Baseball - Fri, Mar. 26, 2010
CHICAGO - Behind a solid complete game performance on the mound by junior right-hander Joe Branigan (Plainfield, Ill./Plainfield South), the No. 24 ranked Saint Xavier University baseball team held on for a 5-4 victory over Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) foe Robert Morris University (Ill.) at Richard R. Ferrell Memorial Field in Chicago. Branigan allowed just seven hits, four runs (two earned) and a walk with five strikeouts over the nine-inning affair to improve to 2-2 on the season. The Cougars (14-8-1 overall/3-2 CCAC) led 5-2 after five innings of play, but a late rally attempt by the Eagles in the top of the ninth closed the gap to a one-run game in the final frame.
SXU got on the scoreboard first in the bottom of the third going up, 1-0, on a RBI single by junior centerfielder Anthony Maziur (Oak Forest, Ill./Northern Illinois/Oak Forest). A sacrifice fly by senior designated hitter Mark Siefert (Crest Hill, Ill./Joliet Catholic) an inning later gave the Cougars a 2-0 advantage. RMU would tie things up in the top of the fifth inning after three Saint Xavier errors kept the inning alive and helped plate a pair of runs. However, it would not take the Cougars long to restore their lead as a RBI double by senior left fielder Tony Testin (Joliet, Ill./Joliet Catholic) and a RBI single by senior right fielder Zach Clements (Berwyn, Ill./Morton) helped score three runs in the bottom of the fifth making the score, 5-2. Branigan would shut down the Eagle bats over the next three innings retiring all nine batters faced, including a pair by strikeouts. In the top of the ninth, Robert Morris would open the inning with back-to-back outs, but a RBI double followed by a RBI single made it a one-run game before Branigan would secure the victory with an infield pop-up. Maziur, Testin and junior third baseman Matt Erickson (Oak Lawn, Ill./Richards) each finished Friday's game with two hits. Saint Xavier (14-8-1 overall/3-2 CCAC) wraps up the three-game series with Robert Morris on Saturday, March 27, with a road doubleheader at Giels Field in Bensenville, Ill. The first pitch for the day's first game is scheduled for 1 p.m.