Dan McCarthy's business classes are at it again.
In the name of charity, and tremendous real-world experience, the West Chicago baseball coach is turning loose his two Sports and Entertainment Marketing classes -- 43 total students -- on the DVC-ESCC Challenge.
Friday at Benedictine University in Lisle, in an event completely organized by the students, two baseball games and one softball game will be played between teams from the DuPage Valley Conference and the East Suburban Catholic Conference.
At 5:30 p.m., an hour later than originally scheduled, Naperville Central's baseball team plays Joliet Catholic. West Chicago then plays Benet at about 8 p.m. At 6 p.m. on the softball field, West Chicago plays Nazareth.
All proceeds from the event will benefit the David DeJesus Family Foundation, a charity organization created by the Chicago Cubs outfielder to fight ALS. McCarthy hopes at least a few thousand dollars will be raised for the charity.
"It's a great cause, and I think we've created a great event," McCarthy said.
David's wife, Kim, will throw out the first pitch, and the West Chicago Concert Choir will sing the national anthem before the softball and baseball games. By design the event will look much like a minor-league baseball game.
Fan Fun Events, taking place after the second, fourth, and sixth innings of each game, include challenges between a fan from both opposing schools. There's a grade school event, a high school event and an adult event. Prizes will be awarded to every participant.
Raffle prizes include Chicago Bulls tickets, a T-shirt autographed by Kansas City Chiefs tight end and Wheaton Warrenville South graduate Tony Moeaki, and an autographed football by Chicago Bears Hall of Famer Dan Hampton.
T-shirts for the event are $10. Admission is $2 for adults and $1 for students. Admission is free for grade school students.
Anyone wishing to make a donation to the David DeJesus Family Foundation can contact McCarthy at (630) 876-6220.
"There's a lot of work that went into this by the students," McCarthy said. "It should be a great time."
Baseball trips over Spring Break highlight many prep seasons, mainly because it's a chance to head south and escape the typically cold temperatures in this area.
Unfortunately, last week didn't turn out as planned for several schools. Hinsdale Central canceled its trip to Louisville before it left while on March 24 Glenbard South began driving to Kentucky but wound up turning around and heading back home.
All because of weather usually reserved for this area. A late-winter storm pummeled states south of here and forced last-minute rearranging of schedules.
Glenbard South coach Mike Riley said his minibuses made it about as far as Lafayette, Ind., when traffic became backed up for miles due to a jackknifed truck. The snow was beginning to fall but not hard enough to halt the trip.
At least not until Riley checked his cellphone.
Riley found a bunch of text messages from coaches in Louisville warning him not to continue the trip. Much worse weather was on the way, and the fields already were swamped.
"If we had gone down there we might have played Thursday because the game would have been on turf," Riley said. "So we would have been sitting around for three days waiting for a game."
Riley turned to Plan B back home in Glen Ellyn. He scheduled games for later in the week when the weather improved, finding a Thursday game against Hinsdale Central and a Saturday game against Yorkville.
As frustrating as the experience was, Riley isn't deterred from taking future trips.
"That's the first time in 25 years I've had to cancel a trip," he said. "It was just one of those fluke things."
Mac is back:
For four years Benet's Pat McInerney has made the tough transition from varsity basketball to varsity baseball.
This season's transition may be the smoothest yet.
The senior first baseman-pitcher launched his third home run of the season in Monday's win over Wheaton Warrenville South and raised his RBI count to nine in six games. The homer against the Tigers sailed over the 390-foot sign in center field at their home field.
"He cleared the 390 sign by a good amount," said Benet coach Scott Lawler. "He's so strong. He's mis-hit balls that have gone out of the park."
In past year injuries have slowed McInerney's transition to baseball but this year he's as healthy as he's ever been. With a .500 batting average, it's not only showing in his power numbers.
McInerney made his first pitching appearance of the season in Saturday's loss to Naperville North. Lawler plans to gradually work McInerney, committed to play baseball at the University of Illinois, into the starting rotation.
"We thought all the basketball guys would be a little slow coming back, but I think he's so comfortable at the plate right now," Lawler said. "I don't think he's even close to where he's going to be by the end of the season."
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