Nation's most productive offense outslugs North Park 14-7
Baseball resumed play on Wednesday to win its fifth straight game with a 14-7 victory over North Park and raise its season record to 18-9. In many ways, it was the team's cleanest and most comfortable effort defensively in a while.
Although North Park entered with a 2-24-1 record, they had given the Maroons some difficulty last Friday when they were tied as late as the bottom of the seventh inning. Determined not to let the Vikings sneak up on them again, Chicago scored seven runs in the third inning to take a 7-1 lead and never looked back.
Fourth-year outfielder Jim Raptis hit his fifth home run of the season and third in three games with his opposite field shot to start of the scoring in the third.
Second-year outfielder Ryan Denton, who replaced injured third-year Frank Brown, added his first homer of his career in the sixth inning. The two combined for six hits, five runs, and five RBI.
Although the Maroons made four errors on the game, the defense made a good showing overall. They avoided recent difficulties with groundballs and added a few great plays to get out of jams.
Baseball now ranks first in the nation in run production per game and second in batting average.
Fourth-year Ben McCown leads the team in RBI with 41. His RBI double tied him at second on the school's single season record list with Mark Mosier's 2000 season.
The team's offense is its biggest weapon and could be its greatest attraction to the NCAA selection committee in coming weeks.
In the meantime, the Maroons have 12 tough games remaining on its schedule, beginning with Saturday's doubleheader at Aurora (13-14).
Mabogunje wins second straight UAA Athlete of the Week award
Fourth-year Adeoye Mabogunje was named UAA Athlete of the Week for his performance in the triple jump in the weekend's Illinois State Redbird Classic. His mark of 14.82 meters places him first in Division III in the event. The award is the 10th of his career.
Men's and women's track and field go to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania this weekend to compete in UAA Championships.