Baseball - Wed, Apr. 14, 2010
Bourbonnais, Ill. - Sophomore catcher Jim Pipolo (Orland Park, Ill./Sandburg) posted three runs and three hits, including a solo homer, to help lead Saint Xavier University to a key 13-5 road victory over Chicagoland Conference Athletic Conference (CCAC) foe Olivet Nazarene University (Ill.) in NAIA baseball action Wednesday afternoon at Watson Field in Bourbonnais, Ill. SXU blasted 16 hits in the game with five of those of the extra-base variety (four doubles and a home run). Junior right-hander Ken Hurta (Midlothian, Ill./Bremen) got the start and victory (8-1) on the mound for the Cougars throwing the first 6.2 innings and allowing eight hits, five runs (four earned) and three walks with three strikeouts.

The Cougars started off well in the first inning by showing patience at the plate. After a pair of groundouts, senior right fielder Zach Clements (Berwyn, Ill./Morton), senior shortstop John O'Brien (Lake Zurich, Ill./Lake Zurich) and senior first baseman Ken Tezak (Joliet, Ill./Joliet Catholic) all drew consecutive walks to load the bases. This set the stage for senior designated hitter Mark Siefert (Crest Hill, Ill./Joliet Catholic), who came up with a big two-RBI single to score Clements and O'Brien. The offense would continue to work its magic in the second inning as sophomore catcher Jim Pipolo (Orland Park, Ill./Sandburg) and junior third baseman Matt Erickson (Oak Lawn, Ill./Richards) led off the frame with singles. An infield error by ONU scored Pipolo to make the lead, 3-0, for the Cougars before senior left fielder Tony Testin (Joliet, Ill./Joliet Catholic) roped a double to left field scoring both Erickson and junior centerfielder Anthony Maziur (Oak Forest, Ill./Northern Illinois/Oak Forest). Trailing 5-0, Olivet Nazarene fought back and gained a run in the bottom half of the second inning to make the score, 5-1, after two innings of play. Saint Xavier and Olivet Nazarene each gained a run in the third as well with Erickson scoring Pipolo on a single. Ahead 6-2, Saint Xavier scored in their fourth consecutive frame as Tezak hit a RBI double to centerfield to bring home Clements and push the lead to five runs, 7-2. Pipolo then continued the scoring streak to five innings with a solo homer to put the Cougars ahead, 8-2. SXU would continue to extend its advantage in the sixth frame tacking on two more runs off a wild pitch and a sacrifice fly by Tezak. The Tigers would force the Cougars into a pitching change in the bottom of the seventh after scoring a pair of runs on a two-out, two-RBI single. ONU would get another run after the change to make the score, 10-5, after seven innings. After a scoreless eighth inning, a two-RBI single by Tezak would highlight a three-run ninth inning for the Cougars giving them a 13-5 lead. Senior left-hander Jayson Koehn (Beecher, Ill./Beecher) put the Tigers down in order in the ninth. Saint Xavier (20-12-1 overall/8-6 CCAC) returns home to play on Friday, April 16. They host the Panthers of Purdue University-North Central (Ind.) in a CCAC contest. The game is slated for nine innings with a 3:30 p.m. start time.