Baseball - Sun, Apr. 6, 2008
CHICAGO - Sophomore rightfielder Zach Clements (Berwyn, Ill./Morton) put up some big numbers at the plate to help lead Saint Xavier University to a pair of wins in its four-game series with Madonna University (Mich.) over the weekend in NAIA non-conference baseball action at Richard R. Ferrell Memorial Field in Chicago. Clements went 9-for-15 (.600) with three doubles, a home run, four runs scored, and seven RBI over the four-game stretch. The Cougars (19-15 overall) rallied late to win the first game Saturday, 8-6, but could not complete a big rally in the nightcap falling, 11-10, despite trailing 9-0 heading into the bottom of the second inning. Madonna used an early lead to pick up a 7-3 victory in game one Sunday, but SXU responded with eight runs in the first two innings of the finale to win, 8-1, and split the weekend series.

Clements led the offense in Saturday's first game by going a perfect 4-for-4 at the plate with two doubles, a run scored and two RBI. Sophomore catcher Ken Tezak (Joliet, Ill./Joliet Catholic) also had a big hit in the game with a two-RBI triple in the bottom of the fifth inning. The Cougars scored all eight of its runs over two innings with four runs in the second inning and four runs in the fifth. Junior righthander Bryant Myjak (Tinley Park, Ill./Andrew) got the win on the mound throwing 5.1 innings and allowing three hits, six runs (three earned), and three walks with two strikeouts. Sophomore leftie Jayson Koehn (Beecher, Ill./Beecher) picked up save No. 5 this season allowing no hits, runs, or walks with two strikeouts in the final 1.2 innings.

The Cougars overcame an early 9-0 deficit in game two and tied the score, 10-10, heading into the top of the seventh inning. However, a RBI on a fielder's choice in the top of the seventh gave Madonna an 11-10 lead and SXU could not score in the bottom of the frame to take the game. Clements was big again for Saint Xavier going 3-for-5 with a homer and five RBI. Sophomore first baseman Mark Siefert (Crest Hill, Ill./Joliet Catholic) also had a nice game going 3-for-4 with a home run, two runs scored, and a RBI. The SXU pitching staff was rocked early giving up eight hits, nine runs (all earned), and three walks over the first two innings.

Madonna jumped out to a 6-0 lead heading into the bottom of the third inning in its 7-3 victory in Sunday's first game. The Crusaders racked up 12 hits in the game compared to nine by the Cougars. Saint Xavier scored all three of its runs in the third inning with two of the runs coming off a two-run homer by junior centerfielder Don Skelly (Oak Lawn, Ill./Marist). Junior rightie James Williams (Steger, Ill./South Suburban CC/Bloom) got the loss throwing the first five innings and allowing 11 hits, seven runs (all earned), and three walks with four strikeouts. Freshman righthander Jeff Dobie (Glen Ellyn, Ill./Glenbard South) threw the final two innings and gave up one hits, no runs, and a walk with one strikeout.

Sophomore second baseman Matt Mueller (Burbank, Ill./Reavis) had the hot bat in game two Sunday going 2-for-3 with a run scored and three RBI. Freshman righthander Joe Branigan (Plainfield, Ill./Plainfield South) was tough in his start on the mound throwing five innings and allowing seven hits, one run (earned), and no walks with three strikeouts. Koehn threw the final two innings and gave up no hits, runs, or walks. Both teams finished with seven hits in the ballgame.

Saint Xavier (19-15 overall/2-2 CCAC) heads to Palos Heights, Ill., on Tuesday, April 8, to take on Trinity Christian College (Ill.) in Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) action. The nine-inning game is scheduled for a 3:30 start.