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April 19, 2011

Offensive explosion helps push win streak to three

Every now and then a team has one of those innings where everything goes right. Where the opposing pitcher feels as if every time he throws the ball across the plate it is going to ricochet off a bat and fly right back over his head. That was the sort of inning, and game, that the University of Chicago baseball team had on Saturday. Leading 7–0 at the top of the sixth, the Maroons rallied and drove in another 14 runs to secure their victory. The University of Chicago (11–6) wound up winning the game against Wabash (14–18) by a score of 21–7 to continue their three-game winning streak.

What set the Maroons up for success at the plate, however, was second-year Matt O’Connor’s success on the mound. O’Connor held Wabash without a run for the game’s first five innings, giving the Maroons sufficient time to essentially run away with the victory. O’Connor left the game in the seventh inning after allowing five runs and improving his record to 4–0 on the season.

Third-year catcher Stephen Williams said, “Matt O’Connor was fantastic throughout the game. He set the tone for the day by throwing strikes and shutting down their offense.”

If O’Connor set the tone, Williams and the rest of the Maroon lineup definitely kept up the pace. Williams finished the day three-for-five with four RBIs, three of which came off a double and two-run homer in the sixth. Second-year left fielder Jack Cinoman also did his part, driving in five runs before the day was over and going four-for-five in the outing. The rest of the batting order wasn’t far behind either, as all nine Maroons who started contributed at least one run or RBI.

Williams added, “Matt’s outstanding pitching performance allowed our offense to get in a rhythm, and we were able to take over the game.”

This rhythm that guided the University of Chicago to three victories in the past seven days is the same one that the Maroons hope to keep up against North Central in a double-header at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, April 19. If the Maroons win both games on Tuesday, their winning streak will be extended to the longest it has been all season.

“We want to keep this streak alive,” first-year designated hitter Brett Huff said.

The Maroons’ game on Sunday against Monmouth was postponed due to forecasted rain.

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