Baseball coaches often talk about the little things that win games; moving runners over, taking extra bases, two-out hits with runners in scoring position on offense and being sound defensively with efficient pitching.
Marmion did all of those things Thursday in a Suburban Christian Conference crossover game against rival Aurora Central Catholic.
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The Cadets had innings where they scored four runs twice and ended the game in the fifth inning when Alex Troop scored the fifth run of the inning for a 15-5 victory.
"They beat us in every phase today and they are talented, they can do that to people," said ACC coach Sean Bieterman. "It was their day, they did everything right. We struggled after the first inning to really execute. I like the fight, I like the competitiveness but we have to play better when we play teams of this caliber. I mean that is a great baseball team and the credit goes to them today. We'll regroup, go back to work tomorrow and get better."
After the teams traded runs in the first inning, Marmion (13-6, 12-1) started to get some separation in the bottom of the second. A leadoff walk to Gunnar Stanke was followed by Corey Friel's single to right.
After Chargers starting pitcher Andrew Bruss (4-3) recorded a strikeout, Josh Meyers singled to left to load the bases with one out. The Chargers then hurt themselves when a grounder on the infield was misplayed allowing the go-ahead run to score and Friel then scored on a wild pitch to make it 3-1. After another strikeout, Brian Simon bounced a two-out single through the middle of the infield that scored Meyers and Tyler Eberth.
After Cadets starting pitcher Daniel Bicknell (2-1) shut down the Chargers (15-11, 7-7) in the top of the third inning, the Cadets again got the leadoff hitter aboard when Troop walked.
Stanke then singled to right and moved Troop to third. Another wild pitch scored Troop and after a strikeout and a walk to Sean Kozak, Meyers ripped a double down the right-field line to score Stanke.
After a pop out on the infield, Edgar Sanchez hit another two-out single up the middle that scored Kozak and Meyers to push the lead to 9-1.
"Coach has been telling us to hit balls on the ground, to pick each other up and not to leave runners in scoring position. That has been our focus," said Simon.
"With two outs or just hitting the ball with runners in scoring position is something that we have really been emphasizing lately," said Marmion coach Dave Rakow. "It is something we really struggled with early in the season so I think it is all mental with these guys. They are talented enough to hit the ball but we have really been stressing it and they are starting to feel a little more comfortable at the plate."
Bicknell had been cruising, allowing just three hits and one run through four innings but the Charges got to him in the top of the fifth. A leadoff walk to John Belskis was followed by an infield single from Matt Rahn.
Chris Saltijeral doubled in Belskis. ACC cleanup hitter Mike Fidler hit a home run to left center to cut the lead to 10-5.
Garrett Fisher came in to relieve Bicknell and retired the next two hitters.
The Cadets answered in their half of the fifth inning. With one out, Eberth was hit by a pitch, and an error put runners at first and second.
Simon singled up the middle to score Eberth. A double steal put runners at second and third for Brady Roberts who promptly drove in both runners with a single to make it 13-5.
Troop launched a triple to right center that scored Roberts, and Troop then scored the game-ending run on one final wild pitch.
It was Senior Night for the Cadets and the last time they will play against long time rival ACC as a conference foe.
"With a big lead like that, I think we got a chance to get all the seniors in," said Rakow. "Senior night is always special, playing ACC is always special, a win would have been fine with me but to come out and play the way we did, it was really nice to see.
"They (seniors) are a talented group but the best thing about them is they have an awesome work ethic. They are very coachable and they are all about the team. It's a great group and I'm glad that they are peaking when they are. It's nice to see."