CHICAGO – Sophomore right fielder Chris Klein (Huntley, Ill./Huntley) combined for four hits, including a double, and four RBI and got a win on the mound in Saint Xavier University's doubleheader split with Judson University (Ill.) in Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) baseball action Tuesday afternoon at Richard R. Ferrell Memorial Field in Chicago. The Cougars (16-8 overall/3-1 CCAC) lost a tough 4-3 decision in eight innings in the opener despite a nice pitching performance by sophomore right-hander Scott Vachon (Plainfield, Ill./Plainfield North). However, SXU rebounded in the second game cranking out 12 hits for 10 runs in a 10-8 victory.
The first game proved to be a nice pitching duel between Vachon and Eagles senior right-hander Tyler Ware. Vachon got the loss (2-1), but threw well over 7.1 innings allowing six hits, four runs (all earned) and a pair of walks with 11 strikeouts. Ware was also impressive going 6.2 frames and giving up four hits, three runs (all earned) and a walk with 12 strikeouts. A RBI single by Klein gave Saint Xavier a 1-0 in the bottom of the first inning, but Judson answered right back in the top of the second with a two-run homer from junior second baseman Brian Brauer to take the 2-1 lead. Senior shortstop Adam Koglin (Henderson, Nev./UNLV/Silverado) tied the game in the bottom of the third with a two-out RBI single that scored junior catcher Tony O'Shea (Valparaiso, Ind./Mount Carmel) from second base. In the top of the sixth, JU would take back the lead, 3-2, on a RBI double by sophomore third baseman Josh Raymond. Klein was able to walk in the game-tying run in the bottom of the seventh to force extra innings, but the Eagles would get a RBI double from sophomore shortstop Billy Wright in the top of the eighth that proved to be the game-winning hit as SXU went down in order in the bottom of the frame to end it.
It was a slugfest in the late game as the two teams combined for 23 hits and 18 runs. Klein led the way for the Cougars going 3-for-4 with a double, a run scored and two RBI. Koglin was also solid in the SXU line-up with a 2-for-4 showing at the plate to go along with two runs scored and two RBI. Saint Xavier got off to a hot start taking a 4-1 in the first inning highlighted by a RBI singles from Klein, Vachon and freshman first baseman Andy Kovarik (Crystal Lake, Ill./Prairie Ridge). A RBI single by O'Shea and a RBI double from Klein in the sixth would help plate three late runs for SXU and provided enough offense to seal the victory. Klein got the win (4-0) out of the bullpen throwing the final two frames and allowing two hits, a run (earned) and no walks with a pair of strikeouts.
Saint Xavier (16-8 overall/3-1 CCAC) continues conference play on Friday, March 23, with a nine-inning game against Holy Cross College (Ind.). The road game is scheduled for a 5 p.m. (eastern) start at Coveleski Stadium in South Bend, Ind.