A no-hitter and an 8-run third inning helped catapult St. Charles East's baseball team to a much-needed victory Tuesday afternoon.
Senior right-handed pitcher Troy Dykhuis faced the minimum 15 batters over 5 innings during the Saints' 10-0 Upstate Eight Conference River Division triumph over Larkin (10-17, 7-16) in St. Charles.
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Dykhuis (5-3) was in command throughout with 8 strikeouts as the Saints (19-10, 16-6) remained in a tie in the loss column for first place in the UEC River standings with Batavia (23-6, 17-6), which knocked off Streamwood 14-4 on Tuesday.
"This is my first one and it's pretty cool," Dykhuis said of the no-hitter. "My curveball was sharper today. I was able to throw that with two strikes and give them something different to look at."
The Royals' only player to reach base was cleanup hitter Dan Lenz, who coaxed a leadoff walk from Dykhuis on a 3-2 pitch in the top of the second.
But the Saints quickly erased the threat when junior catcher Adam Rojas' snap throw to first helped get the runner in a rundown, as shortstop Nicholas Erickson eventually took a throw from first baseman Brian Sobieski and applied the tag for the first out of the inning.
"Troy was hitting his spots and had command of his curveball," Saints coach Len Asquini said of Dykhuis, who needed just 47 pitches, struck out the side in the third and fanned 5 of 6 batters in the third and fourth frames.
"You couldn't ask for much more than that," said Asquini.
The Saints broke open a scoreless game with 8 runs in the third -- 4 of which scored with 2 out.
"It was wonderful to see them do it with 2 outs," said Asquini. "I know we took advantage of a couple mistakes there but that's somewhat a product of having a good approach."
Nick Huskisson's 2-run double to right-center got the Saints on the board.
Sobieski then battled through a 10-pitch at-bat before reaching on a walk -- 1 of his 3 base on balls for the game.
"He had three great at-bats," said Asquini. "He got nothing officially in the scorebook to show for it but he had an on-base percentage of 1.000."
With 2 out, Brannon Barry laced a line drive that eluded the Royals' second baseman and drove in Huskisson to make it 3-0.
Rojas followed with a 2-run double down the left-field line to up the lead to 5-0 before RBI singles from Anthony Sciarrino (2-for-3, 2 runs scored) and Sean Dunne helped keep the big inning going.
Joe Hoscheit's 2-run double in the fifth sealed the win for the Saints, who also received a big day from leadoff man Nicholas Erickson (2-for-4, 3 runs scored), who reached base all 4 times.
"I've played the last two games in the leadoff spot," said Erickson. "I hit there all last year so I'm used to it. I like it."
Erickson, Hoscheit, Huskisson, Barry and Sciarrino each had 2 hits for the Saints, who finished with 12 hits.
Senior southpaw Phil Hodges (0-1) suffered the loss for the Royals.
"I thought Phil battled in a spot start," said Royals coach Matt Esterino. "We didn't make a couple plays there defensively and they put the ball in play.
"This is a good time to play them (the Saints) before the playoffs. We're looking at it as a big test before we get going (in the postseason)."