Hard-hitting Rockford too much for Maroons

After barely losing their first game to Rockford 5-4 in extra innings, the baseball squad could not contend with Rockford’s momentum and was crushed in the second game of the doubleheader to go 0-2 on the weekend.

By Michael Cheiken

Sunday afternoon, the Maroons walked over to the baseball field with hopes of extending their two-game winning streak with two victories over Rockford.  The 11–12 Regents have proved themselves as a solid batting team, hitting .272 from the plate on the season. Despite the offensive success, they have had trouble closing out games from the mound. However, to the Maroons’ misfortune, they did not suffer the same pitching woes on Sunday.

The Maroons sent third-year Lucas Friss out to the mound for the first game. The Regents’ hitting prowess was immediately evident. The leadoff hitter connected with a single and later stole second. Rockford’s Cole Logemann then ripped a double, bringing the first run home. Friss was able to get the next two outs, but first baseman Brian Wiest cracked another double, bringing in the second Rockford run. After that, Friss was able to gain his composure to close out the inning and hold the Regents scoreless for the next four innings.

Unfortunately, the Maroons were unable to capitalize on Friss’s pitching rampage. Chicago spent the first three innings scoreless, but was able to employ some beautiful small ball to finally drive in a run in the fourth. After suffering a 1–2–3 inning in the bottom of the fifth, Friss came back out to the mound, where he struggled. After two consecutive singles, a passed ball, and a walk, the Regents had the bases loaded with no outs. Two more singles brought in an equal number of runs. However, that was all the Regents were able to get from Friss in the sixth.

In the bottom of the sixth inning, after a walk and a balk, the Maroons had a man on second with two outs. First-year designated hitter Michael Davis cranked a double and brought in the run.

“The team was going to focus on stringing together good-at-bats and keeping [its] team approach at the plate,” Davis said. “We were only able to get one in the sixth, but the practice seemed to have some effect in the seventh.”

Down 4–2, the Maroons stepped up to the plate. The Chicago squad was the beneficiary of a leadoff single from first-year catcher Matt Slodzinski. An out and a single later, the South Siders had men on first and second with only a single out. Second-year Nicholas Toomey grounded out but advanced the runners. Down to the final at-bat, second-year Ryan Krob smacked a double to left field, bringing in the two on-base runners to even the score and extend the game into extra innings.

A scoreless eighth and ninth inning brought the game into the tenth. Second-year Will Potebnya-Meyer came in to pitch for the Maroons. He got the first out, but then he walked Rockford’s Josh Cooper, who advanced to third base after two wild pitches. A sacrifice was able to bring in the leading run for Rockford. Chicago was unable to answer in the bottom of the 10th, handing the first game of the doubleheader over to the Regents.

The South Siders were very clearly rattled when they went out to field to begin the second game of the doubleheader.  In the top of the second, Rockford batted in four runs.  The Maroons were down and out.  After seven painful innings, the Regents won 12–5.

The Maroons look to bounce back from the defeats today against St. Norbert.