Alex Troop and Danny Bicknell tossed a combined no-hitter to help lead Marmion to a 6-1 Suburban Christian Conference Blue Division victory over Wheaton Academy Monday afternoon at Joe Nardone Field in Aurora.
Troop (1-0), a senior left-handed Michigan State recruit, displayed overpowering stuff while racking up 10 strikeouts and walking 3 during his 5-inning stint.
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"I feel pretty good overall," said Troop, who struck out the side on 10 pitches in the first inning and fanned 5 of the first 6 Wheaton Academy (3-3) batters. "I've put in a lot of work and it's finally starting to pay off."
The Cadets grabbed an early 1-0 lead with first-inning run.
Senior catcher Brady Roberts smacked a 2-out triple to right-center before Troop helped his own cause with an RBI single off Wheaton Academy southpaw starter Brandon Valente.
Marmion (1-2) made it 2-0 in the second as Edgar Sanchez laced an RBI single after back-to-back, 2-out walks by Shane Carmody and Josh Meyers.
After Troop escaped from a bases-loaded, 1-out situation in the third inning with a strikeout and comebacker to the mound, the Cadets padded their lead with a 3-spot in the bottom half of the frame.
Singles from Gunnar Stanke and Carmody and a walk to Meyers loaded the bases for Sanchez, who tapped a 1-hopper back to the mound. Valente fielded the ball but his throw back to the plate caromed off catcher Luis Ramos' glove and bounced to the backstop, allowing a pair of runs to score.
"It's early," said Warriors coach Brad Byrne. "We kicked the ball around a bit today but the physical stuff happens."
Brian Simon's RBI groundout made it 5-0, which was more than enough of a cushion for Troop.
Pitching in front of several professional scouts, Troop allowed an unearned run in the fifth thanks to consecutive errors on balls hit by Michael Moses and Dylan Hughes.
"It was cool to see them," Troop said of the scouts. "It was a great opportunity. I pitched with scouts watching a lot this past summer and it is fun. I admit there are always some nerves but the adrenaline is going as well."
"He's the full package," Cadets coach Dave Rakow said of Troop. "He works fast and gives everybody confidence when he's out there. The way our conference goes with games Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, he'll likely be our starting pitcher every Monday."
Rakow notices a few changes in Troop, who was the Cadets' ace last season.
"His command is the biggest difference from last year," said Rakow, who was pleased to see his team pick up its first win of the season after tough losses to Lincoln-Way Central and Joliet Catholic.
"Our starting pitching has been solid throughout," added Rakow. "Our bullpen let us down a little in those first two games but helped us today."
Bicknell tossed 2 scoreless innings of relief, recording back-to-back strikeouts to finish off the Warriors.
"It's definitely nice to get a no-hitter," said Troop, who made a lasting impression on the Cadets' opponent.
"Good pitching always beats good hitting," said Byrne. "He (Troop) was lights out early. He locates the ball well."
The teams will meet again Tuesday at Wheaton Academy.
"The best part about this conference is we get to at them right away and try to gain the split," said Byrne.