Baseball - Sun, Mar. 7, 2010
Sanford, Fla. - Led by two hits, including a double and a homer, by senior first baseman Ken Tezak (Joliet, Ill./Joliet Catholic), the No. 24 ranked Saint Xavier University baseball team swept a Saturday doubleheader from Ohio Dominican University (Ohio) Saturday afternoon at Sanford Stadium in Sanford, Fla. Unfortunately for the Cougars, a Sunday morning game against Aquinas College (Mich.) ended in an 7-7 tie, and could not be completed after nine innings due to a scheduling conflict, meaning SXU finished the Florida trip with an 8-4-1 record. In the sweep of the Panthers Saturday, Saint Xavier got solid pitching performances from junior right-handers Joe Branigan (Plainfield, Ill./Plainfield South) and Ken Hurta (Midlothian, Ill./Bremen).
Tezak was nearly unstoppable offensively for the Cougars in Saturday's first game going 2-for-3 with a double, a homer and four RBI. His three-run homer in the top of the seventh inning allowed SXU to rally from a 3-2 deficit and secure the win. Branigan threw the first six innings and allowed seven hits, three runs (all earned) and a walk to pick up the victory and improve to 1-1 this season. Freshman rightie Lucas Fritsch (Orland Park, Ill./Sandburg) earned his second save (2) of the year throwing a perfect seventh inning.
The Cougars would rally again in the second game after ODU took a 1-0 lead in the top of the fourth inning. Saint Xavier would post two runs in the bottom of the sixth when freshman left fielder Tony O'Shea (Valparaiso, Ind./Mount Carmel) opened the frame with a solo homer and senior left fielder Tony Testin (Joliet, Ill./Joliet Catholic) would bring home the game-winning RBI on a sacrifice fly. O'Shea finished with two hits, including the home run, in game two. Hurta threw the entire game and gave up seven hits, a run (earned) and no walks with five strikeouts to also improve to 1-1 this year. Senior shortstop John O'Brien (Lake Zurich, Ill./Lake Zurich) posted three hits and two RBI, while Tezak added a solo homer in SXU's Florida finale against Aquinas. Saint Xavier University (8-4-1 overall) takes a week off and will return to action starting Saturday, March 13, with a pair of weekend doubleheaders against McKendree University (Ill.). The first set of games will take place Saturday at 12 p.m. in Lebanon, Ill., before the Cougars close out the weekend with another doubleheader against the Bearcats on Sunday, March 14, also beginning at noon.