ST. LOUIS, Mo. – The University of Chicago baseball team picked up their first win of the season with a doubleheader split at Fontbonne University on Sunday.
The Maroons are now 1-2 on the season while the Griffins moved to 3-6.
Game One – Fontbonne 7, UChicago 4
UChicago jumped ahead early with four runs in the first three innings; however, a big bottom of the fifth proved too much for the Maroons who fell 7-4 in the first half of Sunday's doubleheader.
Freshman Brenton Villasenor got the nod on the mound for the visitors, lasting four innings of six run (five earned) baseball in his Maroon debut. Freshman catcher Ian Bohn had a big day at the plate going 3-for-3 with two RBI and a double.
In the top of the first, junior outfielder Nicholas Toomey led things off for the Maroons with a walk, then in turn found himself at second, bunted over by senior second baseman Tim Sonnefeldt. Sophomore designated hitter Matt Slodzinski came up to the plate with two outs and took the pitch right back where it came from up the middle to give UChicago an early 1-0 advantage. After a hit-by-pitch, Bohn doubled the lead, singling up the middle to score Slodzinski. However, Fontbonne would not let the deficit grow any further as Bohn was thrown out trying to get himself in scoring position.
The Griffins' first chance with the sticks mirrored the Maroons as a walk and sac bunt got things started. A single would score a run for the home team but UChicago got out of the first with the lead.
A pair of singles from freshman third baseman Brady Sarkon and Toomey, plus a pass ball through Fontbonne's catcher got the Maroons another run in the top of the second. Then, at the top of three following a solo home run for the home team, Slodzinski walked and then Bohn doubled him home to give the Maroons a 4-2 lead.
The UChicago lead remained deadlocked at two when a huge bottom of the fifth put Fontbonne ahead for good. The hosts scored two runs with a double up the line, another two runs on a home run, and then a final run on a sac fly to go up 7-4.
That score would remain throughout the visitors' next two chances at the dish, giving the home team the three-run win.
The Maroons and Griffins tied with seven hits apiece. Fontbonne committed one less error (3 versus 4) and hit two home runs. Junior Thomas Prescott pitched effectively in relief for the Maroons, allowing a hit but no earned runs over two innings of three-strike out ball.
Game Two – UChicago 10, Fontbonne 7
UChicago exploded offensively for a 10-7 win over Fontbonne in the second tilt of the day. The Maroons jumped out to a 10-2 lead and then relied on their relief pitching to hold their edge late. Freshman outfielder Josh Parks (4-for-5) and first baseman Prescott (3-for-6) led the UChicago hit parade.
The Maroons scored three runs in the top of the second, utilizing aggressive base running and three singles. Freshman third baseman Justin Lo singled senior designated hitter Kevin Tully in to put them on the board and then Toomey's fielder choice pushed across one run before a throwing error scored another to give the visitors a 3-0 edge.
UChicago's bats came back alive in the fourth for three more runs, as five separate Maroons singled in the inning's hit fest. The Maroons left the bases loaded in the fifth, but not before grabbing a convincing 6-0 lead.
The home team cut the lead by one-third in the bottom of the fourth to 6-2, but UChicago came back in the top of the fifth with its third three-run inning of the game to pull ahead 9-2 after four-and-a-half innings. Two freshmen – Parks and Bohn – teamed up for a pair of doubles in the fifth before Prescott's single brought in two more runs.
The Maroons did not allow a run in the bottom of the fifth, then came back in the top of the sixth with another to give them a 10-2 lead – their first double-digit run output in one game on the young season.
The Griffin' scored four runs in the bottom of the sixth and then another in the bottom of the seventh to make the game close down the stretch at 10-7. However, the Maroons held Fontbonne scoreless in the bottom in the eight and ninth, with scoreless frames from sophomore pitchers Chase Packard and Michael Davis en route to the win.
The Maroons narrowly outhit the Griffins 14 to 13 and committed one fewer error (4 versus 5). Sophomore outfielder Max Larsen and Parks swiped bags for UChicago in the win. Bohn (one RBI), Tully (one RBI) and Toomey (three RBI) had two hits each.
Freshman Ravi Bakhai (1-0) got his first collegiate victory with two innings of relief.
- Saturday, March 19 – UChicago at Hanover College (DH), Noon (ET)