Baseball: Marmion collects ‘ugly win’Marmion starting pitcher, Shane Cano delivers against Immaculate Conception on Thursday, Apr. 19, 2012. | Donnell Collins~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: April 19, 2012 9:28PM
Sometimes over the course of a long season, when trying to remain a contender for a conference title, you’re going to have to win ugly.
That’s exactly what Marmion’s baseball team did in its 6-4 Suburban Christian crossover win over Immaculate Conception Thursday.
The Cadets managed only four hits and struck out eight times, five of them looking, but did just enough to earn the win to improve to 7-2 in Suburban Christian Blue play.
“Overall, we did enough to win,” Marmion coach Dave Rakow said. “But I told the guys it was an ugly win. It would have been an ugly loss if we would have lost. I’m glad we got the win, but we need to play better.”
Marmion (10-8, 7-2) took advantage of the wildness of Knights pitcher Charlie Pulkownik. In the second inning alone, Pulkownik walked five and his teammates committed two errors behind him. That allowed Marmion to score four runs to take a 4-1 lead without the benefit of a hit. Mike Pipp and Mitch Sterne earned back-to-back bases-loaded walks in the inning.
Pulkownik had a wild line on the day, going five innings, striking out eight and walking eight. He allowed six runs, only one earned, on two hits.
The Cadets didn’t get their first hit until Peter Bowe’s single in the third. The only ball that was really driven on the cool, windy day was off the bat of No. 9 hitter Connor Riley. He tripled in Bowe to right-center and scored on a throwing error to push the lead to 6-1 in the fifth.
“I haven’t been seeing the ball well all year, but the past few days, I’ve been hitting a lot and seeing the ball better,” Riley said. “I saw my pitch and just hit it. I’ve been trying to keep the ball up the middle and if it goes, it goes. I was happy with it.”
As it turned out, Marmion needed all of those runs in the fifth. Marmion used five pitchers in the win, trying to keep everybody fresh for two key conference games against St. Francis next week. Shane Cano (2-1) threw three strong innings to start, and through six innings, the Cadets had allowed an unearned run on two hits.
But in the seventh, Immaculate Conception (10-9, 5-2) put three runs on the board after the first three hitters of the inning reached base. But Andy Young got out of the jam to preserve the win.
“Our guys got down early and it seemed like they were kind of out of the game,” IC coach Dan Holleman said. “When we got on, we were able to score runs. We just got down today. We weren’t ready to play against one of the top teams in the conference. We have to come ready to play every day, especially against teams like that.”