CHICAGO – The University of Chicago baseball team needed a wild finish in Game 1 and then found its offensive stride in the nightcap to earn a two-game sweep over visiting Central (Iowa) Saturday at J. Kyle Anderson Field.
The Maroons (12-7) won their third-straight game while the Dutch fell to 10-14 overall.
UCHICAGO 5, CENTRAL 4
The Maroons won in wild fashion in Saturday's opener, needing two runs to win in the bottom of the seventh. With the help of some well-executed small ball, UChicago produced both.
The Maroons led off the game with two runs in the bottom of the first when Payton Jancsy singled to right center to score both Brady Sarkon (walk) and Josh Parks (walk). That lead wouldn't last, though, as Central responded with four runs after a Maroons throwing error.
All four were unearned, spoiling a stellar pitching performance by starter Brenton Villasenor, who struck out eight, scattered eight hits, walked one and didn't give up an earned run in 6 and a 1/3 innings.
UChicago would cut the deficit to one in the fifth on another Jancsy RBI-single to left field that scored Sarkon – who was hit by a pitch for the 10th time this season.
After Central escaped the sixth despite Maroon runners on second and third, the hosts needed a run to tie it in the bottom of the seventh. Parks led off the frame by getting hit by a pitch and Sarkon moved him to second with a sacrifice bunt. Jancsy – with his third hit of the ball game – singled to move Parks to third, and a wild pitch plated the tying run and put the go-ahead run on third.
With two outs, it was first-year Brian Lyle who would play the hero, bunting for a hit down the first-base line to win the game on a walk-off squeeze, 5-4.
Jancsy went 3-for-4 with three RBI and Drew Ventrelle had two hits for the Maroons.
First-year reliever Zach Morochnik picked up his second win of the year on the mound, striking out one and walking one in 2/3 innings pitched.
UCHICAGO 11, CENTRAL 4
The Maroons pounded out 11 hits and jumped on top early to win easily in Game 2.
UChicago scored three runs each in the first, second and fourth innings to take a commanding 9-0 lead and help earn starter Jacob Petersen his fourth win of the year. The right-hander allowed just two hits and struck out four in five innings pitched to improve to 4-2.
Payton Jancsy's fielder's choice RBI kicked off the first-inning scoring and first-year James Kelly added an RBI-double down the left-field line to make it 3-0, Maroons. Maximiliano Larsen joined the offensive party in the second with an RBI-double to center field and Ian Bohn and Josh Parks added RBIs in the inning to push that lead to 6-0.
In the fourth, it was Bohn again with an RBI-single and Brady Sarkon added a two-RBI double to left center to plate the seventh, eighth and ninth runs of the game.
Bohn's RBI-double and an RBI-groundout by Matt Slodzinski in the sixth completed the Maroons' scoring. Central would score three in the seventh, but reliever Patrick Murphy struck out the final Dutch batter to seal the win.
Bohn finished with three hits and three RBI – including two doubles – and Connor Hickey and Larsen each had two hits apiece, with Larsen adding a double, triple and RBI to his effort.
Sarkon and Kelly added doubles to round out the Maroons' extra-base hits.
- Tuesday, April 10: UChicago vs. Illinois Tech (at Chicago State), TBA