Baseball: Marmion’s all-around play too much for Rochelle

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

The Cadets had already gotten two runs in the inning and were hoping to get some more out of it with no outs on the board. Enter first baseman Charlie Scweiner.

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, as they only needed five innings to defeat Rochelle 10-0 Wednesday.

Marmion coach Aaron Nieckula said that even in the frigid conditions the game was played in, 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 zero outs.

The Cadets got the scoring started in the first. After loading the bases with a single and two walks, Schweiner would put the first run on the board with a sacrifice fly to score Jackson Sherman. Emmit Collins would follow suit in the next at-bat, hitting another sacrifice fly to score Tyler Sowers.

They wouldn’t get on the board again until the bottom of the third. Sowers got a double into right-center field to score Sherman all the way from first. Ethan Flores followed it up with a RBI double of his own before Schweiner capped off 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. And the home run was the boost that 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 would put up another four runs in the final inning to enact the run rule. Gavin Burt scored the final run of the game after avoiding a tag at the plate on a fielders choice.

On the mound, Hughes cruised for the Cadets. The junior southpaw pitched all five innings, only allowing 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 after. Defense helped me out a lot, so big shoutout to them.”

The lefty faced some trouble in the top of the fourth inning 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 pop out to shortstop, Hughes walked another Hubs player to load the bases with two outs.

But 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.

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