CHICAGO – The University of Chicago baseball team woke up the bats in game two to salvage a doubleheader split against Benedictine University on Saturday.
The Maroons moved to 17-8 on the season and the Eagles ran their record to 15-6.
Game One – Benedictine 3, UChicago 2
In the opener, UChicago received another high-quality effort on the pitching mound from Brenton Villasenor. After a tough first inning that featured two runs allowed, the junior right-hander found his groove. Villasenor's diving pitches flummoxed Benedictine's hitters as he racked up 10 strikeouts in 6.2 innings. Over his past two appearances, he has struck out 22 batters in 13.2 innings.
The home side soon tied the game up at 2-2 with individual runs in the second and third innings. Sophomore third baseman Drew Ventrelle singled through the right side to plate one, but a second runner was tagged out on a play at the plate. Junior catcher Ian Bohn contributed a RBI single through the left side as well.
Benedictine nearly added another tally in the top of the second, but a strong throw from senior rightfielder Maximiliano Larsen gunned down the man at home to end the inning.
The game-winning run came in unusual fashion. A swinging strikeout on a passed ball in the top of the fifth inning brought the runner from third base and put the visitors up 3-2.
The Maroons were limited to seven hits in the seven-inning contest, with one error committed. Junior outfielder Connor Hickey went 2-for-4 at the dish.
Villasenor (2-3 record) took the hard-luck loss. His pitching line featured 10 strikeouts, nine hits, two earned runs and one walk. Sophomore Patrick Murphy got one out in relief.
Game Two – UChicago 12, Benedictine 0
Everything went UChicago's way in the second game. Whenever Benedictine threatened to score, the defense came up clutch. In the first inning, the Maroon infield turned its 20th double play of the season. Then in the fourth, Ventrelle made a pair of diving catches at the hot corner on line drives to strand the Eagles on second base.
The offense started clicking in the second frame when junior outfielder Josh Parks led off with a triple to the right-field fence. A RBI grounder by junior first baseman Brady Sarkon made it 1-0. The score became 3-0 in the third inning thanks to a two-run single by sophomore designated hitter Payton Jancsy.
The floodgates opened in the fifth and sixth innings. The Maroons scored a combined nine runs in that time, with five unearned runs coming in thanks to a pair of Benedictine errors. Larsen's RBI fielder's choice was soon followed up by Parks with a two-run single through the right side. First-year shortstop Brian Lyle and Hickey knocked back-to-back RBI singles, with Larsen and Jancsy adding run-scoring groundouts. Parks provided the capper by crushing a long solo homer to right center – his second round-tripper of the season and fourth of his career.
Parks (3-for-4, one stolen base) and Lyle (3-for-3) provided over half of UChicago's 11 hits in the contest.
Sophomore pitcher Jacob Petersen improved to 6-2 on the season with five scoreless innings. He struck out one, walked one and allowed four hits. Sophomore Patrick Rogers tossed two nearly flawless innings of relief – he struck five of the seven batters faced. It also marked UChicago's fourth shutout of the season.
- Sunday, April 22 @ Noon – UChicago at Elmhurst College (DH)