In a pitchers’ duel that featured the battle of the Jakes, it was Jake Esp who prevailed, leading Marmion to a 3-1 victory over St. Edward in a Suburban Christian crossover Thursday in Elgin.
With the game tied 1-1 in the top of the seventh inning, Brady Roberts drew a bases-loaded, two-out walk from Jake Lafrenz on a full count to give the Cadets (5-3, 5-0) the winning run.
‘‘You don’t get opportunities like that very often,’’ Roberts said. ‘‘But I knew if the pitch wasn’t there that I had to stay back.’’
Esp and Lafrenz both had their command the entire game. Lafrenz entered the seventh inning allowing only one run for St. Edward (2-9-1,2-3) with seven strikeouts and two walks before the Cadets were able to get to him.
Corey Friel started the inning with a bunt single which was followed by Tyler Eberth’s bloop hit in short right field. Two outs later, Brian Simon drew a walk to set up Roberts’ game-winning free pass.
‘‘The call just didn’t go our way today,’’ St. Edward coach Tim Dovichi said. ‘‘We played a lot better today and Jake kept us in there. We are just one key hit away.’’
Esp got stronger as the game went on as he got five of his seven strikeouts in the final two innings. He allowed two hits and no walks while giving up one unearned run.
‘‘That’s just the way I pitch,’’ Esp said. ‘‘In the early innings, I am trying to get them to hit it to keep my pitch count down. I’ve always gotten stronger as the game goes on.’’
Friel and Simon both had a pair of hits and Alex Troop drew three walks, including one that produced the third run of the game for Marmion.
Jack Tierney drove in Michael Castro on a fielder’s choice after Castro reached on an error.