While the rain has been a pain for pretty much every area baseball and softball team this spring, Marmion might have had the worst of it.
The Cadets entered their Suburban Christian Conference crossover at home against Aurora Central Catholic Thursday with just 13 games on the season. When it rains on their home field, there's little the Cadets can do to get the game in.
"Our field doesn't hold water very well," said Marmion coach Dave Rakow, adding they needed every bag of quick dry they had to get the field ready Thursday. "Any home game we've had where there's been any rain we've had to cancel because of field conditions."
But for once, the rains that came Thursday afternoon might have come just in time.
The Chargers had scored once and had a pair of runners on base in the top of the sixth inning, trailing 5-4. Just after Marmion reliever Josh Meyers notched a strikeout for the second out of the inning, lightning was spotted.
What had been a steady rain turned into more of a downpour, and moments later umpires called the game. By IHSA rules, the score reverted to where the game stood after five innings, a 5-3 Marmion win.
"I kind of got the feeling that this was the way we were going to go with the rain picking up and as soon as you saw the lightning I figured we were probably done for the day," said Chargers coach Sean Bieterman, who was planning to double check the conference rules to see if the game could be finished. "It was a good fight between two good teams and we're proud of our kids."
Aurora Central Catholic (22-4, 11-3 in the SCC Gold) started the day tied for the lead in its division with Chicago Christian. The Chargers did all their damage against Marmion starter Shane Carmody in the first inning.
After Hunter Fiorito singled and stole second, Phil Schuetz ripped a 2-out double for the first run. Mike Fidler followed with an RBI double and then scored on a single by Steve Belovich for a 3-0 lead.
That turned out to be all Carmody allowed as he got better as the game went on retiring 9 of the 10 batters he faced in the third through fifth innings. He improved to 3-1 with the win in his first start of the year.
"He's been a solid reliever for us," Rakow said. "He's been our go-to guy in a tough spot. Maybe a little first-inning jitters but he really calmed down."
Marmion (8-6, 5-3 in the SCC Blue) got 2 runs back in the first. Brian Simon started his 3-for-3 day with a run-scoring single against Chargers lefty Matt Rahn.
"They came up with a big first inning to answer what we came up with," Bieterman said. "Two good baseball teams playing today. Nothing we have to shake our heads about."
The Cadets mounted what proved to be the game-winning rally with a 3-run third. Alex Troop coaxed a walk to start the inning, and Brady Roberts (2-for-2) singled.
After Danny Bicknell walked to load the bases, Simon again came through with the big hit, a 2-run double for a 4-3 lead. Meyers added a 2-out RBI single to cap the inning.
"I was very proud of the way we kept our cool and battled back," said Rakow whose starting lineup had just one senior. "We got past the first inning and chipped away, chipped away. We're really young. For some of these guys it's a matter of getting used to varsity pitching. The quality of the at-bats has gone up throughout the season."