Baseball - Mon, Mar. 31, 2008
CHICAGO - Led by three doubles and nine RBI by sophomore shortstop John O'Brien (Lake Zurich, Ill./Lake Zurich), the Saint Xavier University baseball team took three of four games in its weekend series with Aquinas College (Mich.) at Richard R. Ferrell Memorial Field in Chicago. The Cougars (11-13 overall/0-2 CCAC) swept a doubleheader Saturday winning game one, 2-1, and the nightcap, 7-2. On Sunday, SXU dropped the first game, 4-2, but responded big in the series finale winning, 16-2, in just five innings.

In Saturday's first game, sophomore rightfielder Zach Clements (Berwyn, Ill./Morton) provided the big lift in the bottom of the fifth inning when his sacrifice fly brought home freshman third baseman Austin Lehmann (Shorewood, Ill./Minooka) to score the go-ahead and eventual game-winning run, 2-1. Clements also recorded a sac fly in top of the third to tie the game, 1-1. Junior righthander James Williams (Steger, Ill./South Suburban CC/Bloom) earned the win throwing the first six innings and giving up six hits, one run (earned), and two walks with four strikeouts. He improves to 3-1 on the season, while sophomore leftie Jayson Koehn (Beecher, Ill./Beecher) notched his third save allowing just a walk and no hits or runs in the final inning.

In the second game Saturday, SXU jumped out to an early 6-0 lead in the first three innings and cruised to the 7-2 victory. O'Brien led the Cougars offensively going 2-for-3 with a double and two RBI. Freshman rightie Jeff Dobie (Glen Ellyn, Ill./Glenbard South) got the win (1-2) throwing five innings and allowing four hits, one run (earned) and three walks with four strikeouts. Senior righthander Joe Zotto (Tinley Park, Ill./Andrew) earned the save, his first of the season, pitching the final two innings and giving up one hit, one run (earned), and one walk.

Junior first baseman Matt Van Mill (Palos Heights, Ill./Bishop McNamara) and Lehmann each posted two hits in Sunday's first game, but the Cougars could not pull out the win falling, 4-2. Errors plagued Saint Xavier with the team posting seven miscues over the seven-inning game, which led to two unearned runs for Aquinas. Junior rightie Rick Kehoe (Palos Heights, Ill./Richard) took the loss for SXU pitching all seven innings and allowing four hits, four runs (two earned), and two walks with four strikeouts. The loss dropped Kehoe to 1-2 on the year.

The bats came alive for Saint Xavier in Sunday's nightcap as the Cougars racked up 16 runs off 13 hits to win the game, 16-2, in five innings. O'Brien went 3-for-3 at the plate with two doubles and seven RBI to lead the SXU offense. Junior righthander Dan Miller (Joliet, Ill./Joliet Catholic) recorded the victory on the mound throwing the first four innings and giving up just three hits, two runs (none earned), and no walks with one strikeout. Freshman rightie Joe Branigan (Plainfield, Ill./Plainfield South) threw a perfect final inning with one strikeout.

Saint Xavier (11-13 overall/0-2 CCAC) hosts Trinity Christian College (Ill.) in Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) action on Tuesday, April 1. The game is scheduled for a 3:30 p.m. start at Richard R. Ferrell Memorial Field in Chicago.