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Comeback Falls Short at Guaranteed Rate Field

(photo credit: Stephen Bates, WCS Photography)
(photo credit: Stephen Bates, WCS Photography)

CHICAGO, Ill. - The Illinois Tech baseball team hosted the University of Chicago Maroons on Saturday at Guaranteed Rate Field, home of the Chicago White Sox, in the South Side College Classic. The Maroons jumped out to an 8-0 lead before the Scarlet Hawks made a roaring comeback, falling just short 8-6.

How it Happened

  • Both starting pitchers had things working early, as both Joe Liberman of Chicago and Ryan Cantlin of Illinois Tech were scoreless through two frames.
  • The Maroons finally got to Cantlin in the third, scoring three times on just two hits due to a hit by pitch, five stolen bases, and a successful squeeze play.
  • Both pitchers continued to throw well. A Zachary Dickey single in the first inning was all the Scarlet Hawks could manage in Liberman's five innings of work. Cantlin fired two more scoreless frames after the three-run third.
  • Chicago managed to score three more times in the sixth off Cantlin, utilizing three singles to take a 6-0 advantage.
  • In the top of the seventh, the Maroons added two more and promted a switch to the bullpen.
  • Down 8-0, the Scarlet Hawks would begin to chip away at the lead after the seventh inning stretch. Tech plated three runs in the bottom of the seventh thanks to some great patience against the Chicago bullpen. Two walks and a hit-by-pitch started the inning before second baseman Orlando Cardenas-Juan drove in a run on a fielder's choice. A successful squeeze bunt by center fielder Matt Witkowski followed before designated hitter DJ Rybski singled in another run.
  • James Tarala entered in relief for the Scarlet Hawks in the top of the eighth, allowing no hits and facing the minimum over the final two frames to keep the Chicago offense at bay.
  • The bottom of the eighth was another successful inning for the Scarlet Hawks, as the team plated three more runs. Tech had a single, walk, and a single in its first three hitters before a bases-loaded walk from third baseman Kyle Bumpass made the score 8-4. Cardenas-Juan drove in another run with a fielder's choice, but an errant throw by the Maroons allowed a second runner to cross home plate on the play, making the score 8-6.
  • In the bottom of the ninth, Tech made some noise and brought the tying run to the plate, but the Maroons managed to hang on for the victory.

Scarlet Hawk Standouts

  • Cantlin was more effective than his line showed, as the freshman allowed seven runs over six innings with good control (just two walks, 64 of 97 pitches for strikes).
  • Tarala was dynamite out of the bullpen, allowing just one base runner over two innings on a walk. He induced a double-play grounder to stay at the minimum.
  • Cardenas-Juan was the lone Scarlet Hawk to drive in two runs on the day despite not having a hit to his credit. He also had a stolen base.
  • Christian Lopez, Tyler Tucker, Dickey, Ted Howell, and Rybski all had hits.

Stats to Know

  • Chicago stole seven bases compared to just one for the Scarlet Hawks.
  • Tech put pressure on the Chicago defense in the later innings, resulting in four Maroon errors. Tech commited two errors on the afternoon.
  • Chicago outhit the Scarlet Hawks 10-5.

Up Next

  • The 2017 season comes to a close tomorrow for the Scarlet Hawks, as the same two teams will square off in a noon doubleheader at the University of Chicago. Live stats will be available for the contest courtsey of UChicago.