Morgan Park Earns First Trip Downstate



By Matt Huck
Area Scout

CRESTWOOD, IL- Usually when Morgan Park High School is mentioned regarding athletics, most people immediately think of their powerhouse basketball program. So when the Mustangs took the field this evening at Standard Bank Stadium the team was looking to forge their own path of athletic success. They did just that defeating Illiana Christian 5-3 to win the 3A Super Sectional and advance to the state finals in Joliet. This will be Morgan Park’s first trip to the state finals in baseball.

In a game that featured two hours and 47 minutes worth of weather delays, the Mustangs never trailed behind a speed driven offense and a solid outing from Jarren Norman.

In the bottom of the first Darius Hill led off, reaching on an error caused by his speed. After Thalame Byrd singled, Christian Bullock stepped to the plate. Bullock drove a curveball down the leftfield line scoring Hill and Byrd with the first two runs of the game. Bullock then came around to score on an RBI groundout from Donivan Williams to give the Mustangs a 3-0 lead.

Illiana Christian got right back in the game in the top of the second when Steven Massey and Daniel Lyzenga singled with two outs. After a walk to Bo Hofstra to load the bases, Andrew Ericks singled scoring Massey and Lyzenga.

The Mustangs added single runs in both the second and the fifth to take a 5-2 lead. Norman retired the first two hitters in the sixth before the second weather delay of the game started.

After almost an hour and a half the game picked back up with two outs in the top of the sixth. Norman returned to the mound after the long delay and walked the first two batters he faced. Jack Hillegonds singled in a run to cut the Morgan Park lead to 5-3. After a 1-2-3 bottom of the sixth, Norman went back out to try and close the game out.

The Vikings got runners on the corners with two outs on a triple by Jon Gibson, and a walk to Daniel Lyzenga. Bo Hofstra drove a fastball deep to leftfield, but Kyell Alexander pulled it in on the warning track to secure the win for the Mustangs.

Morgan Park advances to the Class 3A state semifinal. The Mustangs will take on Highland at noon in Joliet. Illiana Christian finishes the season at 22-12.

Statistical Highlights

Illiana Christian
Andrew Ericks- 2-3, BB, 2 RBIs, run scored
Jack Hillegonds- 2-4, RBI
Jon Gibson- 2-4, 3B

Morgan Park
Christian Bullock- 1-3, 2B, 2 RBIs
Donivan Williams- 1-3, 2 RBIs
Jarren Norman- 2-3

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