Baseball - Sun, Mar. 16, 2008
Ormond Beach, Fla. - The Saint Xavier University baseball team wrapped up its Spring Break trip in Ormond Beach, Fla., Sunday with a 12-6 loss to No. 14 ranked Ohio Dominican University, but was able to manage a 7-2 victory Friday over the nationally rated Panthers in addition to a 7-6 rally win Thursday over University of Saint Francis (Ind.). The Cougars (6-10 overall) faced a grueling stretch over the final five days of their annual season-opening stint in Florida taking on two teams ranked in the NAIA's top 20, No. 14 Ohio Dominican and No. 18 Embry-Riddle University (Fla.), in five of its last nine contests.

On Wednesday, March 12, SXU fell victim to a tough Flagler College (Fla.) team in doubleheader action losing game one, 3-2, and the nightcap, 7-3. In the first game, errors plagued the Cougars as Flagler scored three runs (one earned) in the bottom of the fifth to steal the 3-2 victory. Senior lefthander Kyle Zilis (Oak Forest, Ill./Marist) threw well in the loss giving up three hits, no earned runs, and four walks with four strikeouts. Sophomores Zach Clements (Berwyn, Ill./Morton) and Ken Tezak (Joliet, Ill./Joliet Catholic) notched a RBI apiece in the game. The second game proved tough as well with the Cougars taking a 3-0 lead in the first inning, but then allowed seven unanswered runs. Freshman leftfielder Ryan Phelps (Merrionette Park, Ill./Mount Carmel) went 1-for-2 with two RBI to lead the SXU offense in game two.

The Saint Xavier offense struggled in its first game Thursday against University of Saint Francis (Ind.) falling, 9-2, after turning in just four hits and gave up seven runs to USF in the third inning alone. Tezak had a team-best two hits, while junior first baseman Matt Van Mill (Palos Heights, Ill./Bishop McNamara) provided SXU's lone RBI. The Cougars bounced back in the second game posting 10 hits and pulling out a thrilling 7-6 win with four runs in the top of the seventh. SXU got three RBI hits in the seventh, including a RBI double by sophomore first baseman Mark Siefert (Crest Hill, Ill./Joliet Catholic). Junior righthander Rick Kehoe (Palos Heights, Ill./Richards) earned the win for Saint Xavier throwing all seven innings and giving up seven hits, six runs (five earned), and three walks with five strikeouts.

In a Friday doubleheader against No. 14 Ohio Dominican, Saint Xavier got a huge pitching performance from junior rightie Bryant Myjak (Tinley Park, Ill./Andrew) en route to an 8-2 win in game one. Myjak threw all seven innings and allowed seven hits, two runs (one earned), and two walks with four strikeouts. Clements led the offense going 4-for-4 at the plate with a double, a home run, two runs scored, and two RBI. Game two was much closer and SXU came out on the short end of a 3-2 decision. Both teams scored two runs in the first, but ODU managed a run in the bottom of the third to win. Junior rightie James Williams (Steger, Ill./South Suburban CC) gave up seven hits, three runs (two earned), and two walks over six innings with five strikeouts. Clements was solid again going 2-for-3 with a double and a RBI.

Saturday proved to be a tough doubleheader as well against No. 18 Embry-Riddle University. The Cougars lost the first game, 5-3, despite 2-for-3 showings at the plate by Siefert and sophomore leftfielder Tony Testin (Shorewood, Ill./Joliet Catholic). SXU nearly rallied in the second game, but could not overcome an early three-run deficit and fell, 3-2, despite out-hitting Embry-Riddle, 10-7, in the game. Clements, Siefert, and sophomore second baseman Matt Mueller (Burbank, Ill./Reavis) all finished the game with two hits. Freshman righthander Jeff Dobie (Glen Ellyn, Ill./Glenbard South) pitched well in the loss going six innings and giving up seven hits, three runs (all earned), and a walk with one strikeout.

Saint Xavier (6-10 overall) takes the week off before heading to Hannibal, Mo., to face Hannibal-LaGrange College (Mo.) for a doubleheader on Saturday, March 22. The doubleheader is scheduled for a 1 p.m. start.