Simeon’s Jamary McKinney blocks home plate preventing Morgan Park’s Devon Jones from scoring. “He had a big game for us all-around,” Wolverines coach Leroy Franklin said of McKinney. | Gary Middendorf/For Sun-Times Media
Morgan Park coach Ernest Radcliffe was none too pleased with his team's performance Wednesday against Simeon.
He had every right to be upset.
The Mustangs spotted the Wolverines an 8-0 lead heading into the bottom of the second and found themselves on the wrong end of a 13-3 loss in five innings at the Kroc Center.
"Totally unacceptable," Radcliffe said. "I don't understand it. This is not Morgan Park baseball. It's not what we teach."
It was a pivotal game in the Jackie Robinson South standings. The victory improved Simeon to 10-3 in conference and dropped Morgan Park to 8-4.
"A big win for us," Simeon coach Leroy Franklin said. "We're playing very good baseball."
Jamary McKinney was a major presence for the Wolverines. Not only did he drive in the first two runs of the game with a bases-loaded single, he recorded the complete-game win on the mound. The big right-hander allowed three hits, walked seven and struck out three.
"The big dog had a tremendous game on the mound," Franklin said of McKinney. "He had a big game for us all-around."
With his curveball ineffective, McKinney relied primarily on a fastball and changeup.
"I threw maybe three curveballs all game; it wasn't working," McKinney said. "They couldn't hit my fastball and changeup, so I kept throwing them."
Simeon racked up 10 hits to go along with nine walks by three Morgan Park pitchers. The Mustangs' defense committed four errors.
Wednesday marked the second time Morgan Park absorbed a 13-3 loss this season to Simeon.
"We take playing them too personal," Radcliffe said. "We want to beat them so bad. We get too tight."
Darius Hill had two of Morgan Park's three hits on the day, including an RBI. Joshua Shaw had the other hit, an RBI single in the second.
Dion Earls (2-for-3, three runs), Darius Day (2-for-3, three runs, two RBI), Tavaris Terrell (2-for-3, RBI), Lorenzo Elion (two RBI) and McKinney (2-for-4,three RBI) led the Wolverines (11-6).
McKinney admitted beating Morgan Park always brings greater satisfaction. The neighboring schools share the same street —
"The Battle of Vincennes," McKinney said. "We've been playing with a lot of those guys growing up. It feels good to beat them."
Morgan Park (16-7) has lost three games in a row. "We can't keep giving teams three, four, five runs and we've got to throw strikes," Radcliffe said. "We can't keep chasing. We've got to play quality baseball against quality teams."