JACKSONVILLE, Ill. – The University of Chicago baseball team was clicking on all cylinders on Saturday, combining a dominating offense with stingy pitching to capture both ends of a doubleheader at Illinois College.
The Maroons improved to 9-6 and dropped the Blueboys to 8-6.
Game One – UChicago 14, Illinois College 0
UChicago set a new season high with 18 hits in only seven innings. Connor Hickey kicked things off with a home run on the very first pitch of the game. The junior outfielder was the offensive catalyst from the leadoff spot, going 4-for-5 with five runs scored. He would score again in the third inning on an error.
The Maroons broke the game open with five tallies in the top of the fourth inning. Sophomore third baseman Drew Ventrelle knocked a RBI single to right field, and UChicago loaded the bases two batters later. Senior outfielder Maximiliano Larsen absorbed a hit-by-pitch to plate one, and a double-play groundout scored another. Sophomore designated hitter Payton Jancsy singled in two, and the lead ballooned to 7-0.
The onslaught continued in the fifth frame. Four-straight batters drove in runs with a Hickey single, Larsen double, junior catcher Ian Bohn's groundout and junior outfielder Josh Park's double. Jancsy closed out the inning again with a RBI single up the gut. In the sixth, a wild pitch and a sacrifice fly accounted for the final score.
On the mound, junior Brenton Villasenor (1-2 record) cruised through his outing. Villasenor hurled six innings and struck out four while only allowing four base runners. First-year Scott Rothschild tossed one inning of scoreless relief.
Alongside Hickey, Larsen hit 2-for-3 with two RBI and two doubles. Jancsy was 2-for-4 with three RBI. Ventrelle (one RBI) and first-year shortstop Brian Lyle were both 2-for-5.
Game Two – UChicago 7, Illinois College 1
Once again, Hickey got the visitors rolling right away in his first at-bat with a single. He then stole second base, reached third on a wild pitch and scored on Bohn's RBI grounder.
A trio of runs came across in the fourth. Ventrelle singled in one and eventually came home on a grounder. A wild pitch in the midst of his trek around the bases scored first-year second baseman James Kelly.
Junior first baseman Brady Sarkon displayed some wheels of his own, cranking a two-run triple in the fifth. He then came home on a RBI sacrifice bunt by Jancsy.
That proved more than enough support for starting pitcher Ricardo Fernandez. The senior improved to 2-0 on the season, allowing one run on five hits. He also struck out seven batters in 5.1 innings pitched. First-year Chandler Yu closed out the remaining 1.2 innings.
UChicago finished with 11 hits and one error. Sarkon was a perfect 3-for-3 with two RBI. Jancsy went 2-for-2 with one RBI, and Kelly posted a 2-for-3 performance.
- Monday, April 2 @ 1:00 PM – Beloit College at UChicago (DH)