Junior Brett Ratajczak had a RBI double for the Cougars Friday against St. Ambrose
Junior Brett Ratajczak had a RBI double for the Cougars Friday against St. Ambrose
Saint Ambrose University
Saint Xavier
Baseball - Fri, Apr. 8, 2011

CHICAGO - A couple of miscues by Saint Xavier University in the early innings made all the difference as Saint Ambrose University scored two runs over the first three frames and held on for a 3-2 victory Friday afternoon in NAIA baseball action at Richard R. Ferrell Memorial Field in Chicago. In the top of the first inning, a dropped fly ball in center field eventually led to an unearned run off a two-out, RBI single by the Fighting Bees. SAU got its second run of the game in the third inning when its runner advanced to third on what the SXU fielder thought was a force out on a fielder's choice, but never applied the tag. The runner later scored on a RBI single to put Saint Ambrose ahead, 2-0. Senior catcher Jim Pipolo (Orland Park, Ill./Sandburg) and junior designated hitter Brett Ratajczak (Joliet, Ill./Joliet Catholic) each posted a RBI in the game for the Cougars, while junior second baseman Tom Simek (New Lenox, Ill./St. Laurence) went 2-for-4 at the plate.

After falling behind 2-0 heading into the bottom of the third, Saint Xavier finally got some offensive momentum when freshman left fielder Corey Lasky (Vernon Hills, Ill./Stevenson) and Simek opened with back-to-back singles. After a sacrifice bunt moved the runners to second and third base, Pipolo brought home Lasky on a sacrifice fly to right field to cut the lead in half, 2-1. Unfortunately, the inning would end on a fly-out to left field. Neither team would score again until the sixth inning when a lead-off walk eventually led to another Fighting Bees' run when junior designated hitter Ethan Naab recorded a RBI single. Back-to-back doubles by sophomore third baseman Mike Pokers (Lansing, Ill./Andrean) and Ratajczak helped the Cougars close to within a run again in the bottom of the sixth, but that would be all the scoring for the inning for SXU. Neither team would cross home plate the rest of the way as both pitchers settled down allowing just a combined two hits over the final three frames. Senior right-hander Ken Hurta (Midlothian, Ill./Bremen) took the loss (3-3) for SXU going the first five innings and allowing five hits, two runs (one earned) and no walks with five strikeouts.

Saint Xavier (16-17-1 overall/8-3 CCAC) hosts Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) foe Holy Cross College (Ind.) for a nine-inning game at 1 p.m. Saturday at Ferrell Field. The Cougars finish up the conference series with the Saints with a Sunday doubleheader at 12 p.m. (central) in Niles, Mich.