In spite of rain delays cutting the planned four-game series to only two games this weekend, the UChicago baseball team had a very strong performance, routing Finlandia 6–1 in the first game, and 6–0 in the second. The back-to-back victories allowed the Maroons to improve to a 15–7 record on the season.
Starting pitchers Brenton Villasenor, a third-year, and Jacob Petersen, a second-year, had among their best performances yet. In the first game, Villasenor allowed only four hits and one run in seven innings, while striking out 12 batters. In the second game, which had to be ended early due to rain, Petersen allowed zero runs and struck out nine batters in five innings of play.
“The pitching staff put in a lot of work this off-season and I think that it’s starting to pay off,” Petersen said. “We’ve had some ups and downs but it feels like we are starting to hit our stride at a good time. I think our staff is pretty deep this year, especially with the strong freshman class and some big improvements from our returners. Pitching for this team is an absolute privilege. Even when it isn’t your day to throw, we make an effort to keep the dugout full of energy and banter. I think that the team feeds off of the intensity; it helps us stay locked in.”
The team’s offensive efforts also paid off strongly. Fourth-year outfielder Max Larsen hit a double in each game, bringing him to a total of 51 for his career. With this, Larsen broke the previous school record of 50 career doubles—a fitting send-off as he approaches the end of an illustrious career on the field. Second-year third baseman Payton Jancsy also continued his hot streak, scoring a triple in the first game and a double in the second.
Third-year first baseman Brady Sarkon expressed his confidence in the team’s offense. Sarkon said, “We have been rolling with the bats lately, and the pitchers made it really easy for us this weekend. Obviously, the weather wasn’t ideal, but we did the little things right at the plate to get runs across.”
“We have a lot of guys stepping up and playing big roles, especially with some of the injuries we have had to deal with,” Sarkon continued. “It has been fun to watch some of our young guys step up, and it’s exciting because I still don’t think we have hit our peak yet offensively. In the end, we took care of business against a team we should have beaten, but we have four big games this week, which should be a nice test to see where we stand.”