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Summer baseball roundup

  • Written by Ken Karrson

Tuesday is doomsday for Vikings

Season ends abruptly with pair of losses

  After winning rather handily last Monday, the prospects for St. Laurence’s continued advancement in the Phil Lawler Classic state tournament were good.
  On Tuesday, however, Prospect was better.
  Having been victimized by the Vikings in that Monday encounter, the Knights gained revenge at a most opportune moment. By virtue of a 4-2 triumph over St. Laurence at Benedictine University in Lisle, Prospect not only extended its own tourney stay but abruptly halted the Vikings’.
  The Lawler Classic is a double-elimination affair, but St. Laurence couldn’t afford another setback after having fallen short against Nazareth Academy — also by a 4-2 count — in an earlier Tuesday matchup. Thus, the Vikings concluded their summer campaign with a 15-4 mark.

Community sports news

Evergreen Boys Club 10s win state title

  Evergreen Park Boys Club’s 10-year-old all-star baseball team defeated host Galesburg twice to win the Northern Illinois Cal Ripken state title.
  The victories placed Evergreen in the Ohio Valley Regional, where it triumphed once in pool play and again in the single-elimination playoff round before being knocked out of the tournament by 2013 champion SE Lexington (Ky.). Evergreen defeated Alpena (MI) 11-0 and Brownstown (IN) 5-0.
  An earlier highlight for Evergreen was its title-winning effort at the Palos Tournament, where it captured come-from-behind, extra-inning victories in both the semifinal round and final contest. Evergreen also took third in its own event this summer.

Hi again neighbor

  • Written by Frank Gogola

Vikings, Rams will repeat opening football act

  Maybe the second act will go off without a hitch.
  A much-anticipated inaugural meeting between St. Laurence and Reavis on the football field created quite a pregame buzz among fans in Burbank last August. But when game night arrived along with it came rain — lots of it, accompanied by enough thunder and lightning to make playing more perilous than pleasurable.
  So Friday night’s kickoff got postponed until Saturday, which did nothing to slow the Vikings, who collected a 44-16 victory to begin what they hoped was a playoff-qualifying campaign. St. Laurence ultimately fell short of that goal, as did the Rams, but both will enter 2014 with renewed hopes.
  And once again their first test will come against each other. The Vikings host Reavis Aug. 29 at Kavanagh Field, and the anticipation for Round 2 runs just as high.
  “It’s always big to play a neighborhood school [because] it’s big for bragging rights,” St. Laurence coach Harold Blackmon said. “Some of the players know each other so that adds a little more to the game. This year we’re playing at home so we’re hoping for an electric atmosphere that night.”
  Actually more than bragging rights could be at stake. With both squads legitimately eyeing a postseason berth, getting off to a successful start is crucial, particularly since everyone only gets nine opportunities to prove themselves playoff-worthy.

Coming up aces

  • Written by Frank Gogola

Palos Heights’ Murphy a hole-in-one machine

  When it comes to holes-in-one Bob Murphy has done what LeBron James once promised to do for Miami Heat fans.
  Not one, not two, not three ...
  The Palos Heights resident did something highly unusual when he registered two aces within six days while playing rounds at two different courses in June. But that was only part of the 23-year-old’s stunning links tale.
  When that happened, Murphy already had a pair of holes-in-one to his credit. But if you think he has taken that machine-like efficiency for granted, think again.
  “I didn’t realize what was going on because it was hard for me to comprehend how it was possible to get two hole[s]-in-one in six days,” said Murphy, a course assistant at Bolingbrook Golf Club, the site of his most recent ace.
  “I was just numbed by the feats I had accomplished.”

Summer baseball roundup

  • Written by Ken Karrson

Crusaders put all the pieces together

  Like jigsaw puzzles, baseball teams need every piece in place to make a satisfying whole.
  For Brother Rice, the 2014 summer baseball season could be described as an unfinished picture. Missing was one very important part: a reliable offense.
  While the Crusaders’ pitching and defense have been steady, an often-meager attack relegated Rice to more defeats than it probably deserved. Certainly, no opponent had really teed off on the Crusaders, yet their ledger entering last week was below .500.
  No more, however. With a suddenly vibrant offense complementing its other two phases, Rice swept past four foes in a row. None of them got any closer than five runs.
  The Crusaders’ most impressive outing came last Tuesday against Class 3A champion Lemont, which suffered a 13-3 defeat to Rice. The latter also took down Evergreen Park (9-0), Andrew (8-1) and Hinsdale Central (7-2).