Baseball - Fri, Apr. 13, 2007
CHICAGO - A single down the left field line by freshman right fielder Zach Clements (Berwyn, Ill./Morton) brought home the game-winning run and completed a seven-run rally for Saint Xavier University in a 8-7 extra-innings victory over Purdue University-North Central (Ind.) in Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) baseball action Friday at Richard R. Ferrell Memorial Field in Chicago. With the win, the Cougars (13-12 overall/6-1 CCAC) build a two-game lead atop the conference standings at 6-1.

After trailing 7-1 heading into the bottom of the sixth inning, SXU posted five runs over the next two innings to tie things up, 7-7, and force a 10th inning. After putting PUNC down 1-2-3 in the top of the tenth, the Cougars opened the bottom of the inning with back-to-back hits by freshman first baseman Mark Siefert (Crest Hill, Ill./Joliet Catholic) and senior designated hitter Brian Grupp (Granger, Ind./Mishawaka Penn), respectively. Following an intentional walk to load the bases, Clements was able to lace the ball down the line to bring Siefert home from third and win the game in dramatic fashion. Clements finished the game 2-for-5 with the lone RBI.

Through the first five innings, Saint Xavier had mustered just one run on a solo home run to right field by senior catcher Ryan Buchler (Schererville, Ind./South Suburban CC) to start the bottom of the fifth. However, junior Brian Phillips came in to relief Purdue University-North Central senior starter Shawn Kuhns for the sixth inning and the Cougars had his number. SXU recorded five hits and two walks in the sixth to close to within a run, 7-6. The inning was highlighted by two big hits, a RBI triple down the right field line by senior second baseman Craig Buske (New Lenox, Ill./Lincoln-Way Central) and a two-RBI single to right field by Siefert. A sacrifice fly by senior third baseman Nick Tantillo (Tinley Park, Ill./Andrew) in the bottom of the seventh tied the game, 7-7.

Siefert finished the game with three hits, two runs scored, and two RBI, while Buchler tallied three hits as well with a home run, two runs scored, and a RBI. Senior righthander Ryan Quigley (Joliet, Ill./Joliet Catholic) got the start for SXU and pitched nine solid innings allowing nine hits, seven runs (four earned), and four walks with 10 strikeouts. Sophomore rightie Dan Miller (Joliet, Ill./Joliet Catholic) got the win (2-0) on the mound in the tenth allowing no hits, runs, or walks in his one inning of work. The Cougars racked up 16 hits in the ballgame with 10 of them coming after the fifth inning.

Saint Xavier (13-12 overall/6-1 CCAC) will host another conference game against Illinois Institute of Technology (Ill.) on Saturday, April 14. The nine-inning affair is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. at Richard R. Ferrell Memorial Field.