Baseball - Tue, Mar. 25, 2008
CHICAGO - Despite a triple, a run scored, and a RBI by freshman third baseman Austin Lehmann (Shorewood, Ill./Minooka), the Saint Xavier University baseball team could not pick up a victory in its Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) and home opener Tuesday against Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) falling, 6-3, Tuesday in very windy conditions at Richard R. Ferrell Memorial Field in Chicago. The Cougars (8-11 overall/0-1 CCAC) closed to within a run, 4-3, plating two runs in the bottom of the seventh inning, but the Scarlet Hawks answered with two runs of their own in the top of the eighth to keep SXU at bay.
The Cougars posted eight total hits with Lehmann and junior centerfielder Don Skelly (Oak Lawn, Ill./Marist) each recording two in the game. Skelly also finished with a run scored and a RBI for Saint Xavier. Sophomore rightfielder Zach Clements (Berwyn, Ill./Morton) notched the team's only other RBI with a single in the bottom of the third inning. IIT got its first run in the first inning on a RBI single to centerfield by freshman rightfielder Matt Bednarz. The Scarlet Hawks tacked on another run in the third inning when Bednarz got another RBI single to put his team ahead, 2-0. Clements cut the lead in half, 2-1, in the bottom of the inning with his RBI single, but IIT went up, 4-1, in the top of the fifth on a wild pitch and a RBI groundout to second base by Bednarz.
Saint Xavier looked ready to rally in the bottom of the seventh when Lehmann hit a one-out, RBI triple to the gap in right-centerfield and then scored from third on a RBI single by Skelly in the next at-bat. However, back-to-back flyouts to centerfield, including a stellar diving catch to end the inning, kept SXU a run short, 4-3, heading into the eighth. After getting two quick outs to start the inning, the Cougars gave up back-to-back singles and IIT capitalized scoring two more runs later in the frame to build a 6-3 lead. SXU left a runner on base in each of the final two innings, but could not plate another run the rest of the way. The Cougars left eight runners stranded on the base paths in Tuesday's game.
Saint Xavier (8-11 overall/0-1 CCAC) heads to Bourbonnais, Ill., on Wednesday, March 26, to take on CCAC rival Olivet Nazarene University (Ill.). The game is scheduled for a 3 p.m. start.