Bensenville, Ill. – Junior right-hander Scott Vachon (Plainfield, Ill./Plainfield North) improved his season record to 6-0 and struck out 11 batters in leading the Saint Xavier University baseball team to a 3-2 victory in game one of a Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) doubleheader with Robert Morris University (Ill.) Monday evening at Geils Field in Bensenville, Ill. Unfortunately, the Cougars could not carry that momentum into the late game falling to the host Eagles by a score of 4-2 in the nightcap. Vachon threw all seven innings of Monday's opener and allowed just seven hits, two runs (one earned) and two walks. With the split, SXU now sits at 20-16 overall and 15-10 in the conference standings.
The first game started out as a pitching duel between Vachon and RMU junior starter AJ Bernstein with both hurlers allowing just four total hits through the first four frames. The Cougars got some offensive momentum in the top of the fifth with a pair of walks to start the inning, which eventually led to a RBI single by sophomore third baseman Bryan Villanova (Chicago, Ill./St. Laurence) and a sacrifice fly by freshman second baseman Brian McQuillan (Evergreen Park, Ill./Brother Rice). SXU carried the 2-0 lead into the bottom of the sixth where Robert Morris tied things up on a RBI single and a throwing error. However, Saint Xavier answered right back in the top of the seventh with a single by freshman shortstop Alec Barnhart (Hometown, Ill./Oak Lawn Community), which turned into a run thanks to a wild pitch and a pair of throwing errors by the Eagles. Barnhart scored two of the team's three runs in the game.
Robert Morris struck first in the second game taking a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first on a run scored from third base during a converted double play. Barnhart and Villanova both logged RBI singles in the top of the fourth to give Saint Xavier a 2-1 advantage. The Eagles were not done though adding three more runs in the bottom of the fifth off a pair of RBI singles and a fielding error. Unfortunately for the Cougars, the bats went cold over the final four frames with the team recording just four, all singles, the rest of the way. Junior Chris Klein (Huntley, Ill./Huntley) suffered the loss (4-3) for SXU throwing all eight frames and giving up nine hits, four runs (three earned) and a walk with nine strikeouts. Junior first baseman Thomas Keating (Chicago, Ill./Joliet JC/St. Laurence) and Villanova led the Cougar offense in game two with both going 2-for-4 at the plate.
Saint Xavier (20-16 overall/15-10 CCAC) hosts Cardinal Stritch University (Wis.) for a conference doubleheader on Wednesday, April 24. The first of the two games is scheduled for a 1:30 p.m. start at Richard R. Ferrell Memorial Field in Chicago.