This past Monday, the Maroons traveled to the thriving metropolis of Verona, WI to take on the fearsome Edgewood Eagles. Third-year pitcher Nick Watson was the coach’s choice to trot out to the bump on Stampfl Field that glorious afternoon. The South Siders were able to narrowly escape the Wisconsinites en route to a 5–3 victory.
The Maroons were able to open up the scoring in the top of the third inning. Some small ball and a fateful error by Edgewood second-year shortstop Brodie Engel brought in two runs, both unearned. Meanwhile, Watson continued to contain the Edgewood batters.
In the fifth inning, Chicago was able to add on another run when fourth-year Kyle Engel crossed home plate. Fourth-year Will Katzka stroked one down the third-base line and registered the RBI.
The Eagles, however, retaliated in kind. In the bottom half of the inning, they drove in a run and followed it up with a second in the bottom of the sixth. The lead was cut to 3–2. After Watson closed out the inning, the Maroon hurler made way for fourth-year Andrew VanWazer.
The new man on the mound pitched a very clean seventh inning, and by the time he made it back onto the field, the Maroons had provided him with another two runs, padding the lead and going up to 5–2. VanWazer was a bit wild in the eighth, and after putting men on first and second, the Maroons opted to send fourth-year Simon Swanson to the mound. The Eagles could only muster a single run against Swanson. Thereafter, Edgewood was shut down by closer first-year Michael Davis, who was able to register his first save of the season.
Other Maroon players played admirably as well. The Maroons’ top hitter, Engel, eclipsed a .500 batting average for the year. After the game on Monday, he sported a DIII-best .504 batting average. The impressive statistics and his nation-leading 25 doubles earned him a spot on the d3baseball.com Team of the Week.
Reflecting on his experience over the past four years, Engel commented, “I’m excited to play on Saturday. Our games with Wash U are always good games so it will be a nice way to end the season and my time here on the team. Saturday is also Senior Day, so I’m looking forward to having my family and friends at the game in support. Playing baseball here at Chicago has been a great experience overall and I couldn’t have imagined a better way to end my career. It’s going to be fun playing my final games against a good opponent, with great teammates, and with my family and friends at the game in support.”
This win was a great way to catapult the team into its upcoming three-game date with Wash U. The Bears are strong this year, boasting an impressive 30–14 record. Both clubs are looking to end their season on a strong note. The Maroons hope to send the Bears home with what will still be a nice record, but a bitter ending to the season.
On the home side, this season has been an uphill struggle the whole way through. The South Siders went 2–10 during March and have been trying to claw their way back ever since. They broke .500 this Monday for the first time since March 21.
Competition with Wash U kicks off this weekend on Friday at 3:00 p.m. Saturday’s games are at 12:00 p.m. and 2:30 p.m., respectively. Saturday will represent the program’s Senior Day, an event that coincides with the Order of the C’s annual Sausage Fest, in which food and drink will be provided during the doubleheader.