JOLIET After a four-hour rain delay the Highland Bulldogs rained 13 runs on (Chicago) Morgan Park in an Illinois Class 3A State Baseball semifinal Friday and will play in the state title game for the first time 2008.
Grant Geppert scattered three hits through the four innings he pitched striking out two but walking none. His three-run home run highlighted a five-run fifth that secured the 13-0 short-game victory.
With the victory, Highland will advance to the state title game where they will face (LaGrange) Nazareth Academy (32-8) at 11:30 a.m. at Silver Cross Field in Joliet.
Nazareth Academy advanced with a 2-1 victory over (Wheaton) St. Francis.
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Highland second: Jordan Smith drew a leadoff walk. Matt Augustin reached on a bunt and Griffin Welz walked to load the bases with one out. Smith scored on a wild pitch. Will Greenwald scored Augustin and Welz on a shallow hit to right-center. Highland 3, Morgan Park 0.
Highland third: Grant Geppert and Smith singled and Augustin walked to load the bases. With two outs, Wells lifted a fly ball, which was dropped by the right fielder. Geppert and Smith scored. Welz and Augustin scored on a Tyler Kimmle single. Highland 7. Morgan Park 0.
Highland fourth: Cody Bentlage led off with a bunt single and advanced to second on a ground ball out and took third on a wild pitch. He scored on a Andrew Winning single. Highland 8, Morgan Park 0.
Highland fifth: Welz reached on a fielder’s choice and Kimmle became the third Bulldog batter to be hit by a pitch. Greenwald hit a line drive off the first baseman’s glove, scoring Welz. Kimmle scored on a ground ball and an error. Geppert followed with a three-run home run to close out the scoring. Highland 13, Morgan Park 0.
Records: Highland 27-13, Morgan Park 25-13.