Parker Junior High moving on to baseball sectionals

  The Parker Junior High School Falcons are heading 
  to sectional baseball play after upsetting the 
  undefeated James Hart School team on Monday. 

  (Provided photo)
 
Parker Junior High of Flossmoor walked away with the regional title in the Illinois Elementary School Association’s baseball tournament, defeating Homewood’s James Hart School 15-4 on Monday.
 
Hart went into the game at Lions Field undefeated. In the semi-match Saturday it scored 14-4 against its opponent. Monday the tables were turned.
 
More than 100 spectators watched Parker players take control of the game early in the second inning when Ann Rechsteiner hit one up the middle to get on base. She then stole second and stole third on wild pitches. Michael Hardy came up with a hit that put Parker on the board to lead 2-0.
 
Evan Neiter got two more runs in in the second inning and that’s pretty much the way it went. Parker seemed unstoppable as one runner after another crossed the plate, and pitcher Vince Waterman recorded numerous strikeouts.
 
“It was amazing,” said Parker coach Ron Wright. “They just came out with a lot of energy.”
 
Hart tried to get runners into position but did not manage to score in the first four innings. Wild pitches gave Parker runners the ability to steal bases. A few times Hart runners were caught between bases on attempts to steal. Rechsteiner, from her third base position, made a tremendous catch in the third inning to rob a Hart player of a long drive. Despite a Hart stolen base, the next batter struck out ending the third inning.
 
In the fourth inning, Parker had bases loaded. The ball got away from a Hart player and three runs came in.  Before the third out, another run had scored.
 
And so it went.  Hart finally got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the fifth inning, but the game ended under baseball rules that allows the umpire to call a game if the opposing team is winning by 10 runs.
 
“We gave them 11 unearned runs. Parker made us pay for our mistakes,” said Hart coach Grant Sikkema.  Despite the upset, he applauded this team for “sticking with it. They kept playing.”
 
Parker will be in the sectional game on Sept. 22.
 
Wright said he is proud of both teams and for what the players will take to Homewood-Flossmoor High School when they will play as one team.
 

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