UChicago baseball goes 1-1 versus Wisconsin-Platteville

Lucas Friss and Ian Bohn
Lucas Friss and Ian Bohn

CHICAGO – The University of Chicago baseball team split a doubleheader with the University of Wisconsin-Platteville on Sunday after 14 innings played in Hyde Park.

The day of baseball left the Maroons at 6-8 and the Pioneers at 10-5 for the season.

Game One – UChicago 5, Wisconsin-Platteville 1

UChicago prevailed in the first half of the double header as senior ace Lucas Friss turned in a seven-inning complete game performance that featured eight strikeouts.

Six Maroons scattered eight hits with freshman catcher Ian Bohn (2-for-4, triple, one RBI) and sophomore outfielder Max Larsen (2-for-2) leading the way. Freshman outfielder Connor Hickey reached base in two of his four plate appearances, going 1-for-3 with a walk.

UChicago steadily pushed runners across offensively, scoring one run in five out of six innings. Hickey walked to lead off things off in the bottom of the first and then stole second to put himself in scoring position. Bohn singled to the right side of the field, but the Wisconsin-Platteville right fielder got to the ball quickly enough to keep Hickey at third, putting Maroons at the corner with sophomore first baseman Michael Davis due up. Davis flew out to deep enough right field to allowing Hickey to tag up and score for a 1-0 Maroon lead.

A free pass got UChicago started off in their half of the second as well with freshman outfielder Josh Parks absorbing a hit-by-pitch. Larsen singled to center to put runners at first and second, then freshman third baseman Brady Sarkon did his job by bunting both Maroons into scoring position. Freshman second baseman Max Brzostowski then hit a ground ball to first that scored Parks to double the Maroon lead.

Friss effectively used his fastball and curve to keep the Pioneers off the scoreboard. The senior righty gave up 11 hits but stranded eight runners en route to the 112-pitch (81 strikes) complete game. He also induced a pair of double-play groundouts.

The Maroons were back to business in the bottom of the fourth. Junior shortstop Ryan Krob and Larsen singled to put runners at first and second. Sarkon singled to left field as well for the third Maroon hit of the inning to score Krob. Sarkon was effective in all three of his plate appearances – advancing two runners with a sacrifice bunt, drawing a walk and singling home a teammate in a key spot.

After the visitors got on the board with a run in the top of the fifth, the Maroons reassumed their three-run lead with one of their own in their half of the fifth. Junior outfielder Nicholas Toomey was plunked by a pitch with one out. Next up was Bohn, who wheeled all the way to third base for an RBI triple to left center. However, the Pioneers were able to strand him at third by retiring the next two Maroons.

UChicago added another run of insurance in the bottom of the six as Brzostowski singled home Larsen, who scored when UWP's shortstop made an error on the play. The home team held on to their 5-1 advantage for the win in seven innings.

The defense did not make an error behind Friss, who now owns a 30-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio so far this season.

Game Two – Wisconsin-Platteville 13, UChicago 4

The Maroons scored three runs in the bottom of the second, but were ultimately done in by Wisconsin-Platteville's huge six-run third frame.

Pioneer hitters pounded out five extra-base hits, including two doubles and a triple. Davis hit a double for the Maroons, while the Maroons produced seven hits of the single variety. Additionally, UChicago made two errors, though only one of the visitors' 13 runs was unearned.

The Pioneers scored nine times in the first three innings – once in the first, twice in the second and then six times in the aforementioned third. In the bottom of the second, the Maroons scored a run and loaded the bases when Riley Vandenberg – Wisconsin-Platteville's starting pitcher – walked Parks to start the inning, induced a fly out, and then hit three-straight batters. After a mound visit and a strikeout, Bohn singled home two more teammates to prompt a pitching change. Going into the third, the Maroons had tied the game at three.

In the top of the fifth, the Pioneers scored four more times to stretch their lead to 13-3. UChicago's answer in the bottom of the frame provided the final score when Larsen singled in Davis.

Davis and senior third baseman Tim Sonnefeldt were both 2-for-4 in the game. Freshman pitcher Brenton Villasenor (1-3 record) took the loss in two innings with four hits, five earned runs and three walks. Four other pitchers saw action, including junior Thomas Prescott (0.1 IP, 2 H, 3 R, 1 BB); sophomore Chase Packard (1.2 IP, 1 H, 2 BB, 2 K); sophomore Ricardo Fernandez (1 IP, 3 H, 4 R, 2 BB, 1 K); and freshman Ravi Bakhai (2 IP, 3 K).

NEXT GAME:

  • Wednesday, April 6 – UChicago vs. Dominican University (Schaumburg, Ill.), 5 PM