divernon 219, Lisle 288, Manteno 342, Morton JHS 450, Mattoon 489, Frankfort Hickory Creek 536 and Normal Parkside 598.

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