LEXINGTON, Ky. – The University of Chicago baseball team kicked off its 2019 season with a three-game series at Transylvania University on Friday and Saturday. The Maroons came away with two wins, which gave Head Coach John Fitzgerald his 300th career victory.
Fitzgerald reached the milestone in his 15th year as a collegiate head coach. His Maroon squads have tallied 86 victories since he took the program's reigns in 2015.
The season opener on Friday night turned into a rout as UChicago's offense bulldozed its way to a 16-3 decision. The game was originally supposed to take place Sunday but was pushed forward due to weather concerns.
Saturday's doubleheader featured plenty of swings and misses generated by the pitching staff. In 17 combined innings of work, six Maroon pitchers struck out 27 batters.
Game one of the doubleheader stayed close through the top of the seventh. The Pioneers scored three times on a pair of sacrifices and an infield grounder. Senior catcher Ian Bohn countered with an RBI double in the fifth inning and RBI single in the seventh.
However, Transylvania broke through with four runs between the seventh and eighth innings to go up 7-2. Senior first baseman Brady Sarkon knocked an RBI double in the ninth inning, but the game ended 7-3 in favor of the hosts.
UChicago was limited to eight hits while making four errors defensively. Bohn batted 3-for-5 at the dish with two RBI. First-year Carson Weekley reached base three times in four plate appearances. Senior Brenton Villasenor took the loss in seven innings, totaling eight strikeouts with seven hits, five runs (three earned) and one walk.
The rubber match featured a dominating collegiate debut from first-year pitcher Kyle Petri. UChicago's 6-foot-6 lefty missed bats all afternoon – through five innings pitched, he racked up 13 strikeouts.
With Petri owning the mound, the Maroon offense posted two runs in the first, third and fifth innings to provide support. Sarkon cranked a two-run double to left center in the opening frame. A pair of bases-loaded walks in the third inning made the score 4-0. In the fifth, senior outfielder Josh Parks knocked in one with a single then scored on a wild pitch.
Transylvania got one on the board in the fifth inning, but no more. Petri finished with 16 strikeouts in seven innings to go with three hits and five walks. Senior Ravi Bakhai, junior Patrick Murphy and sophomore David Clarke all made scoreless appearances in relief.
Offensively, UChicago tallied seven hits. Bohn went 2-for-5 while Sarkon was 1-for-2 with two walks.
- Saturday, Mar. 9 @ 2:30 PM (ET) – UChicago vs. Thomas More College (DH) (at Westfield, Ind.)