Chaparrals beat Panthers in First Home Game of the Season

The College of DuPage men’s baseball team held a dominant lead over Morton College, winning 28-18 after eight innings in their first home game of the season.

Claire Valenti, Sports Writer

In their 2023 home debut, the College of DuPage baseball team continuously battled for the lead against Morton College Monday afternoon. The Chaparrals took the lead in the sixth inning, but when freshman catcher Filip Milatovic hit a grand slam, the team knew the Panthers couldn’t come back. The Chaparrals defeated the Panthers 28-18 in the eighth inning, improving their record to 8-3.

“We swung the bat extremely well. Obviously it was a great day to hit,” head men’s baseball coach Bobby Wilson said. “We just put the bat on the ball, and the rest took care of itself.”

Milatovic had three hits and two strikeouts in six at-bats. He also scored two runs and made six RBIs.

Sophomore pitcher Michael Betancourt started the game and played through four innings. He had seven strikeouts, but allowed four hits and five runs. (Rachel Wagner)

“I’m not going to lie, I knew I was going to hit [a grand slam],” Milatovic said. “When I was on deck I had a feeling. I thought, ‘If he gives me a fastball, I’m going to take it for a ride.’”

Sophomore outfielder Kyle Fenner made six hits in six at-bats. He also scored four runs, four RBIs and earned one base on balls.

“I thought we did a good job at answering,” Fenner said. “Every time they put up a run, we’d come back and put up a run. It was a weird game, but we hit the ball well.”

Sophomore infielder David Marshall had four hits in four at-bats. He also scored five runs, three RBIs and earned two base on balls.

“There aren’t many days you can play baseball, but really play a football game,” Marshall said. “We had a couple of innings where we struggled, but I’m happy we came out with the win.”

Freshman infielder Ashton Gates makes a sliding catch. (Rachel Wagner)

Sophomore infielder Joe Cosenza had one hit in five at-bats. He also scored two runs, three RBIs and earned one base on balls.

“It was an OK game. We could’ve played better defense,” Cosenza said. “Thankfully our offense had a couple barrels and put some balls out of the park. We’ll come back next game playing better [defense] and pitch better.”

The Chaparrals played five pitchers throughout eight innings, four of which didn’t play through more than one inning.

The Chaparrals look to win their second home game of the season against the College of Lake County Lancers at 2 p.m. on March 21 at the COD Baseball Field.