Simeon, Harlan advance to city final
Updated: May 22, 2011 10:42PM
Simeon has already had a memorable baseball season. The Wolverines have won 25 games and brought coach Leroy Franklin his 700th career victory in the process.
Still, the year wouldn’t have been complete without a trip to U.S. Cellular Field for the Public League title game.
Junior pitcher Shane Brown made sure the Wolverines got there, striking out 15 in a complete-game win Sunday as Simeon topped Von Steuben 7-4 in the Public League semifinals at UIC’s Les Miller Field.
The Wolverines (25-3) will play for their seventh city title, and first since 2004, at 3 p.m. today against Harlan. The Falcons beat Clemente 8-6 in the second semifinal.
“I’m so proud of my kids,” Franklin said. “They played great and I think (Brown) is the best pitcher in the Public League. Now we’ve just got to win one more.”
Brown took a no-hitter into the fifth and allowed two hits and two earned runs. He walked five, all in the first two innings.
“I saw that they weren’t hitting my fastball, so I just kept throwing it,” he said.
After Simeon scored a run without a hit in the first, Von Steuben (22-9) struck back with two unearned runs in the second. Johnny Negron had an RBI groundout in the frame.
Simeon answered with three runs in the bottom of the second. Elbert Dunnigan delivered the big blow with a two-run triple to the left-center field gap that scored Darius Day (walk) and Robert Fletcher (fielder’s choice). An unearned run in the third made it a 5-2 game.
Fred Jackson’s single broke up the no-hitter with one out in the fifth. Jackson and Jason Varilla (walk) scored later in the frame on Jacob Pagan’s single to pull the Panthers within one.
That was as close as Von Steuben, which was playing in its first-ever city semifinal, would get. Simeon added a run in the sixth on Marshawn Taylor’s sacrifice fly and another in the seventh on an RBI single from Quentin Richardson (2-for-4).
“I feel like we’re supposed to be (in the title game),” Brown said. “We lost a game to Taft (in last year’s quarterfinals) that we never should have lost. Now we have our chance to make some more history.”
Harlan 8, Clemente 6: Harlan (23-7) scored eight runs in the first four innings and held on for the semifinal win following two weather delays at UIC’s Les Miller Field.
Andre Hogan Jr.’s single keyed a three-run fourth for the Falcons, pushing their lead to 8-3.
Dontrell Rush had an RBI double, a single and two runs for Harlan, while Brandon White tossed a complete game to earn the win.
Yerbis Arbis (3-for-4, home run, 2 RBI, 3 runs) and Felix DeJesus (two-run single) led Clemente (19-6).