April 2, 2015

Prescott shines as team has rocky start to season

While most of the student body vacationed for spring break, the Maroon baseball team got to work. On March 21, the squad kicked off its week with a visit to Blackburn. When Blackburn pitcher Tyler Morgan threw wild pitches in the sixth and seventh innings, Chicago capitalized and stole the game away 4–3. Backed by a three-hitter from second-year pitcher Thomas Prescott, the South Siders won the second game of the day, sweeping the doubleheader.

As the road trip continued, however, the Maroons struggled. Millsaps in Jackson, MS was the next stop, and the Chicago squad got shellacked by the Majors, losing all three games by a combined score of 36–18. Chicago looked forward to better days against Rhodes College in Memphis, TN.

Those days did not come. A nine-run second inning from the Lynx highlighted the first game. Later in the day, even though third-year pitcher Nick Watson threw a fantastic complete game, the offense was unable to provide any support. Rhodes took both games.

Chicago’s spring break journey continued into Georgia. After a quick loss to LaGrange, the Maroons hopped back aboard the bus. The spring break tour ended in Atlanta with a doubleheader against UAA rival Emory. The Eagles handily beat the Maroons 11–4 and 10–1.

The team returned home after the week with a 2–8 record.Undiscouraged, however, Watson noted, “We definitely showed some bright spots both defensively and at the plate during the trip, but we had trouble putting it all together.”

The postponement of the March 29 game provided the Maroons with some reprieve and time for reflection. “Our practices continued to focus on good hitting approaches at the plate, playing solid defense, and throwing strikes,” Watson said.

While Chicago had previously struggled to perform well in all of these aspects during a single game, the Maroons were able to complete the puzzle during the April 1 doubleheader against Benedictine. Watson threw his second complete game in as many starts, giving up just one run on three hits. The batting provided him offense to match, giving the Chicago squad a 5–1 victory.

After the intermission, first-year Michael Davis took the mound. He gave up three earned runs during his 2.1 innings, but by that time the Chicago batters had already amassed a hefty total of six runs. Benedictine kept the game close, but the Maroons were able to hang on to a 7–4 lead as second-year William Potebnya-Meyer earned his first save of the season.

The Maroons’ newfound success certainly is encouraging. The season is still young, the team is just starting to kick into gear, and a single home game has yet to be played. This weekend the Maroons will travel for a doubleheader against a 5–7 UW–Platteville team. They will hope to extend their two-game winning streak and prove that their record is nothing more than a past already far behind.