Baseball - Sun, Mar. 15, 2009
Lebanon, Ill. - Despite a rough outing for both the offense and the defense in game one, the Saint Xavier University baseball team responded with a 7-1 victory in game two of Sunday's doubleheader against McKendree University (Ill.) at Hypes Field in Lebanon, Ill. The Cougars (9-7 overall) mustered just three hits and a run in the day's first game and fell, 12-1, in five innings per the NAIA 10-run rule after five. However, the second game saw SXU rack up 10 hits en route to seven runs and held the Bearcats to just three hits and a single run in the nightcap.

Nothing seemed to go right for the Cougars in Sunday's first game with McKendree scoring a run in each of the first three innings to take an early 3-0 lead. The Bearcat bats continued to heat up over the next two innings exploding for nine runs and seven more hits, including a walk-off grand slam to left-centerfield that ended the game early. Senior first baseman Matt Van Mill (Palos Heights, Ill./Bishop McNamara) brought home SXU's lone run in the top of the fifth when he reached on a fielding error by the McKendree shortstop with one out scoring freshman pinch runner Alex Blanco (Cicero, Ill./Morton) from third base. Senior righthander Rick Kehoe (Palos Heights, Ill./Richards) took the loss (1-2) throwing the game's first three innings and allowing five hits, three runs (two earned) and two walks with one strikeout.

The Cougar offense shook off the rust early in the nightcap scoring five runs in the first three innings to take a 5-0 lead. Junior second baseman Matt Mueller (Burbank, Ill./Reavis) and junior left fielder Ken Tezak (Joliet, Ill./Joliet Catholic) each recorded two RBI to lead the offensive charge. SXU added two more runs in the top of the sixth on a RBI double by sophomore shortstop Austin Lehmann (Shorewood, Ill./Minooka) and a sacrifice fly by junior right fielder Zach Clements (Berwyn, Ill./Morton), respectively. McKendree would get a solo homer in the seventh inning, but it was the only run the Bearcats would plate the rest of the way. Junior leftie Jayson Koehn (Beecher, Ill./Beecher) would pick up the win (2-0) on the mound throwing the first five innings and giving up just two hits, two walks and no runs with five strikeouts.

Saint Xavier (9-7 overall) opens its home and Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) slate on Friday, March 20, with a single nine-inning game against Judson University (Ill.). The game is scheduled for a 3:30 p.m. start at Richard R. Ferrell Memorial Field in Chicago.