Offensive seeds can’t grow into wins

Despite early leads, Chicago baseball dropped both games of its doubleheader against UW-Platteville last weekend.

By Eirene Kim

A walk-off double cost the Maroons (9–24) a win in the opening game of their doubleheader against UW–Platteville (11–27). Despite an early lead in the second game, Chicago dropped this past weekend’s game as well.

The South Siders played consistently well throughout game one against UW–Platteville on Saturday afternoon and put together a solid offensive performance, tallying 11 hits.

“We hit well and came through with runners in scoring position,” said third-year second baseman Nate Wagner.

Hits came from all over the lineup. Fourth-year first baseman Ricky Troncelliti singled to right center field and drove home third-year shortstop Kyle Engel in the third inning.

In the fourth inning, first-year second baseman Ryan Krob slapped an RBI single to right center field. Third-year center outfielder Edward Akers walked to force Troncelliti home, and fourth-year right outfielder Brett Huff stole home on a wild pitch from the Pioneers. First-year outfielder Nick Toomey had a clutch single up the middle to bring in two more runs to top off a successful inning. Chicago found itself up 6–1 in the top of the fifth.

The Maroons then had a 6–3 lead on the Pioneers going into the final inning, but a final push from Platteville resulted in a 7–6 defeat for Chicago.  The loss shifted the momentum to Platteville and hurt the Maroons in the second game.

“We couldn’t close out the game,” Wagner said. “Platteville hit really well at the end. The walk-off loss hurt us in game one and gave them confidence for game two.”

In the second game, the South Siders pushed at the top of the second to create a four-run lead over Platteville. Chicago’s errors cost it the lead, as the Pioneers quickly responded with three runs in the bottom of the second and two more runs in the fifth inning.

“In the second game, we out-hit them, but we made four errors, giving up three unearned runs,” said fourth-year pitcher Alex Terry.

The Maroons ended their weekend on a lighter note with an alumni game on Sunday afternoon, which ended in a 0–0 tie.

“The alumni game is always fun and a good time to see previous teammates and people I never knew or played with, as well as seeing how baseball at UChicago has changed,” Wagner said.

“We had a good turnout of alums, especially with guys who graduated last year,” said third-year pitcher Andrew VanWazer. “It was nice to reunite with them and see how their lives have changed now [that] they’re in the real world.”

The Maroons hope to put their losses against Platteville behind them as they look forward to their game against Northwestern this week. Northwestern’s DI status does not intimidate the Maroons, who have beaten the Wildcats each of the past two years.

“We have good pitching going in and just need to focus on our situational hitting,” said second-year pitcher Pat McManus.

“We are 2–0 against Northwestern in my two years here,” VanWazer said. “My class and our sophomore class are looking to stay undefeated against them. I think we have a better shot at winning than the avid fan may think.”

The Maroons play against Northwestern in Evanston this week on Tuesday at 3 p.m.