Baseball - Tue, Apr. 17, 2007
DeKalb, Ill. - Behind solid performances from sophomore right-hander Rick Kehoe (Palos Heights, Ill./Richards) and freshman shortstop John O'Brien (Lake Zurich, Ill./Lake Zurich), Saint Xavier University recorded a huge 8-2 victory over NCAA Division I foe Northern Illinois University in college baseball action Tuesday at Ralph McKinzie Field in DeKalb, Ill. Kehoe threw eight innings and allowed just six hits, two runs (one earned), and three walks with seven strikeouts to claim the win (4-1), while O'Brien went 2-for-4 with two home runs, two runs scored, and four RBI.
SXU got on the scoreboard first in the top of the second inning when O'Brien hit a two-out, two-run homer over the wall in right field to put his team ahead, 2-0. The Cougars put up four more runs in the fourth inning to build a 6-0 lead thanks in part to a two-RBI double to right-centerfield by junior left fielder Joe Miller (Chicago, Ill./Gordon Tech). NIU scored its first run of the game in the bottom of the fourth when senior designated hitter Scott Simon scored from third base on a RBI double-play groundout by senior right fielder Derek Jewett. The Huskies tacked on another run in the bottom of the seventh when senior pinch hitter Jesse Seykora hit a RBI double to centerfield.
Leading 6-2 heading into the eighth, Saint Xavier got another huge hit from O'Brien when he connected on another two-out, two-run homer to right field to put SXU up, 8-2. Northern Illinois threatened in the ninth loading the bases with two outs, but junior reliever Shane Longest (Wilmington, Ill./Wilmington) was able to force a groundout to end the game. Longest threw the ninth inning and gave up one hit, no runs, and a walk with one strikeout. The Cougars tallied 10 hits in the ballgame compared to just seven by the Huskies. In addition to O'Brien, Miller had a big game at the plate going 2-for-4 with a double, a run scored, and two RBI, while senior catcher Brian Grupp (Granger, Ind./Mishawaka Penn) went 2-for-3 with three runs scored.
Saint Xavier (18-12 overall/9-1 CCAC) gets back to its Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) slate with a road game against Trinity Christian College (Ill.) on Wednesday, April 18. The Cougars will play one nine-inning game against the Trolls at 3 p.m. Wednesday in Palos Heights, Ill.