Baseball: Marmion excels in all facets to take down Rochelle 10-0 in 5 innings

Photo provided by Aaron Nieckula

AURORA – The bottom of the third inning could not have started any better for the Marmion baseball team.

The Cadets already had scored two runs and were hoping for more with no outs on the board.

Enter first baseman Charlie Schweiner.

The junior located a hanging curveball and lifted it into the air, where it kept going and going all the way to the other side of the left-field fence for a home run, the first for the Cadets on the season.

“At first I thought it was a ground-rule double,” Schweiner said. “And it was my first high school homer, so it was like, ‘Actually?’ ”

The offense, along with a one-hit performance from junior starting pitcher Jack Hughes, was more than enough for the Cadets, who needed only five innings to defeat Rochelle 10-0 March 27.

Marmion coach Aaron Nieckula said that even in frigid conditions the team came out and capitalized in all four facets of the game, plus a little more.

“We brought a lot of energy to the game,” Nieckula said. “From the time they got out of school to the pregame and to the time the umpire said ‘play ball,’ the kids had a lot of energy.”

On the offensive side of the ball, Marmion got to the Hubs’ pitchers early. Nine of its 10 runs on the day came with no outs.

The Cadets got the scoring started in the first. After Marmion loaded the bases with a single and two walks, Schweiner put the first run on the board with a sacrifice fly that scored Jackson Sherman. Emmit Collins hit another sacrifice fly that brought home Tyler Sowers.

In the bottom of the third, Sowers’ double into right-center scored Sherman all the way from first. Ethan Flores followed with an RBI double before Schweiner capped the scoring with his two-run shot.

“Charlie’s a good hitter, probably one of our best in the lineup,” Nieckula said. “He did what a power hitter does with runners on base, put good aluminum on it and got it over the fence and had a big smile coming around third base.”

Schweiner said that heading into the at-bat he wanted to do some damage after struggling with runners in scoring position early in the season. The home run was the boost he needed.

“It just felt like a weight off my shoulders,” Schweiner said. “Just full of relief and excitement just running the bases.”

The Cadets put up four more runs in the fifth inning to win by the 10-run rule. Gavin Burt scored the final run of the game after avoiding a tag at the plate on a fielder’s choice.

On the mound, Hughes cruised for the Cadets. The junior southpaw pitched all five innings, allowing only one hit and three walks while striking out eight Rochelle batters.

Even with the big day on the mound, Hughes felt it could have gone better.

“I actually couldn’t find my curveball or my changeup,” Hughes said. “But I fought through it and felt pretty good. Defense helped me out a lot, so big shoutout to them.”

The lefty faced some trouble in the top of the fourth after giving up a walk and a double to start the inning. After getting an out at the plate on a fielder’s choice and a popout to shortstop, Hughes walked another Hubs player to load the bases with two outs.

Hughes remained unfazed. He got a strikeout to escape unscathed.

“I just tried to focus on the batter and try to get one out at a time,” Hughes said. “It felt amazing to get that strikeout though, took a big lift off of my shoulders and helped me feel a lot better.”

Marmion looks to turn the win into a winning streak when it faces Plainfield North on the road at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday.

“We’re excited to get out and actually see a team with a different jersey rather than just playing scrimmages all the time,” Nieckula said.