Ill. - A pair of
first-inning errors by Saint Xavier University enabled Olivet Nazarene
University to score two early unearned runs and it proved to be the difference
in a 3-1 loss in Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) baseball
action Thursday afternoon at Watson Field in Bourbonnais, Ill. After retiring the first two Tiger batters in
the bottom of the first, an infield error by the Cougars kept the inning alive
and led to an early 2-0 deficit. Senior
right fielder Joe Dispensa (Chicago, Ill./St. Joseph's College/Mesa CC/St.
Rita) and freshman shortstop Justin Smykowski (Crestwood, Ill./Shepard) each
finished the game with two hits to lead the SXU offense, while junior
designated hitter Brett Ratajczak (Joliet, Ill./Joliet Catholic) provided the
team's lone RBI.
right-hander Mike Stirling (Thornton, Ill./Mount Carmel) took the loss (2-1)
for the Cougars. Stirling went seven
innings and allowed six hits, three runs (one earned) and a walk with three
strikeouts. Sophomore right-hander Lucas Fritsch (Orland Park, Ill./Sandburg) threw a perfect eighth inning in relief of
Stirling. After taking a 2-0 lead after
one inning of play, the Tigers extended the lead to 3-0 in the bottom of the
third inning on a two-out RBI single by senior right fielder Chris
Hammett. SXU would finally answer in the
top of the eighth when Ratajczak found a hole with a two-out RBI single to make
the score, 3-1. However, that would be
the end of the scoring for both teams on the day. The Cougars left 10 runners stranded on the
bases in Thursday's game, their first CCAC loss of the season.
Saint Xavier (13-13-1
overall/6-1 CCAC) wraps up its three-game conference series with Olivet
Nazarene on Saturday, April 2, with a doubleheader at Richard R. Ferrell
Memorial Field in Chicago. The first
game is scheduled for a 12 p.m. start.