Niles, Mich. - Senior center fielder Anthony Maziur (Oak Forest, Ill./Northern Illinois University/Oak Forest) posted two home runs and combined for four runs scored and nine RBI as Saint Xavier University had little trouble pulling away for a doubleheader sweep of Holy Cross College (Ind.) Sunday in Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) baseball action in Niles, Mich. The Cougars (19-17-1 overall/11-3 CCAC) won the opening game, 14-0, in five innings before exploding for a 30-5 victory in four innings in the nightcap. There were plenty of individual highlights for SXU Sunday with sophomore first baseman Mike Pokers (Lansing, Ill./Andrean) also helping lead the way with six hits, five runs scored and six RBI on the day.
In the first game Sunday, Saint Xavier scored 13 runs over the first three innings of play, including eight runs in the third frame, en route to its 14-0 shutout victory. Senior right-hander Joe Branigan (Plainfield, Ill./Plainfield South) got the win on the mound throwing all five innings and allowing just two hits and no walks, while striking out four batters. He improves to 4-2 on the year with the victory. Pokers and junior designated hitter Brett Ratajczak (Joliet, Ill./Joliet Catholic) each recorded three hits in the opener. Pokers went 3-for-4 with two runs scored and a RBI, while Ratajczak went a perfect 3-for-3 at the plate with a homer, three runs scored and three RBI. Maziur and senior catcher Jim Pipolo (Orland Park, Ill./Sandburg) also both homered in Sunday's first game.
Things started out a little different in game two with both teams scoring runs in the early innings. After two frames, the Cougars held a 7-4 lead before batting through its line-up two-and-a-half times and racking up 17 runs off 10 hits in the top of the third to pull away for good. Maziur highlighted the big frame with a grand slam, while Pipolo added a three-run shot as well. SXU added six more runs in the top of the fourth inning behind a three-run homer by Pokers. Sophomore right-hander Lucas Fritsch (Orland Park, Ill./Sandburg) picked up the win for the Cougars improving to 3-2 this season. Fritsch threw all three innings and gave up eight hits, five runs (three earned) and a walk with three strikeouts.
Saint Xavier (19-17-1 overall/11-3 CCAC) will take on conference foe Robert Morris University in a road doubleheader on Wednesday, April 13. The first game will start at 3 p.m. at John C. Giels Field in Bensenville, Ill.