Baseball - Tue, Apr. 20, 2010
CHICAGO - Racking up four combined RBI off three hits, including a solo homer and a walkoff RBI single, senior first baseman Ken Tezak (Joliet, Ill./Joliet Catholic) helped lead the Saint Xavier University baseball team to its eighth straight victory with a doubleheader sweep of Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) foe Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) Tuesday afternoon at Richard R. Ferrell Memorial Field in Chicago. Trailing 4-2 going into the bottom of the seventh of game one, the Cougars (26-12-1 overall/14-6 CCAC) scored three runs to capture a thrilling 5-4 win capped by Tezak's single to left field to bring home the game-winner. Freshman right-hander Mike Stirling (Thornton, Ill./Mount Carmel) was sensational on the mound for SXU in Tuesday's second game retiring the first 14 batters he faced and allowing just four hits, one run (earned) and no walks to improve to 3-2 on the year.
Illinois Tech jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the first frame off a RBI single by senior catcher Kyle Gugleilmo. Another RBI single by sophomore outfielder Nick Wise in the top of the third gave the Scarlet Hawks a 2-0 advantage before the Cougars tied the game, 2-2, in the bottom of the inning with a sacrifice fly by Tezak and a RBI single to centerfield by sophomore catcher Jim Pipolo (Orland Park, Ill./Sandburg). IIT would take a 3-2 lead in the fourth on a fielder's choice that scored junior second baseman Bill O'Toole from third base. A leadoff walk in the sixth came back to haunt the Cougars as the Scarlet Hawks scored another run in the frame off a RBI single by O'Toole to build a 4-2 lead. However, a single by senior pinch hitter Mark Siefert (Crest Hill, Ill./Joliet Catholic) with one out followed by a walk and a hit batsman loaded the bases for senior first baseman Tony Testin (Joliet, Ill./Joliet Catholic). Testin delivered a RBI single to left field to score a run and senior right fielder Zach Clements (Berwyn, Ill./Morton) was hit by a pitch in the next at-bat to tie the game, 4-4, and set the stage for Tezak's game-winning single. Junior right-hander Jeff Dobie (Glen Ellyn, Ill./Glenbard South) got the win in relief of junior starter Ken Hurta (Midlothian, Ill./Bremen). Dobie threw the seventh inning and put Illinois Tech down in order to improve his win-loss record to 2-1 this season.
The nightcap proved to be more one-sided as the SXU offense built an early lead and Stirling kept the IIT bats in check for most of the game. Testin scored the game's first run in the opening inning when he came home from second base following an Illinois Tech throwing error. The timely hits would keep coming for the Cougars, including RBI singles by sophomore designated hitter Brett Ratajczak (Joliet, Ill./Joliet Catholic) and Clements as well as a RBI triple by second baseman Matt Mueller (Burbank, Ill./Reavis) to help build a 6-0 lead through four innings of play. Tezak would add a solo shot to centerfield in the fifth frame to put Saint Xavier ahead, 7-0, before the Scarlet Hawks answered with a run in the sixth off a RBI single by senior outfielder Thomas Hotz. Stirling would finish the game in the seventh allowing just one hit in the frame to secure the 7-1 win for the Cougars. Saint Xavier (26-12-1 overall/14-6 CCAC) hosts Trinity Christian College (Ill.) for a nine-inning conference game on Friday, April 23, at Ferrell Field. The game is scheduled to start at 3:30 p.m.