Though winning is a challenge for any baseball team that struggles offensively, reliable pitching staffs have proven that where there’s a will, there’s a way.
With another stunning performance by third-year right-hander Dominik Meyer (3–2, 0.85) the Maroons grabbed their fourth consecutive victory with a 1–0 win over Rockford (10–9) in the first half of their doubleheader Sunday. After letting the Maroons (8–9) scrape by in the first game, Rockford capitalized on a few walks given up early by third-year left-hander Nathan Ginsberg to bring Chicago’s winning streak to a halt with a commanding 7–0 win.
Coming off a dazzling 8–1 victory over IIT last Friday, Meyer kept the blows coming as he lowered his ERA to an unbelievable 0.85 from 1.09 by putting up his second shutout of the season. This was Meyer’s third complete game in five starts for the Maroons. In his most recent appearance from the hill he stifled the opposition, allowing only four hits and three walks while putting away six of Rockford’s batters. After spending most of last year out with a knee injury, Meyer has been a nice addition to this season’s lights-out pitching performances.
“Everyone on the team has expected a successful season for Dom. However, since he was recovering all last season from a knee injury, no one could have foreseen his flawlessness on the mound,” second-year right fielder Travis Blane said. “Dom has a very effective repertoire of pitches to go along with his great physical presence on the mound at 6 foot 4. He consistently challenges hitters each game and never gives them a good pitch around the plate to hit.”
Though the Maroons have struggled a bit this season on offense due to injuries and lineup changes, Meyer did all that he could to keep the innings short and give his teammates a chance to get it done at the plate. Meyer and the parade of Regents pitchers that took to the mound seemed to be keeping things quiet on both sides, but with time running out the Maroons squeezed an ounce of hope from their bats. Fourth-year third baseman Allen Cooper doubled to right center, then advanced to third on Blane’s dropped third strike. Center fielder Ginsberg added to the effort when he singled through the left side, scoring Cooper from third and giving the Maroons what they needed to pull out a win.
Chicago was not as lucky, however, in the second half of the twin bill, falling 7–0 to Rockford. A trio of Regents pitchers gave up only one hit while putting up nine of their own. Trouble came knocking on the Maroons’ door during the second inning when Rockford scored all but two of their seven runs. Ginsberg struggled with some of Regents’ batters, walking two and giving up five runs on four hits.
“Everything wasn’t perfectly clicking for Nate on the mound that day, but he’ll bounce back next game,” Blane said.
The Maroons would have to wait until the fourth inning before seeing action from their bats. Fourth-year second baseman Tony Zitek notched Chicago’s only hit on the game with a one-out single up the middle in the fourth. The inning came to a close shortly after that, with first-year shortstop Robby Serpico and second-year first baseman Kyle Schmitt flying out.
Adding salt to the wound, the Regents put another two runs up on the board on two hits. Second-year outfielder Shane Dascher led Rockford by going two-for-three, with three RBIs and a run scored.
The Maroons hope to get their bats going as they take on Carthage (17–7) on Wednesday at home. With surefire performances from the bullpen, Chicago will have the chance to turn things around and send the Red Men home unsatisfied.