Baseball: Morgan Park paces Brother Rice in Indiana
By Mike Clark email@example.com April 5, 2014 10:18PM
Morgan Park's Jamal Martin slides in to home scoring on a hit by Elijah McKinnis at The Steelyard on April 5, 2014. | Jim Karczewski\Sun-Times Media
Updated: May 8, 2014 9:52AM
GARY — Dantrell Lucas did a little freelancing Saturday night, which would bother some coaches.
But Morgan Park’s Ernest Radcliffe had no problem with it, especially when he saw the results.
Lucas raced around to score from second on James Davison’s bunt single as the Mustangs ran past Brother Rice 3-1 in the RailCats High School Baseball Challenge at U.S. Steel Yard in Gary, Ind.
“(We) like to be aggressive on the bases,” Lucas said.
“We have great overall team speed and we want to use our speed to help us win ballgames,” Radcliffe said.
So much so that the Mustangs coach pretty much turns his players loose to take an extra base wherever they can.
“They’ve got the green light and they have a lot of good baseball instincts,” Radcliffe said. “Their baseball IQ is very high.”
Lucas’ scoring dash in the fifth inning added an insurance run for Morgan Park (5-2). The Mustangs wiped out a 1-0 deficit an inning before when winning pitcher Elijah McKinnis ripped a two-run double to the left-field corner, scoring Lavar Reed and Jamal Martin (2-for-3).
McKinnis took care of the rest on the mound, pitching a four-hitter with six strikeouts and five walks.
“This is one of the best pitching games I’ve seen in a while,” Lucas said, and Brother Rice coach John McCarthy saw it the same way.
“Their kid kept us off balance all night,” McCarthy said. “He was fantastic.”
The Crusaders (7-3) scored their only run in the third when Andrew Dyke (2-for-4) tripled and eventually scored on a fielder’s choice.
Other than that, McKinnis was in control.
“He’s mentally tough,” Radcliffe said of the four-year varsity player. “He puts in a lot of work on the weights.”
Brian Musielak was effective for the Crusaders, going the distance and allowing six hits and one walk while striking out seven.
“He pitched about as well as he’s going to pitch,” McCarthy said. “Mixed speeds well. That’s a good lineup.”