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Z-B, Waukegan baseball teams going to bat Friday for pediatric cancer research

Jack Green then 6 threw out ceremonial pitch last year’s Battle Bowen. This year’s game is coming up Friday matching

Jack Green, then 6, threw out the ceremonial pitch at last year’s Battle at Bowen. This year’s game is coming up on Friday, matching Zion-Benton and Waukegan at Bowen Park in Waukegan. | JOE SHUMAN~FOR SUN-TIMES MEDIA

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One of the best baseball facilities east of the tollway, it’s located just off Sheridan Road at the very north end of the Amstutz Expressway. If you’re coming from the north, get to Sheridan Road and make a left at Greenwood, which would take you to the Amstutz. The park is on your left. If you’re coming from the south, take the Amstutz until it ends and when you get off it, Bowen Park is on your right. If you’re coming from the west, get onto Sunset, which turns into Golf which turns into Greenwood and takes you to the park on the left, just across Sheridan Road.

Updated: June 28, 2013 2:31AM

There aren’t many absolute must-see baseball games at the high school level in Lake County this spring, as miserable weather has hurt the level of play and kept teams from hitting their stride.

Carmel vs. Mundelein would probably qualify as prime-time theatre, and so, too, would be a Grant vs. Libertyville contest.

But quality of play aside, if there’s one game you can attend this season, circle Friday night on your calendar and figure out how to get to Bowen Park on Waukegan’s northeast side.

That’s when Zion-Benton and Waukegan will square off in the second annual “Battle at Bowen: Strike Out Pediatric Cancer” baseball game, with the sophomore teams playing at 4:30 and the varsity squads at 7.

The game is a fund-raiser for Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago, which is where Jack Green — the 7-year-old son of Waukegan coach Dan Green — has spent way too much of his young life, ever since a tumor was found on his brain more than two years ago.

Through treatment at the hospital, care from his family and answered prayers, Jack was considered cancer free when the inaugural “Battle at Bowen” was played last season. After last year’s game, coach Green said, “For everything that Children’s Hospital has done to help us out, it feels great to give back.”

Friday’s baseball game truly is a community event — both communities, with Waukegan people and those who live in Zion, Beach Park and the Harbor all welcome to attend what really is a celebration of life as much as it is a baseball game.

Money will be raised by charging admission to attend, plus there will be T-shirt sales and raffles. Fans also are reminded to not eat before coming to the game, as there will be plenty of concessions, and all those proceeds also will go to the hospital.

“Last year’s event generated an amazing amount of support from both communities, and we are really eager to do it again. The players, coaches and all families involved really came out in force. It was quite heart-warming,” said coach Green.

And, for those who are keeping score, this also is a community bragging rights game, which last year went to Waukegan 5-4. The winner of Friday’s game will own those rights at least until Week 2 of next football season when Waukegan and Zion-Benton square off in Zion.

For information, contact Coach Green at

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