Maroons baseball holds off Northwestern 9-7

EVANSTON, Ill. -- After building a seven-run lead midway through the game, the University of Chicago baseball team held off Northwestern University in the final innings for a 9-7 victory on Wednesday.

The Maroons (24-12) have topped the Wildcats (21-21) two-straight years after previously winning 6-3 in the 2012 season.

UChicago started the game by drawing a walk and absorbing a hit-by-pitch. With two outs, J.R. Lopez knocked an RBI single and Brett Huff delivered a two-run triple to right field to give the visitors a 3-0 lead in the opening frame.

The runs kept coming for the Maroons, who scored nine times in the initial five innings. UChicago scored on an error and Steven Schwabe's RBI groundout made the score 5-1 in the second. Dylan Massey plated a run with a single in the third inning to push the lead to 6-1. The fifth inning featured a run-scoring error, a RBI double by Massey and a RBI single by Ben Bullock.

Northwestern scored its first two runs via sacrifice fly in the first and third innings. The Wildcats started mounting a comeback with a RBI double in the fifth, along with a run-scoring groundout and single in the sixth. The hosts drew within two runs in the ninth, but UChicago relief pitcher Ray Kim got the final two outs to earn the save.

The Maroons pounded out 17 hits as both Massey (two RBI) and Lopez (one RBI) went 4-for-5 at the plate. Huff (two RBI), Bullock (two RBI), Schwabe (one RBI) and Logli all hit 2-for-5.

UChicago trotted out a bevy of pitchers as five hurlers saw action. Drew Nicholson (3-1) started the game and got the win in his one inning of work which featured one hit and one run. Tad Komacek tossed a scoreless second inning with one hit. Kyle Nitiss pitched two innings with two hits, one run and three walks. Andrew VanWazer tossed two innings with four hits and three runs. Anthony DeRenzo lasted 2-1/3 innings, allowing three hits, two runs and one walk. Kim completed the final 2/3 of an inning.