NORMAL — Normal Community High School's Mitchell Murphy and the rest of the Intercity had the "green light" Monday night during the Michael Brown Memorial Central Illinois All-Star Games.
"They (the Intercity coaches) said once we got on base there's not much. If you're fast, go," said Murphy. "A lot of us can move a little bit. That's where the stolen bases came from."
The Intercity ran wild, stealing nine bases in each game of a doubleheader against the Area pitting the top seniors in Central Illinois. That led to 10-4 and 5-3 victories for the Intercity at the Corn Crib.
"You can't put it into words. It was great playing with these guys one last time," said University High's Daniel Mosele. "We all ended up on a good note."
People are also reading…
Murphy was the Intercity's Rory Hodgson Most Valuable Player in the first game. He reached base four times, scored two runs and had a run-scoring double along with some good defensive plays at third and a stolen base.
Mosele earned the Intercity MVP award in the second game. His run-scoring triple in the fifth broke a 2-all tie and he scored on the play on an errant throw. Mosele also saved a run in the bottom of the fifth by throwing out a runner on a grounder deep into the hole at short.
"Me and Dan go way back. I've known the kid since 5 or 6 years old," said Murphy, who will play at Southwestern Illinois College in Belleville. "We've been playing summer ball together for the past four years. It was just good to go out on the field, and we both made good plays and just had a good time."
Mosele's long throw brought the Intercity out of the dugout to celebrate. He hopes to make the same play on the same field the next two years for Heartland Community College.
"That was huge, and (Normal Community first baseman Andrew) Briggs found a way to hold the bag and finish off the play," said Intercity head coach Chris Hawkins of Normal West. "That was a huge play right there."
Hawkins had to coach a 15-under youth team in a tournament at Iowa City earlier in the day and missed the first game.
During the third inning of the nightcap, Hawkins was coaching first base and called timeout to ask U High's Matthew Davenport, who had just singled, a question.
"I told him I've heard you're fast. I asked, 'Do we have signs?' He said the (other) coaches said no. Everyone has a green light. So we were green light," said Hawkins. "A couple times at first base I looked at the guy and said let's steal ... Cael (Read of BHS) looked at me. I said lets go first move, he stole second and then he stole third on his own. Most of the guys were just green lighting."
BHS' Liam McGill and West's Wyatt Inselmann each had two hits in the first game. The Intercity batted around in the fourth to score four runs and break a 4-all tie.
The Intercity also took advantage of nine walks by the Area, with five of those coming around to score.
"Some of these guys haven't been playing since their last game a month or so ago," said Area head coach Dane Wear of Eureka. "When you mix everyone in together it's all right, but you have a new pitcher and a guy catching this guy who has never caught him before. But it was fun."
The Michael Brown Area MVP in the first game was Eureka's Matt Martin. He scored two runs and had a two-run triple.
U High's Conner Herbert was the winning pitcher, while Martin was tagged with the loss. Intercity starter Trevor Young and Central Catholic's Conall Rhodes each threw two scoreless innings, with Young striking out five.
The Area took a 2-0 lead in the second inning of the second game without a hit thanks to a couple wild pitches and two Intercity errors.
Central Catholic's David Broadbear delivered a run-scoring double in the third that helped the Intercity tie the game. In the fifth, BHS' Matt Steers led off with a walk before Mosele came to the plate.
"The funny thing is the catcher put curveball down and he (Will Girardi of Deer Creek-Mackinaw) threw a fastball. He (Ty Drake of Dee-Mack) was, like, you missed the sign," said Mosele of the first pitch that sailed to the backstop. "So I sat curveball, took it middle oppo (opposite field) and there it was, triple."
The Intercity added another run in the sixth before Drake's sacrifice fly with the bases loaded cut the Area's deficit to 5-3 with two outs in the seventh. BHS' Aiden Hodge secured the sweep by getting a called third strike for the final out to get the save.
Girardi, who took the loss, struck out five in two innings and was the Area's MVP.
NCHS' Ryne Willard earned the win for the Intercity in the second game. He also struck out five in two hitless innings. Davenport had three hits to lead the Intercity.
"It was great to get out here with the guys," said Murphy. "Obviously I've been competing against them and never been on the same team, but I have played with some of them in summer play. It was great to get out here with them and enjoy one last experience and go out on a good note."
Photos: Central Illinois All-Stars compete at the Corn Crib in Normal
Contact Jim Benson at (309) 820-3404. Follow him on Twitter: @pg_benson