Baseball: Marmion stays hot, blanks Aurora CentralMarmion Academy's Connor Medernach scores after knocking the ball loose from Aurora Central Catholic catcher Matt Musuras on Friday at Fifth Third Bank Park in Geneva. | Jeff Cagle~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: April 27, 2012 8:29PM
Marmion’s baseball team relied on pitching and defense to get off to a solid start this season, but now it appears the bats are catching up.
After scoring 11 runs in both games of a two-game split with St. Francis earlier this week, the Cadets pounded out 10 hits en route to an 8-0 Suburban Christian crossover win against rival Aurora Central Catholic on Friday at Fifth Third Ballpark in Geneva.
“The bats have been there the last few games,” Marmion coach Dave Rakow said. “We put up 11 runs twice against Francis and almost got double digits today. As long as we throw strikes and make plays in the field, we’ve been OK.”
The Cadets (13-10 overall, 9-3) were solid in all facets Friday.
ACC pitcher Matt Miller (2-5) was solid the first time through the order before Marmion was able to get to him.
Marmion scored single runs in the third, fourth and fifth innings to take a 3-0 lead before exploding for five runs in the sixth. The Cadets sent 10 men to the plate in the inning, chasing Miller in the process. Peter Bowe, Andy Young and AJ Friedman all had RBI singles in the sixth, while ACC (7-15, 0-12) committed three errors, making four of the five runs unearned.
“It was tight early on,” Marmion catcher Kyle Kozak said. “Matt is a good pitcher. But once we turned the lineup over, came around for the second time, people started seeing the ball more and were more aggressive at the plate. We just hit him.”
On the mound, Connor Riley (4-3) got the start and went two innings, saving his arm for conference play early next week. The Cadets then turned to freshman Jake Esp, who has pitched on the sophomore team since getting the win against West Aurora earlier this season. He came on and did great work on a minor league mound in front of a large crowd, allowing two hits in four innings.
“He was really composed,” Rakow said. “Not too many freshmen can mentally handle pitching in a varsity game, especially with a crowd and an atmosphere like this. I give him credit. He came out and threw strikes.”
ACC remains winless in conference play with the tough loss.
“I’m at a loss for words, and that’s hard for me,” ACC coach Eric Fulara said. “It’s hot and cold. Some days we look like god’s gift to baseball. We’re amazing. And then there’s times where it’s like, ‘Hi, I’m baseball, have we met?’ I don’t get it.
“I haven’t been able to figure out what the issue is. It’s very frustrating because our record doesn’t show that we’re that bad of a team. We’re really not that bad. We’re actually pretty good.”