Baseball - Mon, Apr. 5, 2010
CHICAGO - A two-run homer by senior right fielder Zach Clements (Berwyn, Ill./Morton) in the first inning of game one helped propel the Saint Xavier University baseball team to a doubleheader sweep of Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) rival University of St. Francis (Ill.) Monday afternoon at Richard R. Ferrell Memorial Field in Chicago. The Cougars (18-10-1 overall/8-4 CCAC) won the first game, 5-1, behind a stellar pitching performance by junior right-hander Ken Hurta (Midlothian, Ill./Bremen) and then held off a rally attempt by the Fighting Saints in the nightcap to capture a 5-4 victory. Junior third baseman Matt Erickson (Oak Lawn, Ill./Richards) had a huge day at the plate for SXU going 3-for-5 with a run scored and four RBI.

Clements set the tone in Monday's first game when he blasted a two-run shot over the wall in left field to put Saint Xavier ahead, 2-0, after the first inning. Back-to-back singles by sophomore catcher Jim Pipolo (Orland Park, Ill./Sandburg) and Erickson to open the bottom of the fifth inning ended up turning into two more runs for the Cougars when senior left fielder Tony Testin (Joliet, Ill./Joliet Catholic) brought the pair home on a two-RBI single up the middle. A solo homer by senior first baseman Ken Tezak (Joliet, Ill./Joliet Catholic) in the sixth would wrap up the scoring for SXU in game one and USF would answer with a run of its own off a sacrifice fly in the seventh. Hurta improved to 6-1 overall with the win throwing the game's first six innings and allowing just one hit, one run (earned) and six walks with two strikeouts. Freshman right-hander Lucas Fritsch (Orland Park, Ill./Sandburg) picked up his fourth save of the year pitching the final inning and giving up no hits, runs or walks. Erickson was instrumental in the nightcap driving in two runs in the bottom of the second inning on a single to left field. St. Francis tied the game, 2-2, in the top of the third and then took its first lead of the day, 3-2, in the fifth frame on an infield bunt for a RBI single. Erickson would come up big for his team again in the sixth when he hit a two-out, two-RBI single to centerfield to give SXU a 5-3 advantage following a game-tying RBI double to deep centerfield by senior designated hitter Mark Siefert (Crest Hill, Ill./Joliet Catholic). A wild pitch would score a run from third base for USF in the top of the seventh, but Fritsch would hold on to pick up his second save (5) of the day striking out the final batter with a runner at second base. Junior right-hander Jeff Dobie (Glen Ellyn, Ill./Glenbard South) picked up the win (1-1) in relief of freshman starter Mike Stirling (Thornton, Ill./Mount Carmel). Dobie threw the sixth inning and gave up two hits, no runs and no walks, while Stirling pitched five frames allowing nine hits, three runs (one earned) and a walk with three strikeouts.

Saint Xavier (18-10-1 overall/8-4 CCAC) has little time to enjoy the sweep jumping right back into its CCAC slate on Tuesday, April 6, with a big doubleheader against Olivet Nazarene University (Ill.). The first pitch of game one is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. at Richard R. Ferrell Memorial Field in Chicago.