Baseball - Mon, Apr. 16, 2007
CHICAGO - Behind three hits and two runs scored from senior catcher Ryan Buchler (Schererville, Ind./South Suburban CC), the Saint Xavier University baseball team picked up a huge 7-5 Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference victory over rival Olivet Nazarene University (Ill.) Monday at Richard R. Ferrell Memorial Field in Chicago. The Cougars (17-12 overall/9-1 CCAC) now sit atop the conference standings with a 9-1 mark and have a three-game lead on both Purdue-North Central (Ind.) and Olivet Nazarene (Ill.).

After three scoreless innings to start the game, ONU got a solo homer from junior second baseman Alex Rivas with one out in the top of the fourth to take a 1-0 lead. SXU answered in the bottom of the inning with four runs of its own sparked by a triple to the gap in right-centerfield by Buchler. The Cougars posted three more runs in the fifth thanks to five hits by the first six batters, including a RBI triple to right-centerfield by freshman centerfielder Zach Clements (Berwyn, Ill./Morton). Down 7-1 heading into the seventh inning, the Tigers crept back into the game with three runs on three straight RBI hits to make the score, 7-4. A sacrifice fly in the eighth allowed ONU to close to within two runs at 7-5, but sophomore closer Dan Miller (Joliet, Ill./Joliet Catholic) took care of business in the ninth putting the Tigers down 1-2-3 to earn the save (6) and end the game.

Junior left-hander Kyle Zilis (Oak Forest, Ill./Marist) got the starting nod on the mound Monday and threw the first eight innings to earn the win (2-1). He allowed eight hits, five runs (all earned), and two walks with five strikeouts. The Cougars scattered 10 hits in the ballgame compared to just eight by Olivet Nazarene. In addition to Buchler's three hits, freshman first baseman Mark Siefert (Crest Hill, Ill./Joliet Catholic) also had a good game at the plate going 2-for-4 with two runs scored and a RBI.

Saint Xavier (17-12 overall/9-1 CCAC) takes a break from its conference slate to take on NCAA Division I foe Northern Illinois University on Tuesday, April 17. The Cougars will play one nine-inning game against the Huskies at 3 p.m. Tuesday in DeKalb, Ill.