Baseball: Morgan Park earns berth in Public League finals
By Tim O’Brien For Sun-Times Media May 23, 2014 11:04PM
Morgan Park celebrates their victory over Whitney Young in the Public League baseball semifinals at Wrigley Field on Friday, May 23, 2014. | Chandler West/For Sun-Times Media
Updated: May 24, 2014 3:28PM
Morgan Park’s James Davison just had a feeling.
After falling short in the Public League championship game last season, the speedy outfielder knew the Mustangs would be back.
Friday at Wrigley Field in the Public League semifinals, Morgan Park made sure of it, defeating Young 3-1 in front of a student-heavy Young crowd.
“It feels good, and I knew from Day 1 in winter practices that we were going to come back with all our hard work and effort,” Davison said. “All our seniors, all our younger players, I’m just excited for my team right now.”
Morgan Park improved to 21-7 and will face Taft (26-4) at 1 p.m. Saturday at Curtis Granderson Stadium at UIC for the Public League championship.
Morgan Park coach Ernest Radcliffe said the championship would be the first in program history.
The Mustangs on Friday got a strong outing from sophomore left-hander Christian Bullock, who threw a complete game. He allowed just four walks and three hits and had seven strikeouts.
Intimidated pitching at Wrigley Field? Far from it for Bullock.
“It was a dream come true,” Bullock said with a smile.
After giving up a run in the second, Bullock pitched in and around trouble, stranding two runners in both the fourth and sixth before pitching a 1-2-3 inning in the seventh.
“My fastball, I’ve been going to it all year,” Bullock said. “It’s my go-to pitch, and it was working today. I’m trying to throw strikes because I know they can’t hit me out of the ballpark. I know I have a good defense.”
Morgan Park’s offense scored all three runs in the fourth. Davison ripped a triple down the right-field line to lead off the inning. He came home on Lavar Reed’s fielder’s choice grounder, beating the tag.
Jamal Martin’s RBI single to shallow center brought Reed home to put Morgan Park up 2-1. Courtesy runner Kenyon Turner scored on a Young outfield error off Christian Lipscomb’s hit three batters later.
“Everyone tells me just to set the table and they’re going to eat (behind me),” Davison said. “My job is to get on base and luckily I hit a triple down the line. I was just trying to bring the energy to my teammates and lead my team.”
Ben Barclay had an RBI single for Young (23-10). Travis Hank scored the Dolphins’ lone run.
Jeff Fischer threw 42/3 innings for Young, allowing three runs on four hits with three strikeouts. Hank threw 21/3 scoreless innings in relief.