Baseball - Tue, Mar. 13, 2007
St. Augustine, Fla. - Behind seven runs in the final two innings, Flagler College (Fla.) was able to launch a successful rally attempt defeating Saint Xavier University, 8-7, Tuesday in NAIA collegiate baseball action at Flagler Stadium in St. Augustine, Fla. The Cougars drop to 4-3 overall with the loss, while Flagler improves to 12-17 on the season.

SXU had a 5-1 lead going into the bottom of the eighth inning, but Flagler rallied for five runs to take a 6-5 lead. Junior second baseman Steve Simmons hit a chopper to third base and senior third baseman Nick Tantillo (Tinley Park, Ill./Andrew) could not find a handle and scoring sophomore right fielder Jason Jones with the go-ahead run.

The Cougars were not fazed by the early rally attempt. In the top of the ninth, freshman left fielder Tony Testin (Joliet, Ill./Joliet Catholic) led off by drawing a walk and then took second on a wild pitch by Flagler reliever Lenny Sergnese. Freshman shortstop John O'Brien (Lake Zurich, Ill./Lake Zurich) singled to right and Testin scored to tie the game 6-6. O'Brien then advanced to second on a wild pitch by Sergnese. After that pitch, Sergnese was lifted for freshman reliever Gary Lohmann. Senior designated hitter Ryan Buchler (Schererville, Ind./South Suburban CC) greeted Lohmann with a base hit up the middle, scoring O'Brien to give SXU back its lead at 7-6. However, the Cougars could not score any more runs in the frame.

Saint Xavier junior reliever Shane Longest (Wilmington, Ill./Wilmington), who was roughed up for five runs in the eighth came back to try to quell Flagler in the ninth. After getting the leadoff hitter out, Longest walked a batter and then gave up a base hit. Junior first baseman Kenny Ray hit a 1-2 pitch back up the middle and scored a run to tie the game, 7-7. A throwing error at second base allowed Flagler to score the game-winning run as the runner on second rounded third base on a fielder's choice.

Both senior second baseman Craig Buske (New Lenox, Ill./Lincoln-Way Central) and Tantillo finished the game with two hits and two runs scored. Senior starter Shawn Bosler (Palatine, Ill./Palatine) threw the first 6.2 innings of the game and gave up just two hits, one run (unearned), and two walks with five strikeouts. Longest pitched the final 1.2 innings and allowed seven hits, seven runs (five earned), and one walk with no strikeouts.

Saint Xavier (4-3 overall) returns to Ormond Beach, Fla., to take on University of Rio Grande (Ohio) and Dickinson State University (N.D.) Wednesday. The Cougars face Rio Grande at 10 a.m. (eastern) before wrapping up with a 2 p.m. (eastern) game against Dickinson State.