This past weekend, the UChicago baseball team played four games against Finlandia University, winning three out of those four games. With two games on each day, the team came back strong on Sunday after a disappointing loss on Saturday.
The Maroons got off to a fast start in the first game as they cruised through with 13 runs, ending the game 13–2. Second-year Brenton Villasenor pitched the first four innings, allowing just one run. The first inning set the Maroons up for a fairly easy rest of the game as they scored six times thanks in part to six walks.
Commenting on his pitching, Villasenor had this to say, “My succces has definitely been from consistently throwing first strike pitches to hitters, and staying ahead after that. Also, to trust my defense to make the plays behind me gives me a lot of confidence on the mound.” He went on to say, “Our team believes in each other, and each person finds a way to get the job done.We have done a great job picking each other up, and I believe that elevates everybody’s play.”
The game was closed by first-year Jon Kruppe and third-year Chase Packard.
After being up by a 3–1 lead during the second game on Saturday, the Maroons gave up seven runs in the sixth and seventh innings to lose the game 7–3. This collapse was partially due to the nine total walks conceded by UChicago.
This loss puts the Maroons in a tough place in terms of making it to the NCAA Tournament. They had been hoping to come away with four solid wins after the end of this series. It brought their record to 12–5 on the season and brought Finlandia’s record to 4–16.
The first game on Sunday was a close battle for the win but the Maroons came out on top, scoring a run in the bottom of the seventh to win by a score of 4–3.
Chicago first gave up a run in the top of the seventh inning, which tied up the game 3–3. However, with fourth-year Tim Sonnefeldt on third in the bottom of the inning, second-year Connor Hickey stepped up to the plate. Hickey managed to lay down a bunt single to bring home Sonnefeldt and win the game. First-year Patrick Murphy pitched the last few innings to close it out and bring home the victory.
The fourth and final game of the series ended successfully as the Maroons defeated the Lions 11–4. They came out with a lead right from the start of the game and consistently kept scoring until the end of the game.
First-year Jacob Petersen pitched the majority of the game, improving his record to 4–0. Third-year Ricardo Fernandez and third-year Michael Davis closed out the game with no runs allowed.
Second-year Connor Hickey had another successful game going 3-for-4 with two RBI. In total, the Maroons had 13 hits this last game, ending with an exciting bang.
The Maroons’ next game will be on Wednesday, April 12 against Dominican University. Coming off an overall successful weekend, the Maroons look forward to keeping their momentum going against a local rival.