Baseball - Sat, Mar. 7, 2009
Clearwater, Fla. - On the final day of its 2009 spring break trip, the Saint Xavier University baseball team swept a doubleheader to earn a first-place finish in the pool A bracket of the 2009 Clearwater Baseball Invitational in Clearwater, Fla. The Cougars finish their southern trip with a 7-5 record after beating Bethel College (Ind.) and Dakota Wesleyan University ( S.D.), 13-2 and 14-10, respectively.
In game one for SXU, senior righthanded pitcher Rick Kehoe (Palos Heights, Ill./Richards) threw five-plus innings scattering five hits and only giving up one earned run. The Cougar offense exploded for 17 hits and were led by junior second baseman Matt Mueller's (Burbank, Ill./Reavis) four hits. Senior centerfielder Don Skelly (Oak Lawn, Ill./Marist) added three hits and four RBI, while senior first baseman Matt Van Mill (Palos Heights, Ill./Bishop McNamara) had two hits and one RBI. Mueller, Skelly and Van Mill all homered in the game for the Cougars.
In game two, Saint Xavier owned an 11-3 advantage before Dakota Wesleyan rallied to make it 11-9 going into the final frame. The Cougars would tack on three runs in the seventh inning for insurance. SXU's offense was led by a four-hit performance from junior right fielder Zach Clements (Berwyn, Ill./Morton), who also contributed to the scoring output with three RBI. The Cougar offense busted out for 19 hits led by Van Mill with three hits, junior Tony Testin (Joliet,Ill./Joliet Catholic) with three hits and two RBI and junior John O'Brien (Lake Zurich, Ill./Lake Zurich) with three hits and four RBI. Senior lefthander Kyle Zilis (Oak Lawn, Ill./Marist) notched his second win of the season (2-0), while sophomore reliever Joe Branigan (Plainfield, Ill./Plainfield South) picked up his second save (2) on the season after coming in and shutting the door on the Dakota Wesleyan rally in the sixth and seventh innings.
Saint Xavier (7-5 overall) heads home and continues its 2009 season on Saturday, March 14, traveling to McKendree University (Ill.) for a four-game, weekend series before returning home to open its conference season on Friday, March 20, at 3:30 p.m. against Judson University (Ill.) at Richard Ferrell Memorial Field in Chicago.