CHICAGO – Two outs away from victory, the University of Chicago baseball team's lead slipped away as Washington University-St. Louis rallied for a 4-3 win in dramatic fashion on Friday.
The Maroons fell to 18-17 and the Bears moved to 29-16.
On a picturesque spring day in Hyde Park, both teams saved their offense for later in the game. Six of the game's seven runs were scored in the fifth inning onwards, as the Maroons played errorless defense in the competitive contest. The game sped by in an even two hours.
The UChicago offense tallied eight hits as sophomore right fielder Max Larsen (3-for-4, 1 RBI) boasted two doubles out of the lead-off spot. Additionally, freshman starting pitcher Brenton Villasenor threw seven effective innings, attacking the strike zone as he limited the visitors to six hits and two runs. He struck out one and walked one in his outing.
WashU got the scoring started in their half of the second, holding a 1-0 lead until the bottom of the fifth. Freshman designated hitter Josh Parks started things off for the Maroons with a single to the left side of the infield, before fellow freshman catcher Ian Bohn followed Parks up with single up the middle. Senior third basemen Tim Sonnefeldt advanced both runners into scoring position, executing a sacrifice bunt back to the pitcher for the first out of the inning. The Bears elected to keep their infield back, allowing freshman second basemen Max Brzostowski's ground-ball out to score Parks and move Bohn to third to tie things up. UChicago wasn't done yet though as Larsen delivered a two-out RBI double to give his team the lead.
The Maroon advantage was short lived as WashU hung another lone run on the scoreboard to knot the score at two in the top of the sixth, where it would stand through a scoreless seventh for both teams.
Brzostowski delivered a hit out of the nine-hole to start the bottom of the eighth off. Then Larsen's third hit of the afternoon put runners at the corners with nobody out. The Maroons traded an out for the lead, as a freshman center fielder Connor Hickey fielder's choice scored Brzostowski to give the Maroons a 3-2 lead.
The Bears supplied the dramatics in the aforementioned top of the ninth, scoring two runs to snatch the lead in the final inning. Two walks and a hit-by-pitch loaded the bases and the tying run came in on a sacrifice fly. An RBI single put the visitors up 4-3 and they held on to that margin to win the first game of the weekend's three-game series.
- Saturday, May 14 – Washington University-St. Louis at UChicago (DH), Noon