CHICAGO - Junior catcher Jim Pipolo (Orland Park, Ill./Sandburg) combined for nine
hits (9-for-13), two runs scored and four RBI, but the Saint Xavier University
baseball team had trouble getting victories dropping three of its four games on
the weekend at Richard R. Ferrell Memorial Field in Chicago. Olivet Nazarene University completed a
Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) series sweep of the Cougars on
Saturday taking a doubleheader by scores of 7-5 and 4-0. In a non-conference doubleheader against
University of Saint Francis (Ind.) on Sunday, SXU lost a slugfest in the first
game, 17-15, but ended the weekend with an 11-6 victory in the nightcap.
Both Pipolo and junior second baseman Tom Simek (New Lenox, Ill./St.
Laurence) posted three hits apiece in Saturday's first game against Olivet
Nazarene. The Tigers led, 6-3, after
five innings of play before a RBI single by Simek cut the deficit to two runs in
the bottom of the sixth. ONU would get
the run back though on a RBI double in the top of the seventh, but SXU would
not go down quietly scoring a run and leaving the bases loaded in the 7-5 setback. Senior right-hander Joe Branigan (Plainfield,
Ill./Plainfield North) took the loss on the mound throwing all seven innings
and allowing 12 hits, seven runs (all earned) and no walks with four
strikeouts. In the second game, neither
team crossed home plate for the first three innings before the Tigers scored
four unanswered runs over the final four frames to claim the shutout
victory. Senior first baseman Matt Erickson (Oak Lawn, Ill./Richards) and freshman outfielder Chris Klein
(Huntley, Ill./Huntley) each went 2-for-3 at the plate for SXU in game two. Freshman right-hander Scott Vachon
(Plainfield, Ill./Plainfield North) suffered the setback for the Cougars
throwing 6.1 innings and giving up seven hits, four runs (all earned) and a
walk with a pair of strikeouts.
On Sunday, the offense seemed to warm up with the temperature as both Saint
Xavier and Saint Francis (Ind.) combined for 35 hits and 32 runs in a crazy
seven-inning affair that lasted over three hours. In the first inning alone, USF plated 10 runs
off eight hits before SXU answered right back with eight runs off six
hits. Pipolo and senior outfielder Joe Dispensa (Chicago, Ill./St. Joseph's College/Mesa CC/St. Rita) each posted
three hits and a RBI in the game.
Erickson went 2-for-5 with a homer and three RBI, while senior center
fielder Anthony Maziur (Oak Forest, Ill./NIU/Oak Forest) also went 2-for-5 with
a double, two runs scored and three RBI.
Freshman right-hander Dan Maton (Plainfield, Ill./Plainfield North) led
the Cougars to a victory in the late game Sunday. Maton threw the first five innings allowing
five hits, four runs (three earned) and five walks with four strikeouts to
improve to 1-1 on the year. SXU led, 7-4,
heading into the top of the sixth inning when Saint Francis scored a pair to
cut the gap to a run, 7-6. However, the
Cougars would score four more runs in the bottom of the frame highlighted by a
two-RBI single by Klein to claim the 11-6 win.
Klein went 3-for-4 with two runs scored and two RBI, while Pipolo also
recorded three hits, two runs scored and a RBI in the game.
Saint Xavier (14-16-1 overall/6-3 CCAC) continues conference play on
Tuesday, April 5, with a home doubleheader against Cardinal Stritch University
(Wis.). The first game is scheduled for
a 1:30 p.m. start at Ferrell Field in Chicago.