Simeon throttles Morgan Park to win second straight city crown

By Sean Duncan
Executive Director

CHICAGO – Anyone who has seen Simeon infielder Ronell Coleman play over the last three years has, at some point, been amazed by what he does on the baseball field. The more you watch the 5-foot-3 Coleman, the more you grow accustomed to his remarkable abilities, yet somehow he continues to do things that leave you amazed, surprised and, at times, even shocked.

On Monday, on the Chicago Public League’s biggest stage, the littlest player on the field played like a giant. Coleman led off the game with a triple, and Simeon didn’t stop scoring runs until it had soundly throttled Morgan Park, 20-9, to claim the Wolverines’ second consecutive city championship before a packed house at UIC’s pristine Les Miller Field.

Coleman, a switch-hitting Vanderbilt recruit, once again served as Simeon’s ultimate table-setter, scoring three runs. But it was his two-run homer in the sixth inning to left field that had the lively crowd buzzing as he sprinted around the bases. For the day, Coleman finished 4-for-5, falling a double shy of the cycle. Coleman also had four hits in the city semifinal game at U.S. Cellular Field last week.

Coleman, however, was far from the only standout in Simeon’s ninth city championship under long-time coach Leroy Franklin’s tenure. After Coleman’s leadoff triple, the Wolverines proceeded to push across eight runs on five hits in the first inning. The first eight batters reached base before an out was recorded. Sophomore DH Jamary McKinney hit a two-run homer in the first inning, and finished the game going 2-for-2 with two walks and a hit by pitch.

Then there’s senior centerfielder Corey Ray, a Louisville recruit who’s been in the limelight since he was in eighth grade. The left-handed hitting Ray wasn’t about to not put his mark on the big stage. And he certainly did just that when he launched a taper-shot blast that cleared the batter’s eye, sailing well over the 407-feet marker in centerfield. Ray finished 2-for-4 with three RBI, including a ball he smoked right to the centerfielder for an out.

Robert Fletcher, Simeon’s Alcorn State-bound second baseman, also got into the long-ball act when he launched a two-run shot in the third inning for his first varsity home run. Fletcher finished 2-for-4, reached base five times and scored four runs. Sophomore left fielder Terrance Robertson went 4-for-5 in the game with a run-scoring double and two runs scored, and junior right fielder Darius Day, an Arizona recruit, had two hits, two runs and an RBI.

Morgan Park, which was seeking its first city championship, never rebounded from the first inning, though the Mustangs did rally a few times. Senior Reginald Rogers led Morgan Park by going 3-for-5 with two run-scoring doubles and three runs. Junior shortstop Lavar Reed had three hits, two RBI and three runs, while junior centerfielder James Davison, who very well may be the best leadoff hitter in the state, reached base four times, scored three runs, swiped two bases, forced one balk, and had a run-scoring double.

In the end, though, it was Simeon’s day, and not even a sixth-inning tussle in the crowd could’ve spoiled it.

More in-depth notes from the game will be posted later in the Illinois Scouting Blog