College of DuPage's Student Newspaper

The Courier

College of DuPage's Student Newspaper

The Courier

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COD Baseball Claims Victory Over JJC

The Chaparrals found offensive success in a hard-fought win over their regional rivals.
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Rachel Wagner

After a seven-inning loss to Joliet Junior College in their last meeting, the College of DuPage baseball team was ready to settle the score on April 16 at home. The Chaparrals held the lead through the second half of the game until the Wolves caught them by surprise and scored five runs to take the lead in the ninth inning. In pouring rain, the Chaps responded with three runs to end the game. COD won 13-12, improving their record to 12-13 and extending their winning streak to five games.

“[JJC] had some trouble throwing the ball over the plate, and we had some trouble missing their bats,” assistant coach Matt Gould said. “One way or another, both teams were going back and forth.”

Gould recognized that the game might’ve ended differently if JJC hadn’t lost their starting pitcher sophomore Jaden Mathon to an arm injury after the second inning.

Sophomore outfielder Jake Pauley cracks the ball into left field. (Rachel Wagner)

“You hate to see that; he looked really good,” he said. “I hope he comes back and comes back strong. I would’ve liked to see how that game goes if we had got to go starter versus starter.”

He said that circumstances like this change the team’s mindset and hopes to teach the Chaps how to adapt as they get closer to the regional playoffs.

“We don’t get to choose those things, the game went in another direction and these are the types of games we’re going to need to be able to win if we’re going to win a regional [title],” Gould said. “I just have this feeling that they’re probably a team that we’re going to need to beat once or twice in order to do it once we get there.”

Freshman infielder Jack Wade made the game-winning play, hitting a single to collect an RBI and end the game. Wade also scored one run in the 6th inning after an error pushed him to second base. In total, he picked up two hits and walked twice in four at-bats. During the winning hit, Wade said he followed his routine at-bat to help guide him through playing for the team rather than himself.

“I had zero strikes, but I went to my two-strike approach right away because there was a man on third [base],” Wade said. “All we needed was a single. I was ready for anything, and I saw a pitch in the [strike] zone so I took it the other way. I did my job; there’s no other feeling like it.”

Sophomore outfielder Jake Pauley tied the game in the fourth inning after hitting a three-run triple. Along with his three RBIs, Pauley ended his day with two hits and three runs in total, two strikeouts and one walk in five at-bats. He said his play was specifically rewarding because it helped put the Chaps over their regional rivals.

Freshman infielder Hudson Williams scores a run in the pouring rain. (Rachel Wagner)

“I knew how to get my job done,” Pauley said. “My buddy was doing the pitch chart, and he told me [the pitcher was throwing] first-pitch fastball every time, so I was up there hunting a fastball. That’s what I got. I was early on it. The left-fielder dove for it and it went by him. This is the first time I’ve beaten JJC in my two years being here, and it feels fucking good.”

Freshman infielder Vinny Spotofora helped COD on both sides of the ball. He secured two RBIs and one run. At the plate, he made two hits and walked once in two at-bats. At third base, Spotofora put one runner out and captured two assists, but collided with freshman infielder Hudson Williams at shortstop while making a physical play.

“It was just a bang-bang play,” Spotofora said. “He called for the ball, but I just took it for no reason. I kind of thought I screwed us, but it was okay. We came back and people clutched up, so it was good.”

Freshman pitcher Mike Biscan made his third start of the season and pitched through six innings. He threw three strikeouts and one walk but gave up 10 hits and five runs. Biscan shut out the Wolves through the fifth and sixth innings, and credited COD’s fielding for helping him remain relaxed.

“When you’re getting lit up a little bit, it’s tough, but the defense we have is incredible,” Biscan said. “It keeps you really relaxed out there knowing that you could let a guy hit the ball. Your outfield is going to make plays. Your infield is going to make plays, so it’s pretty easy to throw out there when you’ve got these guys behind you.”

The Chaparrals look to sweep the Triton College Trojans this season and continue their win streak at 3 p.m. on April 17 at the COD Baseball Field.

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