St. Joseph-Ogden Swings Their Way To Class 2A Title Game

By Drew Locascio
Illinois Scouting Director

PEORIA, IL – Despite having Dalton Parker on the mound, the story of the game was the St. Joseph-Ogden offense. The Spartans of St. Joseph-Ogden pounded out 16 hits on their way to a 12-5 victory over Murphysboro and a spot the in the Class 2A Championship Game tomorrow.

Six hitters in the St. Joseph-Ogden lineup had more than one hit, led by catcher Eli Oltean who went 3-for-5 with five RBI on the day. The Spartans scored four runs in the first and sixth inning. In the bottom of the first Ty Brown led off with a triple and Oltean hit a two-run single. Mixed in between those hits were RBI singles by Aaron Schluter and Mason Coon, helping the Spartans jump out to a 4-0 lead.

With an 8-1 lead in the top of the sixth inning and the game seemingly out of reach, the Murphysboro offense finally got going. Catcher Matt Burke awoke the crowd to lead off the frame with a towering, deep drive down the left-field line. There was no doubt it had home run distance, the only doubt was if it would stay fair or not. After a long look by the umpire down the left-field line, he finally raised his hand and twirled his finger signaling a home run, cutting the lead to 8-2. Three batters later, eight-hole hitter, Clay Rendelman came to plate with one out and runners on first and second. Rendelman got a pitch out over-the-plate and hit a line-drive shot which cleared the left-center field wall for a three-run home run. The three-run shot got life back into the Murphysboro crowd for the time being.

The Spartan offense didn’t let the Murphysboro cheering section get their hopes up for too long as they came right back in the bottom half of the inning and put up four runs of their own, their second four run inning of the game. Oltean delivered the big blow once again, this time a bases clearing double which stretched the lead to 12-5, which would hold for the rest of the game.

St. Joseph-Ogden, senior, right-handed pitcher Dalton Parker, didn’t have his normal crisp stuff on this day but battled throughout. Parker, a Purdue commit, went to 11-1 on the year, throwing a complete game, seven innings and striking out 11. Parker gave up five earned runs on the day, which amazingly enough is more than double the amount of earned runs he had given up all year.

St. Joseph-Ogden advances to tomorrow’s Class 2A State Championship, where they will meet Reed-Custer at 5:00 pm. Murphysboro will take on Rockford Lutheran at 3:00 pm in the third place game.