Baseball - Sun, Mar. 25, 2007
Joliet, Ill. - Behind three hits apiece from senior designated hitter Ryan Buchler (Schererville, Ind./South Suburban CC) and sophomore centerfielder Don Skelly (Oak Lawn, Ill./Marist), the Saint Xavier University baseball team belted out 16 hits and cruised to a 12-4 victory over Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) rival University of St. Francis (Ill.) in both team's conference opener Sunday in Joliet, Ill. Unfortunately, the Cougars (7-8 overall/1-0 CCAC) could not sustain the offensive momentum in the second game of the day against the Fighting Saints, a non-conference affair which USF won 3-2 in 10 innings.

In the first game, Skelly finished 3-for-6 at the plate with two runs scored and a RBI, while Buchler was 3-for-4 with a run scored and three RBI. Senior righthander Ryan Quigley (Joliet, Ill./Joliet Catholic) got the start and kept the St. Francis bats in check allowing just five hits, five walks, and a run (earned) over the first six innings. Quigley also posted six strikeouts in the winning effort. Senior third baseman Nick Tantillo (Tinley Park, Ill./Andrew) also had a big game for SXU going 2-for-4 with two doubles, two runs scored, and a RBI. After falling behind 1-0 to the Saints in the second inning, the Cougars rattled off nine unanswered runs over the next two innings to notch the big win.

The non-conference game was a completely different story with Saint Xavier only able to cross home plate twice over 10 innings despite racking up 11 hits. Skelly went a perfect 3-for-3 with a double as the leadoff hitter in game two and scored both of SXU's runs in the game. Sophomore rightie Bryant Myjak (Tinley Park, Ill./Andrew) took the loss in relief for the Cougars throwing the last four innings of the ballgame and giving up seven hits, three walks, and a run (earned) with three strikeouts. Freshman lefthander Jayson Koehn (Beecher, Ill./Beecher) got the game two start and allowed two hits, four walks, and two runs (earned) over three innings.

Saint Xavier fell behind 2-1 after the third inning, but tied the game, 2-2, in the top of the fifth off a sacrifice fly by freshman shortstop John O'Brien (Lake Zurich, Ill./Lake Zurich). St. Francis had a chance to win the game in the bottom of the ninth with bases loaded and one out, but the Cougars were able to get out of the jam. However, in the bottom of the 10th inning, the Saints led off with a single and immediately followed the hit with a RBI triple to right field to bring home the game-winning run.

Saint Xavier (7-8 overall, 1-0 CCAC) will match up against University of St. Francis (Ill.) again on Monday, March 26, at Richard R. Ferrell Memorial Field in Chicago. The conference game will take place at 3:30 p.m.