Baseball - Wed, Mar. 4, 2009
CLEARWATER, FLA. - The Saint Xavier University baseball team dropped a pair of games Wednesday at Tack South Field in Clearwater, Fla., in the seven-team 2009 Clearwater Baseball Invitational. The Cougars (2-4 overall) squared off in game one against Cedarville University (Ohio) and followed up with Dakota Wesleyan University (S.D.). SXU dropped the first game, 8-7, and fell, 16-12, in the nightcap.

In game one, the Cougars dropped a 8-7 heartbreaker to Cedarville as they failed to nail down a late lead. Freshman catcher Jim Pipolo (Orland Park, Ill./Sandburg) delivered a clutch 2-RBI single to give Saint Xavier a 6-5 lead going into the bottom of the seventh. Cougar closer Joe Branigan (Plainfield, Ill./Plainfield South) recorded two outs in the bottom of the seventh before the Yellow Jackets mounted their rally. Two Saint Xavier infield errors, a walk, and a hit saddled Branigan with the loss (0-1), his first of the year. Junior outfielder Zach Clements (Berwyn, Ill./Morton) paced the Cougar offense with three hits, two RBI and two runs scored.

The Cougars spotted Dakota Wesleyan University a 16-2 lead before mounting a rally attempt. The Cougar pitching staff struggled allowing 12 base runners due to walks or hit batsmen, 17 hits and 16 earned runs. Despite the early deficit, SXU rallied in the fourth and fifth innings to trim the deficit to four runs, 16-12. Junior outfielder Tony Testin (Shorewood, Ill./Joliet) led the way going 3-for-4 with two RBI and two runs scored. Junior designated hitter Ken Tezak (Joliet, Ill./Joliet Catholic) hit a three-run home run in the fifth inning and Pipolo continued his fine offensive performance of the day with two hits and three RBI. Sophomore pitcher Jeff Dobie (Glen Ellyn, Ill./Glenbard South) took the game two loss (0-1).

Saint Xavier (2-4 overall) returns to action on Thursday March 5, with another split doubleheader at the 2009 Clearwater Baseball Invitational. The Cougars will once again square off with Cedarville at 9 a.m. (eastern), followed by a 12 p.m. (eastern) contest with Bethel College (Ind.).