SEGUIN, Texas – A three-run burst in the second inning put the Maroons briefly in front, but the University of Chicago baseball team could not hang on for a second straight top-10 upset, eventually falling 8-5 to eighth-ranked Texas Lutheran University on Tuesday night.
Not long removed from Monday night's 4-3 extra-inning win against top-ranked Trinity University (Texas), UChicago went down 2-0 in the bottom of the first before a double from sophomore shortstop Brian Lyle drove in a run and two more scored as senior center fielder Connor Hickey beat out a grounder. Their next time up, the Maroons loaded the bases with none out, but only put one run across before the Bulldogs tied the game in the bottom of the third. The hosts added three more in the bottom of the fourth and tacked on another in the fifth, which proved enough of a cushion even as the visitors notched one more in the final inning.
UChicago dropped to 7-3 in its tenth game of the season, all of which have been played away from home. Texas Lutheran improved to 16-6, winning its third straight after taking two of three from Trinity over the weekend.
Playing their fifth contest in four days and with a four-game series to open the Midwest Conference slate starting on Saturday, the Maroons opted for a bullpen game with 10 different pitchers taking the hill and six making their first appearance of the season. Across eight innings, they combined for seven strikeouts while allowing eight hits, seven earned runs and six walks. Junior righty Patrick Rogers (0-1) was credited with the loss after conceding the fourth-inning double that put the Bulldogs in front for good.
The leadoff hitter Hickey did his job at the plate, going 3-for-5 with an RBI and a run scored. Hickey also stole two bases. First-year second baseman Benjamin Rosengard went 2-for-3 and scored a run, reaching safely in his sixth-straight contest. As a team, the Maroons compiled 11 hits but saw only one go for more than a single. Seven runners were left on base.
The Bulldogs jumped on the visitors right away with a pair of singles, then moved the runners over with a groundout before scoring on a sacrifice fly and another single. Rosengard replied with a leadoff single in the top of the second. After first-year catcher Brett Riegler drew a walk, Lyle punched a double to right field scoring Rosengard from second. With runners on second and third, Hickey beat out a grounder to short and his hustle forced a low throw that slid past the Bulldog first baseman. He earned an RBI as Riegler tied it, while Lyle alertly sped home on the error to make it 3-2 in favor of the Maroons.
UChicago had an excellent chance to build its lead in the top of the third inning as consecutive singles from senior left fielder Josh Parks, Rosengard and first-year third baseman Carson Weekley loaded the bases with none out. UChicago then grounded into a 6-4-3 double play, scoring one run at the price of two outs before another grounder extinguished the rally.
Texas Lutheran took advantage in the bottom of the frame with a two-run double that tied that game at 4-4. In the fourth, the Bulldogs regained the lead with another two-run double, this time after the first two batters were hit by pitches. A run-scoring single added a third in that inning before Texas Lutheran tallied its final run on a throwing error to make it 8-4 after five.
That margin held firm as both teams combined to put just five players on base over the next three innings. The top of the ninth brought a final spark for the visitors as Hickey snuck on with a bunt single and got into scoring position after a wild pitch. Junior right fielder Payton Jancsy knocked a single to bring home the Maroons' fifth run before a double play brought the game to a close.
- Saturday, Mar. 30 @ 12:00 PM – UChicago at Lawrence University (DH)