Baseball - Sat, Apr. 21, 2007
CHICAGO - Despite 5-for-7 showings at the plate on the day by both senior designated hitter Ryan Buchler (Schererville, Ind./South Suburban CC) and freshman right fielder Tony Testin (Joliet, Ill./Joliet Catholic), the Saint Xavier University baseball team had to settle for a doubleheader split with Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) foe Trinity International University (Ill.) in conference action Saturday at Richard R. Ferrell Memorial Field in Chicago. The Cougars (21-14 overall/12-2 CCAC) took game one, 11-7, but then gave up two runs in the final inning to break a 5-5 tie and lose, 7-5.
SXU used a big five-run first inning to help set the tone for game one thanks in part to a two-RBI double to right-centerfield by Buchler as well as a RBI double to right-centerfield by freshman first baseman Mark Siefert (Crest Hill, Ill./Joliet Catholic). However, TIU answered in the top of the second with four runs capped by a two-RBI single to left field by junior second baseman Troy Anderson. A triple by Testin in the bottom of the second led to a sacrifice fly by senior second baseman Craig Buske (New Lenox, Ill./Lincoln-Way Central) to score Saint Xavier's sixth run of the game. Each team scored two runs in the third with Testin hitting a two-RBI double down the left field line to plate SXU's two runs in the inning.
The Cougars were able to score a run in each of the final three innings. Trinity International's final run of the game came on a solo home run by senior first baseman Aaron Manes in the seventh inning. Junior left-hander Kyle Zilis (Oak Forest, Ill./Marist) started game one on the mound for SXU throwing the first 3.2 innings and allowing 10 hits, six runs (four earned), and no walks with three strikeouts. Junior rightie Shane Longest (Wilmington, Ill./Wilmington) notched the win (1-3) in relief pitching the remaining 3.1 innings and giving up one hit, one run (earned), and no walks with two strikeouts. Testin was a perfect 4-for-4 with three runs scored and two RBI in the day's first game.
In game two, SXU could not seem to get the timely hits leaving eight runners stranded on the base paths in the seven-inning game. The Trojans scored five combined runs in the second and third innings to take an early 5-3 lead, and despite the Cougars tying the game, 5-5, in the sixth inning, were able to plate two runs in the top of the seventh to steal the victory. Senior left fielder Erick Gavlick hit a two-out, RBI double to left-centerfield in the seventh to help bring home the game-winning runs. Buchler finished the game 3-for-4 with two RBI, while Buske went 2-for-3 with two runs scored and a RBI. Freshman centerfielder Zach Clements (Berwyn, Ill./Morton) also was solid in the second game going 2-for-2 with a double and two runs scored. The Cougars had three errors in the game with two coming in the second and third innings, which helped lead to TIU's first five runs.
Saint Xavier (21-14 overall/12-2 CCAC) wraps up its home stand on Sunday, April 22, with a non-conference doubleheader against Indiana Institute of Technology (Ind.). The first of the pair of seven-inning games is scheduled for a 12 p.m. start.