The Maroons have been unable to control one particular opponent lately: the weather. They have had four out of their seven most recent games postponed due to unpleasant weather conditions. The South Siders’ games against North Park and Hope, scheduled for this past Friday and yesterday, respectively, have both been postponed to a later date.
However, on Sunday, Chicago (16–8) swept Rockford (9–17) in a doubleheader at home, winning by scores of 9–2 and 4–3, respectively.
The Regents jumped out to an early 1–0 lead on a bases-loaded walk in the first inning. The Maroons evened the score on second-year third baseman Kyle Engel’s RBI triple.
In the second inning, with Rockford now back ahead 2–1, Chicago’s power arrived. Fourth-year catcher Tony Logli and fourth-year outfielder Ben Bullock hit consecutive RBI singles. Logli scored on a passed ball. Then Engel capped off the inning with a two-run single.
“We were ready for a tight couple of games, and we knew our momentum and focus would be the deciding factor in this matchup,” Logli said.
In the top of the sixth inning Rockford had runners on second and third with only one out, but fourth-year starting pitcher Matt O’Connor got out of the jam. O’Connor started by fielding a hard ground ball back to the mound and then forced a short chopper to third base. Overall, the South Siders pumped out 13 hits.
The Maroons went up 2–0 early in the second game when fourth-year J.R. Lopez hit a two run single up the middle in the bottom of the first.
First-year stating pitcher Lucas Friss stayed in the game until the fourth inning, yielding two runs on seven hits while striking out two. Third-year Ray Kim allowed two hits and a run in an inning of relief.
With the Maroons trailing by one in the seventh, Bullock came to the plate. The fourth-year recorded a two-out single and reached second base on a wild pitch.
Schwabe recorded an RBI single to right center to tie the game. Fourth-year outfielder Jack Cinoman drew a walk to advance runners on first and second. Lopez sent a single to right field, driving Schwabe in to score the winning run.
“J.R. [Lopez] handled the pressure really well. A lot of baseball is a mind game and that last single was a great example of mental toughness and keeping a cool head when it counts,” Cinoman said.
This afternoon the squad will travel to Elmhurst to take on the Elmhurst College Bluejays (12–14), who are coming off a doubleheader sweep at the hands of Carthage. The Bluejays are currently on a seven-game losing streak that began April 12.
“[We] have the playoff in the back of our minds, but know we need to focus and maintain consistency at each game leading up to them. Elmhurst is historically a good team, and we are going to bring the same level of intensity we have all season,” DeRenzo said.
First pitch is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. this afternoon in Elmhurst.