Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL

Sports

May 24, 2013

Hecht taking dual talents to Normal

The coaches kept calling. Offering promises of how St. Anthony pitcher Ben Hecht could lead their team to the promised land. Of how Hecht would be in the starting rotation from day one, and how his 90-mph fastball would only improve under their tutelage.In spite of all the assurances of pitching fame and tantalizing exposure to pro scouts, one coach, and one school, honored a second promise to the 2012 Class 1A Player of the Year that made all the difference.Illinois State and coach Mark Kingston, who had followed Hecht closely throughout his high school career, reassured the star recruit that he wouldn't be limited to the mound. With the Redbirds, he could play in the infield as well and utilize his natural athletic ability to offer the team more than a rifle of a right arm."They're going to let me be a two-way guy," Hecht said. "A lot of schools talked about offering me as a two-way guy, but in crunch time, they backed off. For whatever reason, they veered off, they took away the two-way deal for me. That's fine, I respect that."

What Hecht respected most, however, was Illinois State's commitment to honor its promise. While other schools may have shied away from letting Hecht play somewhere off the hill for fear of injury, Illinois State saw the benefits. With their two-way promise still intact, Hecht decided to commit to the program this past week."Illinois State was one of those schools I've liked the whole time, and they came back in the loop," Hecht said. "I talked to Coach Kingston, the coaches are great, the players are great. Just the environment, they won the (regular season) Missouri Valley Conference title this year, they're going in a unbelievable direction."While he doesn't know exactly what direction he will take when he's not pitching, Hecht is just happy to have finally made the decision."That's actually something I don't know," he said when asked about his infield spot. "It's looking like second or third baseman. Shortstop, I can kind of agree, that my feet aren't quick enough for the next level. But they said I could step in and be the second or third baseman, they have great expectations."As they should. Hecht was 10-0 as a starting pitcher as a junior, and was undefeated again this season on the mound until a 4-0 setback against Teutopolis on April 25. When he wasn't pitching, Hecht was dazzling with his defensive prowess and creative baserunning, traits St. Anthony coach Kenny Miller said are few and far between."As far as baseball savvy goes, there's almost nobody better," Miller said. "He will beat you to the punch. He's going to push the envelope, he stole home several times. He's just a step ahead of everybody on the field with his thinking."Though he undoubtedly has plenty of talents in the batter's box, the professional scouts are still swarming to get a look at that right arm.

Text Only
Sports
  • Mammoser2.jpg Newton Post 20 tops Effingham Post 120 7-5 late

    Most of the games at the Junior Legion District 23 tournament have seen pitching take control, but the pitchers in Sunday night's Effingham Post 120/Newton Post 20 game faced an uphill battle.
    While Brock Mammoser started the game for Post 20 on the hill and struggled, he came through with the biggest hit in the game, putting Newton up for good in a 7-5 win over Effingham.

    July 21, 2014 2 Photos

  • Campton.jpg Dieterich Post 628 eliminates Teutopolis Post 924 3-2

    Errors proved to be Teutpolis Post 924's undoing against Dieterich Post 628, as Dieterich's sixth-inning rally in an 3-2 win were boosted by three Teutopolis errors
    To lead off the sixth, Trenton Poe reached on an error by Brock Bueker, and came around to score on an infield single by Ryan Radloff with a throwing error on Bueker. Poe was already on third when the ball went in the Teutopolis dugout, awarding Poe home to tie the game.
    Bryce McClain followed with an RBI single to score Radloff and put Post 628 up for good. Dieterich scored again on a Briar Schmidt groundout where first baseman Brant Bueker tried to get an inning-ending out at second, but the throw was wild and brought home McClain.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Teutopolis, Deters down Altamont Post 512 2-0

    TEUTOPOLIS — Lucas Deters didn't get a ton of run support from his Teutopolis Post 924 teammates, but he didn't need much in a complete-game shutout, and Teutopolis ended Altamont Post 512's season with a 2-0 win Sunday afternoon.
    Deters' efforts at the Junior Legion District 23 tournament kept Teutopolis alive in the loser's bracket to face Dieterich Post 628 immediately following the win.

    July 21, 2014

  • Poe.jpg Two-out rally pushes Dieterich to win; Post 628 beats Vandalia Post 95 4-3

    Down one with two outs and Vandalia Post 95 ace Zach Schaal coming in in relief, Dieterich Post 628 had a tough task to keep its season alive.
    But down 3-2, Cole Hartke and Charlie Thoele laced back-to-back singles to score Briar Schmidt and Flach, respectively, to take a 4-3 lead.
    Clayton Campton held the lead in the seventh, striking out two and getting Post 95 in order to keep Dieterich's season alive.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Jansen.jpg Late Newton rally downs Robinson 4-2

    Newton Post 20 rarely had an answer for Robinson Post 69's Brayden Burch, but thanks to a few key Robinson errors, Newton took their District 23 opener 4-2 Friday night.
    With the game tied at 1-1 in the bottom of the sixth, Mitch Jansen led off with a walk, followed by Tim Weber reaching on an error by Robinson shortstop Zander Laino and a bunt single by Luke Geier.
    Mike Carr came through with a bloop single to center, scoring Jansen to put Newton up 2-1.Burch struck out John Grunloh and Joe Stone, but second baseman Cameron Neese booted a grounder by Mitch Bierman and two more runs scored.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Kenter2.jpg Teutopolis takes down South Central 3-1

    Teutopolis Post 924 scored its first run two batters into the game and would never trail from there, holding off late rallies from South Central Post 519 to win 3-1 at the Junior Legion District 23 tournament Friday night.

    July 19, 2014 2 Photos

  • Clausius (2).JPG Post 120 pulls away from Dieterich

    A pitcher’s duel between Effingham’s Will Clausius and Dieterich’s Charlie Thoele broke not at the plate, but on the mound.
    Tied 0-0 in the bottom of the fifth, Effingham Post 120 got its first run via a bases-loaded, two out balk. The lead would hold up as Post 120’s offense sparked, and Effingham beat Dieterich Post 628 5-0 in the Junior Legion District 23 tournament opener.

    July 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • Rexroad.jpg Vandalia upsets second-seeded Altamont

    Altamont Post 512 never got the bats going, falling to Vandalia Post 95 5-2 in their Junior Legion District 23 tournament opener Thursday night.
    Altamont, coming off a trip to the state tournament last summer, was upset by Vandalia and Zach Schaal. Post 512 was the second seed in the tournament, but Schaal was up to the challenge for seventh-seeded Vandalia.
    He pitched a complete game, knocking Altamont to the loser’s bracket — where they battled their way out of at last year’s district tournament to make the divisional round. Altamont scored two runs late on an error by shortstop Matt Radamachier, but those were the post’s only runs.

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • DSmith2.jpg Vandalia powers past Teutopolis

    Teutopolis Post 924 fell behind after two Vandalia Post 95 home runs, and even with one of their own, Teutopolis never came all the way back and fell 8-4 to Vandalia Wednesday night at the District 23 tournament.

    July 17, 2014 2 Photos

  • g320258000000000000ba3317379c10d4a56280f6e3eade091947e89d79.jpg South Central alum Patton traded to Texas

    The AAA All-Star break truly separated the seasons into halves for South Central alumnus Spencer Patton, as he ended the first half as a member of the Omaha Storm Chasers and will begin the second half with the Round Rock Express.

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo

AP Video
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.