Evanston, Ill. – A three-run homer to right field by sophomore left fielder Brad Myjak (Tinley Park, Ill./Mount Carmel) with two outs in the top of the first inning provided the spark as the Saint Xavier University baseball team cranked out 18 hits en route to a 9-3 road win over NCAA Division I Northwestern University (Ill.) Tuesday afternoon at Rocky Miller Park in Evanston, Ill. The Cougars (25-11 overall) also got a huge start on the mound from freshman right-hander Andy Kovarik (Crystal Lake, Ill./Prairie Ridge). Kovarik threw the first eight innings and allowed just three hits, three runs (all unearned) and four walks with three strikeouts. He improves to 3-0 on the year with the victory.
After taking the early 3-0 lead in the first inning following the Myjak homer, the Wildcats answered in the bottom of the second taking advantage of a wild pitch and a throwing error to move a base runner into scoring position. A RBI groundout later in the inning would make the score, 3-1. However, SXU took the three-run lead right back in the top of the third with a two-out RBI single by junior third baseman Mike Pokers (Lansing, Ill./Andrean). A fielding error in the fourth proved costly for the Cougars allowing NU to score a run from second base and make it a two-run game, 4-2.
Myjak would come up big again though with a RBI single to left field to push the lead back up to three runs, 5-2, in the top of the fifth. Kovarik put the Wildcats down in order in the bottom of the sixth and SXU belted out six hits for four more runs in the top of the seventh to extend its lead to 9-2. A two-RBI single to centerfield by freshman catcher Marcos Soto (Chicago, Ill./Lincoln-Way East) highlighted the big inning. An infield throwing error by the Cougars led to another unearned run for Northwestern in the bottom of the seventh making the score, 9-3. Sophomore righty Chris Klein (Huntley, Ill./Huntley) closed out the game on the mound throwing a perfect ninth with a strikeout, caught foul ball and ground out to second base.
Saint Xavier (25-11 overall/11-4 CCAC) returns to Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) play on Wednesday, April 11, with a doubleheader against Trinity International University (Ill.). The first game of the twin bill is scheduled for a 1:30 p.m. start in Deerfield, Ill.