On Monday, the University of Chicago baseball team had their home opener in the freezing weather against the Buccaneers of Beloit College. The Maroons played a double-header, splitting even with one win and one loss. With only seven-inning games, the Maroons needed a strong start.
In game one, the Maroons unfortunately fell short, losing 4–1. The squad struggled offensively, only tallying three total hits over the course of the game. Third-year first baseman Brady Sarkon was hit by the pitch at all three of his plate appearances.
First-year catcher Jake Fauske commented on the defeat, “The loss stemmed from a combination of a rough start from our arm on the mound and our hitters having a tough time at the plate in the early innings of game one.”
In game two, the Maroons were able to redeem themselves, coming out on top with a score of 8–1. The team struggled offensively for the first few innings but were able to tally six runs on four hits in the bottom of the sixth inning. Fourth-year outfielder Max Larsen led the way with two runs, and Connor Hickey, Ian Bohn, Brady Sarkon, Payton Jancsy, James Kelly, and Brian Lyle all contributed one each.
“In seven-inning ball games, you have to be ready to go from the first pitch onward,” commented third-year outfielder Josh Parks about the team’s performance during both games. “We got exposed in the first game. Thanks to some stellar pitching from both Jacob Petersen and David Clarke, we were able to regain our focus on both sides of the ball and get a much needed split.”
First-year Jake Fauske echoed his teammate’s sentiments: “The team did well in the win by executing with runners in scoring positions, with each individual doing their job.”
The Maroons are only looking to improve from here. With several home games in sight, the team is excited for the season ahead as the weather gets warmer.
“The team is excited to be outside playing, especially now that we’ve started home games,” Fauske added. “Our excitement will only grow as the weather heats up, and I am excited to see what is in store for us as a team moving forward.”
“Moving forward, the key for us is going to be holding ourselves to a higher standard each time we take the field,” Parks said. “If we’re able to hold each other accountable, and with our upcoming schedule, I am confident in our chances to get hot as we hit the halfway mark of the season.”
The Maroons’ season continues on Saturday when they take on Central Iowa College for another home double-header with games at 12 p.m. and 3 p.m.