MONMOUTH, Ill. – A late-inning comeback from Cornell College stole the momentum and the Rams' pitching staff held the University of Chicago baseball team off the board in the final three frames as the Maroons ended their season in a tight 6-5 loss in Saturday's Midwest Conference Tournament game.
UChicago senior Josh Parks gave the Maroons (24-12) new life with a clutch triple to right-center field with two outs and nobody on in the top of the ninth, but the Rams (24-17) ended the threat with a flyout to advance to the title game.
The Maroons held the lead for most of the contest. After the Rams opened the bottom of the first with a run, UChicago quickly struck back with two scores in the top of the second. Carson Weekley singled with two outs and advanced to second on an interference call, setting up senior Max Brzostowski, who singled up the middle to bring him home. Parks (walk) then scored on a passed ball to make it 2-1, Maroons.
UChicago added single runs in the third (Parks RBI single) and fourth (Ian Bohn RBI single) to extend the lead to 4-1, before Cornell answered with a score in the bottom of the frame to make it 4-2. After the Rams scored another in the fifth to cut the lead to one (4-3), Bohn added his second RBI of the game with single to right center that plated Connor Hickey (single).
But that would only foreshadow a big sixth for the Rams, who looked deflated after Hickey robbed a would-be home run in center field to create two outs in the inning. But with two on, Cornell's Cale Jamesson roped a double down the left-field line to score two and Keenan Bryant connected on another hit to give Cornell a 6-5 lead.
Parks (single) reached second base in the seventh and then third in the ninth, but UChicago wasn't able to bring him in to extend the game.
The Maroons totaled 12 hits to Cornell's seven, led by Parks' 3-for-4 performance with an RBI. Bohn went 2-for-5 with two RBI and Benjamin Rosengard and Brzostowski also had two hits each.
Nine key seniors for the Maroons conclude their collegiate careers -- Parks, Bohn, Hickey, Brzostowski, Brady Sarkon, Joe Liberman, Brenton Villasenor, Jacob Petersen and Ravi Bakhai – with the most wins (90) by a senior class. The group broke the previous record of 89, set from 2001-04.