Updated: June 5, 2014 10:40PM
A dream season for Morgan Park has come to an end.
After earning the first city and regional championships in program history, Morgan Park fell Thursday night to Manteno 3-2 in a Class 3A Lincoln-Way West Sectional semifinal.
Manteno (23-13-2) will meet Lemont (31-5) at 11 a.m. Saturday for the sectional championship. Morgan Park closes out at 21-8-1.
“It’s been a tremendous season,” Morgan Park coach Ernest Radcliffe said. “To bring a city championship to the Morgan Park community has been fantastic.”
Jack Morgan notched the game-winning RBI in the sixth inning, driving home Lucas Robbins, who started the inning with a walk. The hit gave Morgan the win on the mound in two innings of relief of starter Drew Nichols (5 IP, two hits).
Morgan, Manteno’s No. 1 pitcher, struck out two of the final three Morgan Park batters to close the game.
“It was a good battle,” Manteno coach Matt Beckner said. “We kept answering. We had a couple of opportunities to break the game open and we failed to do that. Jack Morgan came in and threw well for us and sealed the deal.”
Morgan Park struck first when James Davison scored on a sacrifice fly by Lavar Reed. Davison reached on a double and stole third.
The Mustangs had a chance in the bottom of the sixth to answer Morgan’s RBI single, but Duane Campbell ended the frame when he was caught in a rundown between third and after Manteno spotted him with too much of a lead at third base.
“We talked about it all week,” Beckner said of Morgan Park’s speed. “Get the ball out of the glove and watch the runners. I think that kind of hurt them.”
Christian Bullock, a sophomore lefty, fired 61/3 innings and gave up two earned runs. He scattered six hits as the Morgan Park defense helped out by turning two double plays.
“We lost by one,” Bullock said, “but I gave it my all out there. We accomplished history. We’re only going to get stronger. We’ve got a nice core over there. We’re going to be back.”