There is no better way to kick off a season than by winning your home opener. It is even sweeter when that opener is part of a doubleheader and when you produce a whopping 37 runs and two victories. That is what the Maroons (8–5) managed to pull off this Sunday as they manhandled the Vikings (2–11) by a score of 13-2 in their first outing and by 24-2 in their second game.
The bloodbath was led by Maroon second-year first baseman J.R. Lopez, who drove in a ridiculous 10 runs on the day. He started off with a hot bat and finished without the slightest hint of cooling. Lopez drove in four runs in the first outing and followed up that performance with a 4-for-4 showing in the second game, adding an additional six RBIs and four runs scored.
The ball was not just popping off the bat for Lopez. Second-year shortstop Steven Schwabe had three hits and scored three runs in the opener. Second-year center fielder Ben Bullock went 4-for-5 and scored three runs in game two.
Lopez said, “Our team was successful against Lawrence due to our patience at the plate, each batter waited for the pitcher to make a mistake and we were able to capitalize,” said Lopez.
Hitting was not the only phase of the game the Maroons commanded. First-year outfielder Conner Bartelman said, “Both our pitchers had sold outings.”
First-year Alex Terry owned the mound in the early outing, pitching a complete game while only allowing four hits and striking out seven. Terry improved his overall record to 2-0 and looks to continue that streak in the upcoming weeks.
Second-year pitcher Matt O’Connor matched Terry’s stellar performance with a note-worthy game of his own, pitching six innings and striking out eight. O’Connor also remains undefeated, improving his record to 3-0 on the year.
The Maroons, now 8–5, had the opportunity to mark J. Kyle Anderson Field as a place where opposing teams should not want to come play this season and that is exactly what they did Sunday first-year outfielder Breff Huff said, “We’re happy we were able to keep our offensive momentum from Florida.”
Look for the Maroons to try and run with their momentum this Wednesday at Benedictine University at 4 pm.