Baseball - Fri, Mar. 20, 2009
CHICAGO - The Saint Xavier University baseball team pulled out a 7-6 victory in dramatic fashion in its Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) and home opener Friday against Judson University (Ill.) at Richard R. Ferrell Memorial Field in Chicago. The Cougars (10-7 overall/1-0 CCAC) trailed the entire game before a walk-off, two-RBI double by sophomore third baseman Austin Lehmann (Shorewood, Ill./Minooka) in the bottom of the 10th inning.
After nine innings with the score deadlocked at 5-5, Judson University's Tim Victor hit a solo home run to lead off the top of the 10th inning off SXU sophomore reliever Ken Hurta (Midlothian, Ill./Bremen). Hurta would wiggle out of a bases-loaded jam to keep the deficit at only a run. In the bottom of the 10th, senior first baseman Matt Van Mill (Palos Heights, Ill./Bishop McNamara) led off the inning by working a full count into a walk. Freshman catcher Jim Pipolo (Orland Park, Ill./Sandburg) lined a single through the left side of the infield to give the Cougars runners on first and second with no outs. A failed pinch-hit bunt attempt led to a strikeout and set the table for Lehmann. He launched a two-RBI double just beyond the grasp of the Judson centerfielder to give the Cougars a thrilling 7-6 victory.
On the mound for the Cougars, senior lefthander Kyle Zilis (Oak Forest, Ill./Marist) battled for five innings of five-run baseball. Senior rightie Rick Kehoe (Palos Heights, Ill./Richards) gave the Cougars four scoreless innings of relief, while Hurta picked up his first win of the season (1-0) in his single-inning stint. Senior centerfielder Don Skelly (Oak Lawn, Ill./Marist) led the Cougars at the plate with a 3-of-4 performance.
The victory improves Saint Xavier's 2009 overall season record to 10-7 (1-0 CCAC). The Cougars continue their conference series with Judson at 1 p.m. Saturday with a road doubleheader in Elgin, Ill.