Braggin' Rights: Illinois takes competitive approach intro All-S - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Braggin' Rights: Illinois takes competitive approach intro All-Star Game

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Illinois held it's first practice on Tuesday at Clemens Field in Hannibal for the upcoming showdown against Missouri on Saturday night. Illinois held it's first practice on Tuesday at Clemens Field in Hannibal for the upcoming showdown against Missouri on Saturday night.

HANNIBAL, Mo. (WGEM) -- On Saturday night a new rivalry will ignite in the Tri-States when Clemens Field in Hannibal will host a high school all-star baseball game, the first of it's kind.

It's showdown between the top seniors in both Illinois and Missouri, and the first chance to claim cross-state bragging rights on the diamond.

Illinois held it's first practice today in America's Hometown under QND and Quincy Gems manager Chris Martin, who was able to take a little time off of his Prospect League duties to help the Land of Lincoln get back in the groove before the weekend.

He says that his team is going into this game with a business-like approach.

"As much as this is an all-star game and as much as we're going to have a nice relaxed setting and get after it, hopefully the baseball competitiveness in them comes out and it turns into a competition and them just wanting to win," Martin told WGEM Sports.

"I think it's a great opportunity to kind of showcase how the game differs from each side and how the style of play is a little different," added Liberty pitcher and infielder Lane Hanzel.

"It should just be a great time to have some fun and hopefully go get a win for Illinois."

Even though the high school season has been in the books for well over a month, building chemistry doesn't seem to be a major concern.

The Illinois squad doesn't think it'll take long to shake any rust, especially considering the collection of talent they'll have between the chalk.

"I think we'll be fine," Illini West outfielder Brody Gronewold expressed.

"With baseball it's a little bit easier just to fall in place, and a little more easy going. You don't really have to get the same chemistry that you do in a basketball game."

"Some of these guys have continued to play since the high school season ended, so they won't be as far behind obviously, and some guys haven't," Chris Martin added.

"(These practices) are just an opportunity for them to get in and get their feet wet and once Saturday rolls around we'll be ready to go."

His team plans on being ready to go, knowing it's a one time shot to gain an upper hand over Missouri for an entire year.

"I'm all about the Braggin Rights," said Quincy Notre Dame catcher Dominic Miles.

"We're going to play our hearts our and I hope they do too and I hope it's a well fought battle to the end."

First pitch on Saturday night in Hannibal is scheduled for 7:00 PM.

The price of admission is $6.50 for adults, and $5.50 for kids ages 3-12.
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