Baseball - Thu, Apr. 23, 2009
CHICAGO - The Saint Xavier University baseball team swept a doubleheader Thursday at Richard R. Ferrell Memorial Field in Chicago against NCAA Division II foe Lewis University (Ill.), 7-0 and 10-9 in extra (8) innings. The Cougars (32-11 overall) rode the hot pitching of junior southpaw Jayson Koehn (Beecher, Ill./Beecher) in game one and used clutch hitting to come from behind in dramatic fashion to win game two. SXU belted three home runs and 11 hits in game two.
In Thursday's first game, Koehn continued his season-long dominance by shutting out the Flyers over five innings, scattering five hits and striking out four. SXU used shutout innings by sophomore reliever Joe Branigan (Plainfield, Ill./Plainfield South) and Ken Hurta (Midlothian, Ill./Bremen) to close out the game. SXU could only muster seven hits in game one, but was aided by three Lewis errors. Senior centerfielder Don Skelly (Oak Lawn, Ill./Marist) went 2- for-4 with a run scored.
In game two, the Cougars led for most of the game thanks to a four-run third inning, giving them a 6-4 advantage. In the inning, juniors Ken Tezak (Joliet, Ill./Joliet Catholic) and Tony Testin (Joliet, Ill./Joliet Catholic) both homered to left field. Tezak's was his seventh on the season, giving him the team lead, while Testin's was his first collegiate career home run. Leading 6-5 going into the top half of the seventh, SXU relievers were unable to nail down the victory as Lewis took a 7-6 lead. With two outs and no one on base in the bottom of the seventh Saint Xavier designated hitter Brett Ratajczak (Joliet, Ill./Joliet Catholic) hit a game-tying home run deep to left field, forcing extra innings. In the top half of the eighth, Hurta was unable to hold Lewis giving up two runs, thanks to an error on a bunt and an errant pickoff throw.
Trailing 9-7 going into the bottom of the eighth, freshman Tom Simek (New Lenox, Ill./St. Laurence) drew a walk (his third of the game), battling back from an 0-2 count. Skelly tripled to center as Lewis' centerfielder dove past the sinking line drive. Testin came up and tied the game with a double off the left field wall. After sacrifice bunting Testin to third, junior shortstop John O'Brien (Lake Zurich, Ill./Lake Zurich) capped off the dramatic rally with a line drive through the drawn-in Flyers infield. Testin finished 4-for-5 with five RBI. Skelly went 3-for-3 with two walks, and O'Brien finished 2-for-5, including the game-winning hit. Hurta improved to 2-0 on the season thanks to the Cougars' rally.
Saint Xavier (32-11 overall) remain perfect at Richard R. Ferrell Memorial Field this season at 15-0. SXU continues its 2009 schedule this Sunday with a non-conference doubleheader on the road at Indiana Institute of Technology (Ind.), in Fort Wayne, Ind. Start time for the doubleheader is 1 p.m. (eastern).