Sophomore Mike Pokers was huge at the plate for SXU late last week in Florida
Sophomore Mike Pokers was huge at the plate for SXU late last week in Florida
Baseball - Tue, Mar. 8, 2011

Winter Haven, Fla. - Sophomore first baseman Mike Pokers (Lansing, Ind./Andrean) racked up nine hits, including three doubles and a triple, to help the Saint Xavier University baseball team pick up three wins over the final seven games of its Florida trip last week. Pokers also posted five runs scored and five RBI over the seven-game stretch for the Cougars. SXU ended the trip with a 4-10-1 overall record. Fielding errors plagued the team throughout the week, especially in the latter half with the Cougars posting 20 miscues over the final seven games. Saint Xavier split doubleheaders with Notre Dame College (Ohio) and Morningside College (Iowa), while logging a win against Concordia University-Ann Arbor (Mich.) and falling to Bethel College (Ind.) and Point Park College (Pa.).

In Thursday's doubleheader against Notre Dame College, the Cougars got off to a good start jumping out to a 6-4 lead through the first six innings of game one. However, the Falcons tied the game with two runs in the bottom of the seventh to force extra frames and won the game with a sacrifice fly in the eighth. Freshman outfielder Brad Myjak (Tinley Park, Ill./Mount Carmel) and senior right fielder Joe Dispensa (Chicago, Ill./St. Joseph's College/Mesa CC/St. Rita) each finished the game 2-for-4 with a run scored and a RBI, while sophomore third baseman Jonathan Atkins (Kenosha, Wis./Kenosha Bradford) posted two RBI and a run scored. The offense clicked in the late game with SXU exploding for 12 runs in the third inning en route to a 17-6 victory. Senior centerfielder Anthony Maziur (Oak Forest, Ill./NIU/Oak Forest) had the big bat for the Cougars going 3-for-5 with a homer, three runs scored and five RBI. Sophomore Mike Stirling (Thornton, Ill./Mount Carmel) got his first win of the year (1-0) throwing all six innings and allowing 10 hits, six runs (all earned) and three walks with a strikeout.

SXU carried its offensive momentum into Friday's first game against Concordia University-Ann Arbor, which proved to be an 11-0 victory in just five innings. Junior designated hitter Brett Ratajczak (Joliet, Ill./Joliet Catholic) had a home run and racked up three runs and three RBI toward the winning effort. Pokers posted two hits, a run scored and two RBI for Saint Xavier as well. Freshman left-hander Scott Koziol (Burbank, Ill./St. Laurence) was sensational on the mound for the Cougars allowing no hits or runs over the five-inning affair, while also posting a walk and five strikeouts. Unfortunately, SXU's next game against Bethel College did not go as well as the Pilots broke a 1-1 tie through three innings with six unanswered runs to earn the 7-1 decision. Dispensa led the Cougars offensively with two hits, while Maziur recorded the team's lone RBI.

In Saturday's doubleheader against Morningside, Saint Xavier overcame four errors in the first game to pick up the 11-4 win. Myjak posted three hits, a run scored and two RBI, while Ratajczak went 2-for-3 with a run scored and two RBI as well. Freshman right-hander Scott Vachon (Plainfield, Ill./Plainfield North) earned the win on the mound for SXU pitching six innings and allowing seven hits, two runs (both earned) and two walks with six strikeouts. In game two, the Cougars could not sustain a late lead and posted five errors in a 7-6 loss to the Mustangs. SXU gave up three runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to lose the game. Myjak had another solid game going 2-for-3 with a pair of RBI, while Ratajczak also went 2-for-3 with two runs scored. Before heading back to Chicago Sunday, the Cougars dropped a tough morning game to Point Park by a score of 9-0. Maziur and junior catcher Jim Pipolo (Orland Park, Ill./Sandburg) were the only two SXU players to record a hit in the finale.

Saint Xavier (4-10-1 overall) returns to action on Saturday, March 12, with a road doubleheader against NAIA foe Mount Vernon Nazarene University (Ohio). The first game in the twin-bill is scheduled for 12 p.m. (central) at Chillicothe Paints Stadium in Chillicothe, Ohio.