Baseball - Tue, May 6, 2008
Joliet, Ill. - A two-RBI infield single by junior first baseman Matt Van Mill (Palos Heights, Ill./Bishop McNamara) capped a three-run rally in the bottom of the ninth inning and gave No. 3 seed Saint Xavier University a thrilling 8-7 victory over No. 4 seeded William Penn University (Iowa) in 2008 NAIA Region VII Baseball Tournament action Tuesday night at Silver Cross Field in Joliet, Ill. WPU led 6-5 going into the ninth and scored another run in the top of the inning on a RBI single by junior shortstop Alex Chavez. SXU (34-18 overall) advances to take on No. 2 seed St. Ambrose University (Iowa) on Wednesday, May 7, at 2 p.m. at Silver Cross Field.

Sophomore shortstop John O'Brien (Lake Zurich, Ill./Lake Zurich) had the hot bat for Saint Xavier recording four hits, including two doubles, in addition to his run scored and team-best four RBI. Junior centerfielder Don Skelly (Oak Lawn, Ill./Marist) posted three hits and a run scored for the Cougars, while sophomore rightfielder Zach Clements (Berwyn, Ill./Morton) went 2-for-5 with two runs scored. Sophomore lefthander Jayson Koehn (Beecher, Ill./Beecher) picked up the win on the mound (2-2) throwing the final two innings of the nine-inning affair and allowing three hits, one run (earned), and two walks with a strikeout. Junior rightie Dan Miller (Joliet, Ill./Joliet Catholic) got the start for SXU and went six innings giving up seven hits, four runs (all earned), and two walks with three strikeouts.

O'Brien helped give his team an early 3-0 lead in the first inning with a two-RBI double to left-centerfield. A solo home run by WPU junior leftfielder Steven Schultze in the top of the fourth narrowed the lead to two runs, 3-1. Another two-RBI double to left-centerfield by O'Brien in the bottom of the sixth pushed the Cougars' lead to four, 5-1. However, five hits and a fielding error by SXU posted five runs for the Statesmen in the top of the seventh giving them their first lead of the night, 6-5. Following a scoreless eighth inning, the stage was set for the thrilling finish as the Cougars rallied with four hits and three runs to end the game without recording an out in the final inning.

Saint Xavier (34-18 overall) takes on No. 2 seed St. Ambrose University (Iowa) in the second round of the 2008 NAIA Region VII Baseball Tournament. The game is scheduled for 2 p.m. on Wednesday, May 7, at Silver Cross Field in Joliet.