Baseball - Fri, Apr. 25, 2008
Joliet, Ill. - Behind 18 hits and 15 RBI, the Saint Xavier University baseball team overcame an early 6-0 deficit and defeated league-leading and No. 13 ranked University of St. Francis (Ill.), 18-12, late Thursday night in Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) action at Silver Cross Field in Joliet, Ill. Sophomore shortstop John O'Brien (Lake Zurich, Ill./Lake Zurich) and designated hitter Mark Siefert (Crest Hill, Ill./Joliet Catholic) each had a team-best three hits, including a double, and finished with two RBI apiece. O'Brien also recorded a team-high three runs scored in Thursday's big CCAC victory.

The Fighting Saints scored six runs in the bottom of the first inning to take an early 6-0 lead, which they held heading into the fourth inning. SXU tied things up in the top of the fourth with six runs of its own in an inning highlighted by a two-out, two-RBI single by O'Brien. However, USF posted six more runs in the bottom of the fourth inning to build back its previous lead, 12-6, behind three triples. Despite the deficit, the bats stayed hot for the Cougars racking up 12 unanswered runs over the next four innings to pull out the thrilling 18-12 victory. Every hitter in the line-up recorded at least one hit for Saint Xavier in the ballgame. Sophomore rightfielder Zach Clements (Berwyn, Ill./Morton) had a triple, while junior centerfielder Don Skelly (Oak Lawn, Ill./Marist), sophomore second baseman Matt Mueller (Burbank, Ill./Reavis), and sophomore catcher Ken Tezak (Joliet, Ill./Joliet Catholic) all joined Siefert and O'Brien with doubles.

Junior righthander Rick Kehoe (Palos Heights, Ill./Richards) got the start for SXU and threw the first three-and-two-thirds innings allowing nine hits, 10 runs (eight earned), and three walks with four strikeouts. Freshman rightie Joe Branigan (Plainfield, Ill./Plainfield South) pitched well in relief going four-and-a-third innings and giving up just three hits, two runs (both unearned), and a walk with two strikeouts to improve to 4-1 overall on the year with the win. Sophomore lefthander Jayson Koehn (Beecher, Ill./Beecher) threw the final inning and allowed just one hit and a walk with no strikeouts.

Saint Xavier (30-17 overall/12-4 CCAC) heads to Elgin, Ill., on Saturday, April 26, to play a road doubleheader against CCAC foe Judson University (Ill.). The first game is scheduled for a 4 p.m. start in Elgin.