The Maroons are coming into their own as of late, grabbing two big wins this week to improve their record to 6–10. In fact, in the last six games, the squad has won four, outscoring its opponents by 16 runs during that span.
On Tuesday night, the squad traveled to Holland, MI, and dismantled Hope College 8–2. The team tallied a season best of 15 hits en route to victory. Chicago came out of the gates hot, putting up two runs in the top of the first. For most of the game, though, it stayed pretty tight. The Flying Dutchmen were able to come within one run of tying the game in the bottom of the fifth inning, but fourth-year pitcher Andrew VanWazer was able to slam the door on their mini rally. In doing so, he secured his first win of the season on the mound, without giving up a single earned run. His fellow fourth-year hurler Anthony DeRenzo was also able to put together an impressive outing in relief, coming up with a four-inning save in which he surrendered no runs at all.
Though Maroon pitching was spectacular, the offense made its victory a comfortable one in the top of the ninth. A string of five consecutive singles scored three runs in the inning. A fourth and final run plated first-year Michael Davis on a wild pitch, erasing hope and grounding the Flying Dutchmen for good.
The Maroon squad returned to their home field Wednesday after 15 consecutive away games. They seemed immediately comfortable at home, but fourth-year right fielder Eddie Akers thinks the source of the team’s newfound success might have been the hefty streak on the road.
“Our team has bonded a lot more than we would have if we played the majority of our games at home. So in some sense our schedule has helped us in that aspect and has increased our team chemistry,” Akers said.
Akers grabbed some of the spotlight against Edgewood, going 3–5 with 4 RBIs and two runs. The nine-spot hitter proved that UChicago’s lineup is potent throughout, smacking two triples in the game as well.
Though the Maroons were actually outhit 15–9 in the battle, the Eagles’ five errors helped the home team gain advantages when it needed them. Akers made reference to some recent coaching that paid dividends in the Edgewood matchup: “Coach Fitz has been preaching for us to win every inning. Every pitch has the ability to change a baseball game and it is our job to execute situations and win every inning.”
The South Siders gave the Eagles ample opportunities to muck up their fielding, as Edgewood pitchers only managed a single strikeout on the night. The final score was 12–7, showcasing another explosive outing from the Chicago players.
This Sunday, the Maroons will match up against Rockford at home in a doubleheader at 1 and 3:30 p.m. The Regents are currently 10–11 on the season, and have lost five of their last six games, including two losses to Edgewood.