Baseball - Mon, Mar. 26, 2007
CHICAGO - A two-run homer in the bottom of the third inning by freshman right fielder Zach Clements (Berwyn, Ill./Morton) sparked a five-run frame for the Saint Xavier University baseball team, which led to an 8-3 win over Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) rival University of St. Francis (Ill.) Monday at Richard R. Ferrell Memorial Field in Chicago. The Cougars improve to 8-8 overall with the victory and have a perfect 2-0 mark in the conference standings, while USF drops to 9-11 overall and 0-2 in league play.

Clements' two-run shot over the wall in left field opened the scoring for SXU after the team fell behind 1-0 in the first inning following a RBI single by the Fighting Saints. Following the homer, sophomore centerfielder Don Skelly (Oak Lawn, Ill./Marist) and freshman left fielder Tony Testin (Joliet, Ill./Joliet Catholic) hit back-to-back singles and freshman shortstop John O'Brien (Lake Zurich, Ill./Lake Zurich) walked to load the bases with one out. After a pop out in foul territory, senior second baseman Craig Buske (New Lenox, Ill./Lincoln-Way Central) hit a three-RBI triple to right-centerfield to complete the five-run inning.

The Fighting Saints rallied in the top of the fifth when junior lefthander Kyle Zilis (Oak Forest, Ill./Marist) got in his first jam of the game loading the bases with no outs on a single and consecutive walks. A two-RBI double by USF cut the Cougars' lead to two runs, 5-3, before sophomore righthander Rick Kehoe (Palos Heights, Ill./Richards) came in to close out the fifth inning. Kehoe got Saint Xavier out of the jam on three straight outs, including two strikeouts. A RBI single by Skelly highlighted a three-run sixth inning for SXU, which led to the 8-3 final score.

As the starter, Zilis threw the first four innings and allowed six hits, three runs (all earned), and three walks with three strikeouts. Kehoe notched the win on the mound (3-0) and pitched the remaining five innings giving up one hit, no runs, and a walk with three strikeouts. Clements finished with a home run and two RBI, while Buske recorded a triple and three RBI on the day. Skelly, Tantillo, and senior catcher Brian Grupp (Granger, Ind./Mishawaka Penn) each paced the SXU offense with two hits apiece Monday. The Cougars belted out 10 hits in the ballgame.

Saint Xavier (8-8 overall, 2-0 CCAC) stays at home on Tuesday, March 27, to take on conference foe Trinity Christian College (Ill.). Start time for the nine-inning game is scheduled for 3:30 p.m.