Prep Baseball Report

No. 3 Sacred Heart-Griffin Edges Out No. 22 St. Joseph-Ogden For 2A Super Sectional Title

Diego Solares
Staff Writer, Associate Scout

DECATUR, IL: On Monday, June 14, one of four 2A Super Sectional matchups took place at Workman Baseball Field, home of the Millikin Big Blue, between No. 3 Sacred Heart-Griffin and No. 22 St. Joseph-Ogden. It was a highly competitive, hard-fought battle between these 2A titans that ultimately resulted in a 4-1 Sacred Heart win, sending the Cyclones back to the IHSA State Playoffs.

The Cyclones drew first blood, pushing a run across in the first inning. OF RJ Jimerson (2022; Oklahoma commit) jumped all over a hanging breaking ball, crushing it into the left-center gap for a triple. He then scored on an up-the-middle single by senior 3B Nick Crowe. It was Jimerson who had a hand in the Cyclones’ next run as well, which came in the fourth inning. He stayed back on a fastball and barreled it the other way, grounding out to second base and plating left-handed hitting INF Sam Antonacci (2021; Heartland CC), who started the inning with a booming triple into his pull-side gap.

St. Jo scored their first, and only, run of the game in the bottom of the fifth inning, finally getting to SHG’s uncommitted RHP Mitch Dye (2022). After seeing a few pitches from Dye, left-handed hitting leadoff man OF Hayden Brazelton (2022) sprayed a single into left field, scoring a runner from second.

Despite allowing a run, Dye battled valiantly and limited what could have been a particularly bad inning for the Cyclones. He let the first two batters reach and self-induced a rather sticky situation, yet worked out of it with confidence. With nobody out, Dye struck out back-to-back batters before that run scored and then induced an unassisted ground ball to third base, escaping a jam with only one run allowed. Dye finished the game with five strikeouts over five strong innings, holding St. Jo’s to three hits total.

The Cyclones added some more cushion to their lead in the top of the seventh inning. With two outs in the frame and a runner on first, Jaydon Davis came off the bench and belted an RBI triple into the right-center gap, adding another run to the SHG lead.

Following Davis in the Cyclones’ lineup was left-handed hitting 1B Louie Bartletti (2021; Quincy), who traded places with his teammate and also tripled into his pull-side gap. Within the blink of an eye, the Cyclones’ held a three-run lead with three outs to go in the game.

Following Dye on the mound for SHG was the aforementioned Antonacci, who entered the game in the sixth inning and threw a scoreless frame. The Cyclones called on him to earn the save and he started out the seventh with two quick swinging strikeouts before allowing a base hit to right field. Then, in a 1-1 count, St. Jo’s OF Keaton Nolan barreled a line drive into shallow center field that looked like an easy single before OF Isaiah Thompson (2021; Indiana State) completely laid out, making an incredible snag for the final out of the game.

RHP Crayton Burnett (2021; Illinois) battled relentlessly for the Spartans throughout, doing his absolute best to navigate through a competitive Cyclones’ lineup during his seven-inning outing. Burnett showed a strong three-pitch mix, locating a lively 83-86 mph fastball down in the zone for strikes, reaching 87-88 mph early. He threw a handful of above-average changeups to the left-handed hitters in SHG’s lineup; a pitch that pairs well off his heater with natural arm-side action and sink. Burnett also gained feel for a slurvey, low-to-mid-70s breaking ball as his outing went on and was able to consistently land it for strikes in the third, fourth, and fifth inning.

The Cyclones will square off against the winner of Winnebago and Timothy Christian this Friday at 10 a.m., held at Illinois State University. As for the Spartans, they finished the season with a 33-3 record; an impressive feat.


+ Sam Antonacci (Sacred Heart-Griffin): 2-for-3, 3B, RS, 2 IP, 0 R, 2 K
+ Mitch Dye (Sacred Heart-Griffin): 5 IP, 3 H, ER, 5 K, 0 BB
+ Ramon Jimerson Jr. (Sacred Heart-Griffin): 1-for-3, 3B, RBI, RS
+ Louie Bartletti (Sacred Heart-Griffin): 3-for-3, 3B, RBI
+ Paul Gilmore (Sacred Heart-Griffin): 2-for-3, RS
+ Crayton Burnett (St. Joseph-Ogden): 7 IP, 10 H, 4 ER, 7 K, 0 BB