HANOVER, Ind. – Pitcher Lucas Friss turned in a career-best performance on the mound to lead the University of Chicago baseball team to a 7-0 shutout victory over Hanover College on Saturday afternoon.
The win improved the Maroons to an even 2-2 in 2016 while dropping the Panthers to 2-8.
Friss turned in an ace-like performance, striking out 15 while going all nine innings for his second career shutout. In addition to the 15 punch-outs, he retired eight Panthers through the air while also inducing four ground ball outs. Friss was efficient all day and threw just under 100 pitches. His previous career-high for strikeouts in a game was 10 versus University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh in 2014.
The Maroons played nine innings of errorless defense while racking up 11 hits. Sophomore designated hitter Michael Davis, in what was a 3-for-5 afternoon for him, hit the team's first long ball of the season – a pull shot over the left center fence. Junior outfielder Nicholas Toomey got on base for three of his five plate appearances (two singles, one walk) while junior shortstop Ryan Krob got on base four times out of his six plate appearances (a double and three walks). UChicago's hitters displayed good plate discipline by drawing 10 walks over the course of the game.
UChicago struck first in its half of the fourth inning. Freshman second baseman Max Brzostowski got things started by landing at second base after his routine grounder to shortstop was thrown away. Brzostowski advanced to 90 feet from home when a pass ball snuck by the Hanover catcher. However, his scoring-position presence proved moot when Davis strode up to the plate and smacked a two-run home run for the Maroons – the second of his young UChicago career.
Friss brought his best stuff with him to the ball park. The senior righthander had six strikeouts through four innings, struck out two more batters in the sixth and then punched out three in the eighth. An eighth-inning triple was the only extra base hit he allowed, and he promptly stranded the runner by fanning the next batter in the order.
The Maroons ripped the game open in the top of the eighth with a five-run scoring barrage. UChicago's first six men up to bat in the inning got hits with Davis' two-run single giving him four RBI on the afternoon. Junior first baseman Thomas Prescott and freshman catcher Ian Bohn each posted RBI singles in the frame.
Friss slammed the door in the bottom of the ninth, retiring the Panthers in order to clinch UChicago's second straight win to complete his gem of an outing. His final pitching line included five hits and no walks.
- Sunday, March 20 – UChicago at Hanover College (DH), 11 AM (ET)