As baseball season wraps up, the Maroons are finishing strong and playing some of their best baseball of the year. The team played two games each against St. Norbert College and Edgewood College this weekend, dropping the first before managing to take the next three. The team has won five of their last six games, averaging more than eight runs per game during that stretch while also conceding fewer than three per contest.
On Friday the crew played their first game at Stagg Field, a nail biter against St. Norbert. The match-up saw the Maroons’ bats held quiet as The Green Knights’ starting pitcher Blake Rutherford went eight strong innings. Holding the team to just six hits, Rutherford came out to start the ninth carrying a 4–1 lead. However, after walking the leadoff man, third-year Ryan Krob, the Green Knights promptly allowed a double, sac fly, and single, which drove in two runs and brought UChicago within one. Alas, Rutherford was relieved by Eric Feldner, who induced a groundout and a strikeout, and the Knights managed to hold on for the win.
The two teams met again Saturday, but whatever the Chicago bats were missing before, they found in the second game. The team pounced on St. Norbert starter Sam Neville, tagging him for five runs in the second and chasing him in the fourth after another three came around. First-year Alex McGimpsey and fourth-year Tom Prescott threw four and five innings, respectively, and managed to limit the Knights to four runs. The offense continued to unload throughout the day, and the game ended 13–4 in the Maroons’ favor.
The squad suited up again on Sunday for their doubleheader at Edgewood College. The first contest saw fourth-year Lucas Friss toss one of his best games of the season, striking out eight Eagles while throwing a complete-game shutout. “[Lucas has] really been a guy that we know we can lean on when we need a big win,” said first-year Josh Parks, who went 2-for-4 with two runs scored in the 4–0 victory. “He’s is the ace of our staff and he’s epitomized what senior leadership looks like on the hill.”
Following Friss’ gem, the Maroons took the field again minutes later and laid a thumping on the
Eagles. The team scored 12 runs on 13 hits, receiving contributions from up and down the lineup. Parlaying the offensive explosion with a solid outing from first-year hurler Joe Liberman, the game ended by mercy rule after seven innings with a final score of 12–1.
Parks, who went 7-for-16 over the weekend, had another great day, going 2-for-4 with a pair of RBI. When asked about his improvement, the outfielder said, “It’s been a culmination of listening and putting into practice what each of our coaches have pressed on me all year. I’ve been able to grow a lot as a hitter under the direction of our hitting coach since October. I’m confident every time I go up to the plate that I’ll be able to add to our cause offensively.”
Now possessing a record of 18–15, the Maroons will look to finish their season on a high note. The group will travel to square off against Chicago State on Wednesday, and then play host to conference rivals Wash U this weekend for the last three games of the season.