The Lawrence Baseball team (Vikings) competed on a short road trip in Illinois this weekend, facing off in two scheduled double headers against the Knox Prairie Fire and the University of Chicago. The Vikings lost both games against the Prairie Fire with scores of 11-1 and 4-2, and lost a short, six-and-a-half inning game against the Maroons 3-1. The rest of the game, as well as the second game in the double-header, was cancelled due to rain. Lawrence currently sits at a season record of 6-9.
After a successful spring break trip, the Vikings were looking to continue their success against both conference and non-conference teams. “As a team, we are striving to make the conference tournament and to play competitive baseball every time we step onto the field,” says junior Brandon Klar.
The Viking bats had trouble finding their rhythm in the first game against Knox, with their only run coming from sophomore Matt Holliday on an RBI single in the third, while Knox pitcher Alec Jordan threw a complete seven innings and limited the Vikings to only five hits. Sophomore and Lawrence starting pitcher Zach Rabideau also had a rough outing on the mound, giving up nine hits and five runs in three innings. Rabideau was relieved by junior Craig Batchelor in the third, though Batchelor found little success as the Prairie Fire continued to score six more runs through the sixth. Lawrence and Knox finished the first game of the day with a score of 11-1.
During the second game, Lawrence starting pitcher Chris Shaw quieted down Knox’s bats, allowing just one earned run over eight frames. Lawrence took the lead in the fourth with a lead-off home run from Klar. Sophomore Dan Rothbauer followed with a double, then scored on sophomore Travis Weber’s double play ball to give the Vikings a 2-0 lead. Knox tied the game after scoring a run in the fourth and seventh innings. The Prairie Fire sealed the win after Shaw finally left the game on a two-run, walk-off homer off of Rothbauer in the bottom of the ninth. Knox won the second of game of the night 4-2.
Sophomore Kyle Deux got the start in Lawrence’s game against University of Chicago the next day and kept the game scoreless into the fifth, where the Maroons finally got a run on the board to tie the game 1-1. University of Chicago added two more runs in the sixth, bringing the score to 3-1. After the first half of the seventh inning, the game was cancelled due to rain. University of Chicago won the game 3-1.
Despite this weekend’s losses, a five-game win streak during the spring break trip puts the 6-9 Vikings in a very good position to make a push for the Conference tournament. “We’ve worked out a lot of early kinks in our play and have shown a lot of improvement that we hope to take to conference play,” says junior Adam McDonald. “The freshmen on the team have been extremely impressive so far, each taking on a large role.” Look for the Vikings to continue to improve as they face Ripon this Saturday, April 16.