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Morton beats St. Ignatius in 3A title game

It’s a loss in the title game and a second place trophy for St. Ignatius, but sometimes moral victories are a real thing. This group of players has changed the way St. Ignatius baseball is viewed around the state and that will have a lasting impact.

“It is heartbreaking to come up this short,” Wolfpack senior Will McManaman said. But he also saw the silver lining: “There are going to be a lot of kids that want to come here for baseball now. It will make the program better in the future.”

Morton (IL) beat St. Ignatius 4-1. The Wolfpack left two runners on base in four of the seven innings.

“We just had some close ones they tracked down in the outfield,” McManaman said. “We had the big hits to get us here but not today.”

Sophomore Chip Valentine, who pitched just seven varsity innings this season, started the game. He lasted 1 1/3 innings and allowed two runs. Morton (30-6) added two runs in the third inning.

“That is a worthy champion, they were terrific,” St. Ignatius coach Sean Mason said. “We just couldn’t get a big hit when we needed it.”

Shortstop Bill Brady continued his weekend hitting tear He was 3-for-3 but was stranded on base each time. Brady was one of five underclassmen that started for St. Ignatius (20-12).

“This is great for our program, we’ve come a long way,” Mason said. “This was a real turning point year for us. We got the first sectional title in school history and just carried it through. This is just the first year of a lot of exciting baseball to come.”

It’s the second baseball state title for the Potters, who also won in 1984. Starting pitcher Logan Peterson went six innings, allowing six hits and one run. He was 1-for-3 with an RBI at the plate.

“[It was] a magical ride,” Mason said. “Today encapsulated what we are. Our compete level was off the charts, our character was unimpeachable. [Junior catcher Joe Loftus] had a pulled hamstring and couldn’t really walk. He caught almost every inning this weekend.”