Baseball - Sun, Apr. 22, 2007
CHICAGO - Despite another big day at the plate for senior designated hitter Ryan Buchler (Schererville, Ind./South Suburban CC), the Saint Xavier University baseball team lost a pair of tough non-conference games to Indiana Institute of Technology Sunday at Richard R. Ferrell Memorial Field in Chicago. The Cougars (21-16 overall) gave up five unanswered runs in the final three innings of game one to fall 5-2 and then lost the nightcap, 13-10, in extra innings (8 innings).
Buchler went 1-for-2 in game one and recorded SXU's lone RBI in the 5-2 loss. The Cougars managed only five hits in the game, but led 2-0 after four innings thanks to a solid pitching start by sophomore right-hander Rick Kehoe (Palos Heights, Ill./Richards). Kehoe allowed just two hits and no walks over the first four innings of work. However, Indiana Tech scored a run apiece in the fifth and sixth innings to tie the game, 2-2, and then capped the rally with a three-run seventh to steal the game, 5-2. Kehoe threw all seven innings and allowed nine hits, five runs (four earned), and a walk with one strikeout. He drops to 4-2 on the year with the loss. Buchler recorded Saint Xavier's lone RBI on a first-inning double to score senior second baseman Craig Buske (New Lenox, Ill./Lincoln-Way Central) from first.
Game two was an offensive battle as both teams combined for 24 hits and 23 runs. Indiana Tech scored seven runs in the first two innings, but the Cougars were able to rally back and scored six runs in the bottom of the fourth to take a 8-7 lead. Buchler posted a three-RBI double and junior left fielder Joe Miller (Chicago, Ill./Gordon Tech) tacked on a solo homer in the fourth inning to help lead the charge. However, Indiana Tech wasted no time taking back its lead with two more runs in the top of the fifth and led, 9-8, before a sacrifice fly by freshman first baseman Mark Siefert (Crest Hill, Ill./Joliet Catholic) tied the game, 9-9, in the sixth inning.
Following a scoreless seventh, the game went to extra innings and IIT led off the eighth with four runs behind a solo homer to cap the scoring. The Cougars got a solo shot in the bottom of the eighth from senior catcher Brian Grupp (Granger, Ind./Mishawaka Penn), but it was the only run SXU could manage in the inning. Errors were costly for the Cougars in the extra-innings loss with two of the three miscues coming in Indiana Tech's two four-run innings. Buchler went 3-for-5 with a double, triple, two runs scored, and three RBI, while Grupp also was 3-for-5 with two homers and three RBI.
Saint Xavier (21-16 overall/12-2 CCAC) takes a day off before taking on Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) foe Illinois Institute of Technology in a road game on Tuesday, April 24. The game is scheduled for a 3 p.m. start in Chicago.