CHICAGO – In the final games of the regular season, the University of Chicago baseball team lost a doubleheader to Washington University-St. Louis on Saturday.
The Maroons finished with an 18-19 record and the Bears ended at 31-16.
Game One – WashU 17, UChicago 3
The Maroons found themselves on the wrong side of a lopsided result in the front half of the doubleheader which ended after seven innings. UChicago held a 2-1 lead through the second inning, but a nine-run top of the third ultimately did in the hosts.
Freshman designated hitter Josh Parks doubled to right center in the second and then dead center in the sixth, going 2-for-3 with two extra-base knocks. Meanwhile, sophomore outfielder Max Larsen stayed hot, going 2-for-3 with a single and a triple. The Maroons scattered 10 hits and made two errors compared to 17 hits and one error for the Bears.
Senior Lucas Friss (5-3) took the loss in 2.1 innings with 10 runs, seven hits, three walks and two strikeouts. The Bears' offense continued the onslaught throughout the game. UChicago sent three relievers onto the mound – junior Thomas Prescott (2.2 IP, 3 R, 6 H, 2 K), senior Alex Athenson (1 IP, 4 R, 3 H, 1 BB, 2 K) and sophomore Robert Fuentes (1 IP, 1 H).
Larsen lead the bottom of the first off with a triple before a freshman outfielder Connor Hickey fielder's choice tied the scoring early at one. In the bottom of the second with one out, Parks doubled to put himself in scoring position before an error placed runners at the corners. Then Parks swiped home on a double steal, giving the Maroons an early 2-1 lead.
However, WashU's big third inning turned the game on its axis, as the visitors scored nine in the third, two in the fourth, one in the fifth and four in the sixth. The Maroons finished the scoring in the bottom of the seventh with a sacrifice fly from junior outfielder Nicholas Toomey.
Game Two – WashU 5, UChicago 4
UChicago broke a tie with a run in the bottom of the seventh and held a lead in the ninth inning for the second time in two days. But once again, the Bears rallied back in their final at-bat to win.
Junior first baseman Thomas Prescott (2-for-4, 2 doubles, 1 RBI); Larsen (2-for-5, 1 double); and Hickey (3-for-4) all had multiple hits for the Maroon offense that finished with nine on the day. WashU totaled 15 hits and three errors.
UChicago got on the board in the second inning, tying the game at one after WashU started the game's scoring in the first. Sophomore catcher Matt Slodzinski reached on an error and Prescott capitalized on the mistake, smacking an RBI double that brought Slodzinski all the way around from first.
The two teams stayed locked at one until the fifth, when the Maroons pulled ahead to the tune of a 3-1 lead. Freshman second baseman Max Brzostowski singled with one out and Larsen followed up with a single to right field that put runners at first and second. Then with two outs, Toomey smacked an RBI double to score both runners.
In the top of the sixth, the Bears tied the scoring at three, where it stayed until the Maroons went ahead again in the bottom of the seventh. Larsen doubled to lead off the inning, Hickey put runners at the corners and then, with one out, a fielder's choice by junior shortstop Ryan Krob gave the Maroons a 4-3 lead.
However, UChicago was not able to hold on, as the Bears rallied in the top of the ninth with two runs. The Maroons loaded the bases with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, but WashU escaped the jam.
Freshman pitcher Joe Liberman started the game for the Maroons, lasting 6.1 innings of three-run, 10-hit, three-strikeout baseball. Hit with the loss, fellow freshman Ravi Bakhai (2-1) delivered two innings with two runs, five hits, one walk and two strikeouts. Sophomore Chase Packard pitched the ninth's final two-thirds, striking out both batters he faced.