Baseball - Wed, Apr. 1, 2009
CHICAGO - The Saint Xavier University baseball team came from behind to win a Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) game against Illinois Institute of Technology, 7-5, Wednesday at Richard R. Ferrell Memorial Field extending its season-high win streak to seven games. The Cougars trailed 5-4 after five innings, but shut down the Scarlet Hawks the rest of the way to earn the CCAC victory. SXU improves to 18-9 overall on the season and 7-2 in conference play.
Saint Xavier got on the board early in the bottom of the first thanks to a two-run homer (2) to right-centerfield by junior shortstop John O'Brien (Lake Zurich, Ill./Lake Zurich) to put his team ahead, 2-0. The Cougars put up two more in the third thanks to an RBI single by junior second baseman Matt Mueller (Burbank, Ill./Reavis) followed by an RBI triple by O'Brien. O'Brien finished 3-for-4 on the day with a double, a triple, a home run and three RBI. IIT would bounce back in the fifth inning against SXU senior starter Kyle Zilis (Oak Forest, Ill./Marist) thanks to a three-run homer by Dustin Reznicek, giving the Scarlet Hawks a 5-4 advantage. Zilis battled through seven tough innings of five-run baseball, holding IIT scoreless after the homer. He struck out seven and walked none to improve his overall season record to 4-1.
Trailing 5-4 after the top half of the fifth, the Cougars wasted little time evening things up. Senior centerfielder Don Skelly (Oak Lawn, Ill./Marist) led off the inning with a double and later scored on junior right fielder Zach Clements' (Berwyn, Ill./Morton) bloop single over the shortstop. Skelly finished the day 2-for-3 with a double, a triple and two runs scored. SXU took the lead in the bottom half of the seventh thanks to an RBI single by junior left fielder Tony Testin (Shorewood, Ill./Joliet Catholic) that scored Skelly. The Cougars would tack on an insurance run in the eighth and sophomore reliever Ken Hurta (Midlothian, Ill./Bremen) pitched two scoreless innings with three strikeouts to notch his third save on the season.
Saint Xavier (18-9 overall/7-2 CCAC) continues CCAC play this weekend with a three-game series against Trinity International University (Ill.). Game one will be a nine-inning affair at SXU's Richard R. Ferrell Memorial Field Friday at 3:30 p.m. The Cougars will then travel to Deerfield, Ill., on Saturday for a doubleheader with the Trojans at 1 p.m.