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Hero Marmion outfielder reflects on big play
By John Lemon | Daily Herald Staff

Marmion celebrates their win over Burlington Central during Thursday's sectional semifinal in DeKalb.

 

Rick West | Staff Photographer

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Published: 6/4/2010 11:12 PM

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Mark Peters didn't pinch himself when he woke Friday morning. His dream already was reality.

Peters, a senior center fielder at Marmion Academy, made the catch of a lifetime Thursday to upset Burlington Central in the IHSA playoffs. With his team leading 7-6 and two outs in the seventh inning, Peters robbed Nick Hahn of a game-tying home run.

Peters used every bit of his 6-foot-6 frame to jump, make the catch and then topple over the fence - the ball nestled securely in his glove for the final out.

"I think every kid dreams about making that game-winning catch or game-winning home run," Peters said. "For it to actually happen is pretty cool."

Marmion coach Dave Rakow said the catch "might be the best play I've ever seen regardless high school, college, whatever."

His teammates sprinted to center field to celebrate with Peters, a St. Xavier basketball recruit who suddenly was the center of attention for his second-best sport.

The celebration began on the bus ride home. A low-key dinner at his Aurora home with his parents followed.

Then the phone calls and e-mails started. It wasn't easy to fall asleep Thursday night, and he spent much of Friday hearing from more friends and family.

"It's been awesome," Peters said of the attention. "After the game the bus ride home was a pretty cool experience. Everyone was going nuts. The atmosphere was unbelievable."

Peters did get a dose of reality Friday when he had to take a college placement test. And Saturday it will be back to the business of winning baseball games when Peters moves from center field to the pitcher's mound hoping to pitch his team to its first sectional championship.

Ironically, with a Fathead of Cubs left fielder Alfonso Soriano - not known for outfield defense let alone a season-saving catch like Peters' - on his bedroom wall, Peters still has trouble believing what happened.

"The feeling after I caught it was pretty undescribable," Peters said. "Adrenaline was through the roof. I felt on top of the world at that moment."