LOVES PARK, Ill. - The Rockford University baseball team (13-14) took a hiatus from conference play as they hosted a strong University of Chicago Maroons team (19-9) on Wednesday night. Rockford hung around for most of the game until the Maroons started to sneak ahead late in the game. Rockford went on to drop the single contest by a score of 9-4.
In the first inning the Maroons jumped out to an early lead as three hits and two errors by Rockford saw Chicago up 4-0 early in the top of the first.
Rockford responded with a three-run inning of its own in the bottom of the third to bring the game to within one heading into the fourth. Seth Sanderson (Fulton, Ill.) got things started for the Regents as he singled through the right side. Nathan Burris (Oglesby, Ill.) then reached on a fielder's choice that unfortunately caused Sanderson to be out at second. Next up, an error by the second baseman would allow Kraemer Brandt (Elk Grove, Ill.) to reach first and send Burris to second. With runners on first and second Michael Gunter (Maricopa, Ariz.) cranked an RBI double down the left field line as Burris scored and Brandt raced to third. Austin Smith (Peru, Ill.) followed suit as he smashed a double down the left field line to score both runners.
Chicago did not let the strong showing by the Regents phase them as the Maroons went on to score two runs in the fourth, one in the fifth and two more in the eight to take a 9-3 lead over Rockford.
Rockford tried to mount a comeback but could only tally one run in the bottom of the eighth. Smith got things going as he reached on error to start the inning. Smith then took advantage of a wild pitch by Chicago, advancing to second. Kyle Waugh (Waseca, Minn.) showed his patience at the plate as he drew a walk on a wild pitch that also sent Smith to third. One batter later with runners on the corners, Christian Garcia (Maricopa, Ariz.) hit a sacrifice fly out to left field to bring home Smith. Unfortunately, that was as much as the Regents could muster as they dropped to Chicago by a final score of 9-3.
Freshman Jake Schmollinger (Peru, Ill.) did well during his limited time on the mound as he pitched three innings and did well to work the batters, while also chalking up two strikeouts. Senior Spencer Lentz (Stillman Valley, Ill.) saw limited time as he only allowed one hit and struck out three batters in one inning of work.
On offense for Rockford there were four batters who all recorded a hit in the game. Michael Gunter led the way with two hits, one of which was a double, an RBI and a run scored. Austin Smith tallied 2 RBIs with a double and a run scored. Cristian Bermeo (Chicago, Ill.) and Seth Sanderson each tallied a hit.
The Rockford University baseball team returns to action when it hosts Beloit on Thursday, April 26. First pitch is set for 6 PM.