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.
Cardinals fly by Blackhawks 16-0
The frustrations from a tough 7-6 loss by North Clay to South Central Tuesday were relieved on the field Wednesday, as the Cardinals blasted the Sandoval Blackhawks 16-0 in five innings.
Czachorski: My own field of dreams
A few weeks ago, I sat behind the backstop at Evergreen Park, watching St. Anthony and South Central play baseball and taking photos when I overheard a conversation.
It was a few seven- or eight-year-old kids, just talking about the game in front of them, nearly gushing over some of their favorite players on St. Anthony.
Green settling into Whitecaps rotation
Since inking his pro deal, Effingham and University of Louisville alum Chad Green has donned a number of different jerseys.
In just over a year, Green's played for the Gulf Coast League Tigers, the Lakeland Flying Tigers, the West Michigan Whitecaps and, even just for a day or two, the Detroit Tigers.
Windsor/Stew-Stras combines for five-inning no-hitter
The second inning was good to Windsor/Stew-Stras again.
The Blue Devils scored 17 runs in the second inning of their 19-7 win against Cumberland on Tuesday, then scored 10 more in the same frame of a 16-0 rout of Ramsey on Wednesday, all while being shut out in the first inning of both games.
Altamont downs Charleston 6-2
At least it’s the last year of the Ohnesorges for Altamont’s opponents.
That’s the sister duo of Madison and Lauren that have been top athletes at Altamont High School. The pair produced once again in a 6-2 win over Charleston at Karch Field.
Pitcher's duel: Gardewine leads St. Anthony over Teutopolis 1-0
Zach Gardewine gripped the game ball tightly in his right hand and smiled.
It’s not every day a pitcher shuts out the loaded Teutopolis lineup and he knew it. Gardewine became the first player to blank the Wooden Shoes, in St. Anthony’s 1-0 win on Tuesday, since Dieterich duo Tanner Traub and Jake Bohnhoff on March 22, 2013.
Ziegler's choice an easy one
Lake Land College’s Grace Ziegler had a choice after her two years playing were up.
The Altamont alumna basically whittled her options down to this: continue to play basketball collegiately at a four-year institution, or transfer to a four-year institution to have a traditional college student experience.
Vonderheide, W/SS win at Charleston 12-0
Christian Vonderheide had the luxury of choosing which was better.
It was either the grand slam, or a complete game shutout thrown by the right hander.
“They are both pretty equal,” Vonderheide said. “Pitching is more of my thing. The grand slam I got lucky. I swung hard, and I was lucky enough for it to go over the fence."
The win could be more important as Windsor/Stew-Stras pounded a 12-0 win over Charleston at CHS Field.
Czachorski: Time to catch Cup fever
I woke up early Friday morning and did something I never do these days -- I flipped on SportsCenter.
It was the top of the 7 a.m. hour, and unshockingly, ESPN led with discussion of the playoffs.
What left me flabbergasted was they were leading with the NHL playoffs, as I was truly unaware ESPN remembered that hockey was a sport.
Indians' bats too much for Eagles
An 11 a.m. start on Good Friday wasn't too early for Altamont, as the Indians pushed 10 across in the first frame and bested Newton 16-1 in five innings.
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