CHICAGO – The University of Chicago baseball team woke up its offense just in time as a five-run seventh inning clinched a 7-6 comeback win over Dominican University on Wednesday.
The Maroons improved to 15-5 on the season while the Stars fell to 6-16.
The cold temperatures with wind chills in the 40s seemed to affect UChicago's hitters. The hosts were held to four hits through six innings of play. They entered the game ranked fifth in NCAA Division III with a .349 team batting average.
On the other side, Dominican struck early and took a 6-1 lead through three innings. The Stars loaded the bases with no outs to start the game and knocked in two with a single. Freshman starting pitcher Daniel Smith worked out of the jam after that with two fly outs and a strikeout. In the third, the visitors tallied four more scores.
UChicago scored its first run on a throwing error that brought in the runner from third base. Freshman second baseman Payton Jancsy then posted a RBI single in the fourth inning.
After stranding a runner at third base in the sixth, the Maroons finally found their rhythm in the seventh. Sophomore shortstop Max Brzostowski and sophomore outfielder Connor Hickey each drove in one with a groundout and a single, respectively. The hit parade continued from there. Four singles and a hit-by-pitch over the next five batters gave the Maroons a 7-6 lead. RBI singles were provided by the sophomore trio of catcher Ian Bohn, designated hitter Brady Sarkon and outfielder Josh Parks. Dominican eventually got out of the inning with a 1-2-3 double play.
All told, the Maroons utilized seven pitchers in the game. When Dominican put the first two runners of the eighth inning on base, the home side turned to junior closer Michael Davis. After a sacrifice bunt moved both runners into scoring position, Davis intentionally walked the next batter to set up force plays at any base. It paid off to perfection on the next batter with a slick 5-4-3 double play that ended the inning and got UChicago's bench leaping off their feet.
Davis returned for the ninth inning and retired the side in order to nail down the six-out save. Over the final five innings, UChicago pitchers only allowed one hit. Freshman Arno Curtis improved his season record to 2-1 with one inning of relief. Other relievers included sophomore Ravi Bakhai, freshman Jon Kruppe, freshman Patrick Rogers and sophomore Alex McGimpsey.
The Maroon offense finished with 10 hits, including two each by Hickey, Bohn and senior third baseman Tim Sonnefeldt.
- Friday, April 14 @ 3:00 PM – North Central at UChicago