Offensive Fireworks Gives Maroon Baseball a Pair of Wins against UW-Platteville and Rose-Hulman

Josh Parks
Josh Parks

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – The University of Chicago baseball team came up clutch with late home runs to down University of Wisconsin–Platteville, then followed up with another offensive outburst at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology on Saturday.

The Maroons (4-3 record) have now won four-straight games. The Pioneers fell to 1-9 and the Fightin' Engineers dropped to 3-9.

Game One – UChicago 7, Wisconsin-Platteville 6

UChicago pitchers were generating plenty of whiffs during the first game of the day. Sophomore Brenton Villasenor and first-year Zach Morochnik combined to strike out 13 batters over the course of nine innings. However, the Pioneers' offense proved resilient as they outhit the Maroons 14-7 overall.

UChicago was against the ropes in the late innings, trailing 6-2 in the bottom of the eight. That's when junior outfielder Josh Parks stepped to the plate and smoked a three-run homer to bring his team within one.

UWP looked to expand its advantage in the top half of the ninth. Two singles and a hit-by-pitch filled the bases with two outs. But Morochnik came through with a full-count strikeout looking to end the threat and keep the Maroons close.

The dramatics concluded in the bottom of the ninth. Down to the final out with one runner on base, senior outfielder Maximiliano Larsen played the hero with a walk-off two-run bomb to right center.

Villasenor earned the start and went six innings on the mound. The right-hander racked up nine K's, but also allowed 10 hits, five runs and two walks. Morochnik (1-1 record) was credited with his first collegiate victory. Over three innings, he totaled one run, four hits, one walk and four strikeouts.

Parks hit 2-for-4 at the dish with three RBI.

Game Two – UChicago 14, Rose-Hulman 6

Rose-Hulman's starting pitcher endured an extended bout of wildness on the hill, and UChicago took full advantage. The visitors put seven on the board in their first at-bat and were the beneficiaries of two wild pitches, four walks and an error. Junior outfielder Connor Hickey singled twice in the inning, knocking in two. Junior catcher Ian Bohn collected an RBI single of his own.

The lead ballooned all the way up to 12-2 by the middle of the sixth. Two walks and a single loaded the bases, and junior first baseman Brady Sarkon stroked an RBI single. A run-scoring wild pitch and three additional RBI singles followed from first-year outfielder Joseph Burns, sophomore infielder Drew Ventrelle and first-year infielder Brian Lyle.

Rose-Hulman responded with four runs of its own in the bottom of the sixth, but the Maroons were never seriously threatened beyond that. Ventrelle stole home plate in the eighth and a ninth-inning error accounted for the 14th run of the day.

UChicago posted 14 hits and two errors – the batters also drew 10 walks. Five separate players collected multiple hits. Hickey was 2-for-3 with two RBI and three walks. Bohn hit 3-for-5 with an RBI. Sarkon (two RBI) and Parks (two walks) each hit 2-for-4. First-year infielder James Kelly batted 2-for-6.

Sophomore Jacob Petersen (2-1 record) got the start and the win. He lasted 5.1 innings with a pitching line of five earned runs, 11 hits, one walk and two strikeouts. First-year David Clarke closed out the remaining 3.2 innings, tallying four hits and three strikeouts.

NEXT GAME:

  • Sunday, Mar. 18 @ 11:00 AM (ET) – UChicago at Rose-Hulman