Baseball - Wed, May 14, 2008
CHICAGO - Despite a solid pitching performance by junior righthander Dan Miller (Joliet, Ill./Joliet Catholic), the Saint Xavier University baseball team had difficulty generating offense against Spring Arbor University junior rightie Jesse Bachman and fell, 3-1, to the No. 19 ranked Cougars in the first game of the 2008 Heartland Super Regional Wednesday at Richard R. Ferrell Memorial Field in Chicago. Miller, who falls to 6-4 on the year, threw all eight innings and allowed just five hits, three runs (two earned), and a walk with two strikeouts. Bachman also pitched the complete game giving up just four hits, an earned run, and no walks with seven strikeouts to improve his record to 9-2 overall. The best-of-three series will continue at 3:30 p.m. Thursday at Richard R. Ferrell Memorial Field.
SXU, playing as the visitors on the scoreboard despite hosting the game, was first to strike when sophomore second baseman Matt Mueller (Burbank, Ill./Reavis) scored sophomore shortstop John O'Brien (Lake Zurich, Ill./Lake Zurich) from second base on a RBI single in the top of the second inning. However, Spring Arbor quickly took the lead, 2-1, in the bottom of the inning on a RBI single by senior third baseman Jim Baker, who later scored from third base for the second run as Saint Xavier turned a double-play. Baker later added another run to the SAU lead when he drilled a solo shot over the wall in left field in the bottom of the fourth inning. SXU had its chances to cut into the lead leaving five runners stranded on the base paths, including three at third base. In addition to Mueller and O'Brien, junior centerfielder Don Skelly (Oak Lawn, Ill./Marist) and sophomore designated hitter Mark Siefert (Crest Hill, Ill./Joliet Catholic) each notched a hit for Saint Xavier.
The Heartland Super Regional continues on Thursday, May 15, with the second game of the series scheduled for a 3:30 p.m. start at Richard R. Ferrell Memorial Field in Chicago. If necessary, game three would take place on Friday, May 16, at 3:30 p.m. as well. The winner of the 2008 Heartland Super Regional advances to next week's 52nd Annual Avista-NAIA World Series in Lewiston, Idaho.