CHICAGO - Senior center fielder Anthony Maziur (Oak Forest, Ill./Northern Illinois University/Oak Forest) went 3-for-6 with a double, two runs scored and four RBI to help lead Saint Xavier University to a key Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) baseball victory over Purdue University-North Central (Ind.), 10-7, on Friday afternoon at Richard R. Ferrell Field in Chicago. The Cougars jumped out to an quick 7-0 lead after three innings of play, but had to score three runs in the top of the ninth to preserve the win. SXU batted in the top of the frame Friday due to the fact that the game was technically a home contest for the Panthers, but moved to Ferrell Field in Chicago due to wet conditions at PUNC's home field.
Four errors by Purdue-North Central in the top of the second helped Saint Xavier score four runs in the frame, all with two outs, thanks in part to a two-RBI single by Maziur. The Cougars added three more runs in the third inning highlighted by a two-RBI double by Maziur. After a scoreless fourth inning, PUNC started its rally attempt in the bottom of the fifth with three runs off five hits, including a RBI double. Trailing 7-3 heading into the bottom of the seventh, the Panthers cut the deficit to two runs following an error in left field by SXU and a sacrifice fly to right field. Hits by sophomore catcher Tony O'Shea (Valparaiso, Ind./Mount Carmel) and senior third baseman Matt Erickson (Oak Lawn, Ill./Richards) in the top of the ninth each produced a RBI and helped lead the way to three more runs to make the score, 10-5. However, Purdue-North Central would not go down quietly in the bottom of the ninth plating two more runs before the game's final out was recorded. Senior right-hander Joe Branigan (Plainfield, Ill./Plainfield South) earned the victory (5-4) on the mound for SXU throwing seven innings and allowing nine hits, five runs (three earned) and four walks with four strikeouts. Freshman Chris Klein (Huntley, Ill./Huntley) got his first career save pitching the final two frames and giving up one hit, two runs (both earned) and no walks with no strikeouts.
Saint Xavier (25-23-1 overall/17-9 CCAC) wraps up its conference series with the Panthers on Saturday, April 30, with a doubleheader at Ferrell Field. The first game starts at 12 p.m.