Baseball - Wed, May. 6, 2009
CHICAGO - The No. 25 ranked Saint Xavier University baseball team swept a doubleheader Wednesday over Trinity Christian College (Ill.), 11-0 and 5-3, at Richard R. Ferrell Memorial Field. With today's sweep, the Cougars clinched the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference's (CCAC) regular season championship. Saint Xavier used hot hitting and a dominant performance by senior lefthander Kyle Zilis (Oak Forest, Ill./Marist), who narrowly missed out on a perfect game to take down the Trolls.
In game one, Zilis threw all five innings of the contest, allowing only one hit with four strikeouts. He faced only one batter over the minimum, allowing a single with one out in the top of the fourth inning. He retired the next five batters of the game to improve his overall record on the season to 8-2. Saint Xavier's bats were hot early putting up 10 runs in the first two frames off Trinity starter Anthony Narducci. With one out in the first inning, SXU recorded five straight hits, four of which were doubles. Junior shortstop John O'Brien (Lake Zurich, Ill./Lake Zurich) was 1-for-1 with a double, two walks and three runs scored. Junior designated hitter Ken Tezak (Joliet, Ill./Joliet Catholic) and senior first baseman Matt Van Mill (Palos Heights, Ill./Bishop McNamara) both finished 2-for-3 with two doubles and three RBI. The Cougars pounded out 11 hits in the contest.
In game two, Saint Xavier used a late rally in the bottom of the sixth inning to take the lead. With the score knotted at 3-3, freshman catcher Jim Pipolo (Orland Park, Ill./Sandburg) led off the inning by getting hit by a pitch. Van Mill plated pinch runner Alex Blanco (Cicero, Ill./Morton) with an RBI double to the left-center gap, as Blanco hustled to score from first. Junior designated hitter Mark Siefert (Crest Hill, Ill./Joliet Catholic) tripled to left-centerfield to score Van Mill and give the Cougars a 5-3 advantage. Van Mill finished 3-for-3 with two doubles and O'Brien went 2-for-3 in game two. On the mound for SXU junior Jayson Koehn (Beecher, Ill./Beecher) started and went 5.1 innings giving up five hits and three earned runs. Koehn's 38.1 scoreless inning streak, the new SXU all-time record, was snapped in the fourth frame by Trinity. Sophomore reliever Joe Branigan (Plainfield, Ill./Plainfield South) improved to 2-2 on the season by working 1.2 innings of scoreless relief.
Saint Xavier's overall season record now stands at 38-13 and 24-5 in the CCAC. Mike Dooley's team has now won five out of the last six CCAC conference titles. The Cougars continue play tomorrow with their final regular season and CCAC contest with Trinity Christian at 4 p.m. (central) at Standard Bank Stadium, in Crestwood, Ill. SXU will await the final seeding for the 2009 Opening Round NAIA Tournament with pairings expected to be announced on Friday. Games will be played May 12-15 with locations, seeds and times to be determined.