One big inning enough to lick North Park

Sometimes, in the two-and-a-half hours that is a baseball game, all it takes is one second to run away with the win.

By Christian Wentling

Sometimes, in the two-and-a-half hours that is a baseball game, all it takes is one second to run away with the win. That’s all the time second-year second baseman Nick Fazzari needed to drive in a pair of runs and put Chicago (10–9) on the board and over top of North Park (14–17) on Wednesday. The Maroons won 3–1, scoring their only runs in the top of the seventh and using strong pitching to hold off the North Park team. “It’s been great for us to win these last few games late in the game,” Budeselich said. The Maroons have now won four in a row, and they needed late-inning offense to get past Rose-Hulman and North Central as well.Against North Park, first-year Preston Attebury was on the mound in his first collegiate start for Chicago, and he proved to be well up to the task, giving up no runs and only three hits and two walks over five innings. “There were six pitchers and they all did a good job,” assistant coach Scott Budeselich said, explaining the low scores the two teams put up.Maroon pitchers received solid support from the rest of the field. Chicago fielders turned a total of four double plays during the game, including one that ended the game and got them out of a potentially dangerous situation with one on and one out in the ninth. Chicago committed only two errors on the field and, though they allowed only one run, Maroon pitchers only struck out two batters all game, leaving it to the players in the field to make outs. “We sort of lucked out. They hit a couple hard line drives, and our outfielders just happened to be standing right there to make plays,” Budeselich said.Following Attebury, second-year Dan McConologue and third-year Joe Pankow took over pitching duties for two innings each. McConologue picked up the win to improve to 4–3 and Pankow earned his first save of the season. For North Park, Sean Turnbull fell to 0–3, giving up three runs on four hits over the course of six and one-third innings. Both teams were fairly quiet offensively through most of the game, with neither putting together multiple hits in the same inning until Chicago did in the top of the seventh. Left fielder Andy Athans made the only mark on the scoreboard for North Park, hitting a solo home run in the bottom of the sixth. In the top of the seventh, second-year left fielder Zach Osman led off with a walk and was shortly advanced to third by fourth-year center fielder Kyle Schmitt’s single. Then, with men on first and third and one out, Fazzari hit his game-winning triple. Fazzari scored later in the inning on a wild pitch to round out the scoring for the game. “It was probably one of the best games of baseball we’ve played so far this season,” Budeselich said.The Maroons will need a similar blend of consistency and luck against Case and Wash U in a pair of doubleheaders this weekend to extend their win streak even further.