CHICAGO – The University of Chicago baseball team opened its 2019 home slate with an offensive onslaught, topping cross-divisional Midwest Conference foe Grinnell College by scores of 12-5 and 20-1 Saturday at J. Kyle Anderson Field.
In total, the Maroons recorded 34 hits – 17 in each game – and had perhaps one of their best opening innings in program history with Game 2's 17-run, 15-hit barrage.
UChicago opens MWC North Division play Monday when the Maroons host a pair against Lawrence starting at noon CT.
GAME 1: UCHICAGO 12, GRINNELL 5
A slow offensive start quickly turned into one of UChicago's biggest hit outputs of the season in a big 12-5 home-opener victory.
With Grinnell leading, 2-1, the Maroons exploded for a seven-run fourth inning, Connor Hickey's RBI single got things started, and an ensuing Pioneer misplay gave UChicago two runs on the play and a quick one-run lead.
Payton Jancsy's triple to left center would then score Hickey, and Brian Lyle's RBI single kept things rolling for the Maroons, who would score all seven runs (on seven hits) with two outs. Brady Sarkon's two-RBI double and Benjamin Rosengard's RBI single completed the barrage, as UChicago took a 8-2 lead midway through the contest.
The Maroon's weren't finished, either. UChicago plated three more runs in the fifth, led off by a towering triple from Josh Parks that fell just inside the fence in center field. Carson Weekley's single would drive him in, and Weekley would eventually score on a wild pitch. Lyle's RBI groundout would complete the scoring that gave the Maroons a commanding 10-3 lead.
Grinnell would get on the board just once more – the Pioneers belted a solo home run in the fifth and added another run in the seventh, but Maroon relievers Chandler Yu (3.0 innings, four strikeouts, four hits) and Zach Morochnik (2.0 innings, two strikeouts, zero hits) held off any comeback.
UChicago starter Brenton Villasenor pitched four solid innings in the start, giving up five hits, one earned run, walking three and striking out six. Yu was credited with the win, his first of the year.
Ian Bohn finished 3-for-5 with two RBI, Lyle was 2-for-4 with two RBI and scored twice and Brady Sarkon had two RBI and a double for the Maroons, who totaled 17 hits. Jancsy (single, triple) Rosengard (two hits), Weekley (two hits) and Hickey (two hits) added RBI for the Maroons.
GAME 2: UCHICAGO 20, GRINNELL 1 (7 innings)
A wild first inning – perhaps the highest scoring in UChicago baseball history – gave the Maroons a 17-run lead that they would not relinquish in Saturday's Game 2 victory.
In the first inning alone, the Maroons scored 17 runs on 15 hits: including 10 hits in a row to start the frame. Every batter in the lineup for UChicago tallied a hit during the stretch, and Payton Jancsy had three to go along with two RBI.
First-year Carson Weekley also crushed the first Maroon home run at J. Kyle Anderson Field for the season with his ball over the center field fence that made it 6-0, Maroons, and Parks was 2-for-3 with a double and a triple and three RBI during the stretch. In total, the first-inning (including Grinnell's one hit, run-less at-bat) clocked in at 45 minutes.
The 17 runs proved to be more than enough for Maroons starter Jacob Petersen, who only gave up two hits in his scoreless three innings, striking out four. Reliver Daniel Smith (strikeout) was credited with the win, and UChicago had strong outings from Patrick Rogers (two strikeouts, no hits), Patrick Murphy (two strikeouts, no hits) and Ravi Bakhai (one hit) before the game was called after the seventh.
Jancsy, Brian Lyle (triple) and Brett Riegler (two doubles) each had three hits each and Lyle, Ian Bohn, Josh Parks (double, triple) and James Kelly added three RBI apiece to lead the Maroons, who again totaled 17 hits (though only two outside that opening inning) and had 19 RBI for the game.
Parks (2-for-5) and Connor Hickey (2-for-4, RBI) also had multi-hit games.
- Monday, April 15: Lawrence at UChicago (DH), 12 p.m./3 p.m. CT