During the St. Louis Pirates travel team game Saturday, Ben Hecht came out of the batter's box, stepped up to the plate, and laced a double off the top of the right field wall. While missing a home run just barely was a bit of a disappointment, Hecht had more than the double to smile about. Before the at-bat, Hecht was informed by his father that he had been drafted by the New York Mets. "I was actually in the on-deck circle at Granite City for another game, and my dad said "New York Mets" and held up a three and a one," Hecht said.The St. Anthony standout and last year's Class 1A player of the year was taken in the 31st round by the Mets Saturday afternoon. New York had been scouting Hecht, along with the Texas Rangers, the Kansas City Royals, the Boston Red Sox and the St. Louis Cardinals. The Mets caught Hecht at his finest earlier this season, when the senior tossed a no-hitter against Neoga on May 1, as Hecht struck out 17 Indians in the process.While that probably wasn't the only thing that caught New York's eye, it certainly didn't hurt. "They caught me on a good day, I was fortunate enough," he said of his May 1 feat. Now, it's decision time for Hecht, who has the offer from the Mets, but is also committed to play baseball at Illinois State University next season. If Hecht attends ISU, he will not be draft eligible again until following his junior year. Going to college could improve his draft stock in 2016, but the offer could give him time to be groomed by professional coaches in the Mets system. It won't be an easy one, and he has until July 12 to make the decision. "There's going to be a lot of thinking involved," Hecht said. "Getting to professional baseball is the dream of every kid, and going there out of high school.. It probably won't be for the next two or three days. Hecht was one of four Effingham area players to be drafted over the three-day draft, and the only high schooler out of the bunch. While his life could change a lot over the next week, the news didn't change his approach Saturday."It was a pretty standard day, just playing baseball," he said.He went 3-for-3 with two doubles, and could go from travel ball to the minors — if he so chooses.
Flaming Hearts roll in Apollo opener
Effingham will play Charleston on Jan. 31 for a chance to beat the Trojans for a third time this season and if the game is anything similar to the previous two, the Flaming Hearts will have the season sweep.
The Hearts dominated the Trojans on Friday 65-29, beating Charleston for the second time in less than two weeks, during which Effingham accumulated 133 points in two games.
Barnes, Beecher City beat Cowden-Herrick
Cowden-Herrick and Beecher City don't meet often anymore across the span of a school year.
With co-ops in every sport but varsity volleyball and boys basketball, the rivals had one of their rare matchups Friday night for Beecher City's Homecoming.
Fittingly, the game was headlined by a former Hornet and current Eagle, as Brady Barnes had 23 points for Beecher City as they bested the Hornets 60-44.
T-Town's Zerrusen, Koester make HOF
Two star players from two of the last three Teutopolis boys basketball teams to make the IHSA final four, including the only championship team, are entering the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame.
Maxey, SE/B down Cougars in OT
Allowing St. Elmo/Brownstown’s Levi Maxey to have the ball with the game on the line was the last thing South Central head coach Rick Simmons wanted on Tuesday, but the first thing he knew the Eagles would look to.
Indians race past Pirates
Eight minutes was enough for the Indians to get their legs beneath them, as they raced out to a definitive 71-35 victory over the Pirates to start their season.
Effingham moves to .500 with win over Robinson
Effingham had its first home match of the season Tuesday against the Robinson Maroons, and sent the fans home happy.
The Flaming Hearts won six of the eight contested contests and took the dual 48-27 on the night.
Altamont holds off Dieterich comeback
There was a sense of deja vu at Dieterich High School Monday night, with Dieterich and Altamont facing off for the second time in three days.
And while the game played out differently, that sense extended to the final. Altamont bested Dieterich 51-46 Saturday at the NTC Tournament, and beat the Lady Maroons by a nearly identical 52-46 score Monday.
Neoga's offensive outburst sinks Tri-County
Neoga rattled off 14 unanswered points in the third quarter, doubling its lead and putting Tri-County away for good in its 79-44 win on Monday.
Braves' trapping takes down Bulldogs
Mt. Zion used a 1-2-2 zone with super-aggressive trapping tendencies to great affect, besting St. Anthony 61-39.
Wohltman's big game leads Hearts to third place
Effingham got stronger as the game went on Saturday as the Flaming Hearts took third at the St. Anthony Turkey Tournament with a 59-49 win over Breese Central Saturday.
That strength came from the standout perfomance turned in by Matt Wohltman, who poured in 22 points on the evening against the Cougars.
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