CHICAGO – Despite leading 3-1 heading into the eighth inning, the Saint Xavier University baseball team fell 4-3 to Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) rival Olivet Nazarene University (Ill.) in 10 innings Friday afternoon at Richard R. Ferrell Memorial Field in Chicago. A pair of errors by the Cougars (34-19 overall) in the top of the 10th inning helped plate the go-ahead run for the Tigers. SXU had its chance to tie or win the game in the bottom of the 10th putting its first two runners on base with back-to-back singles, but a pair of strikeouts and an infield groundout shut the door on a rally attempt.
Sophomore right-hander Scott Vachon (Plainfield, Ill./Plainfield North) got the start for Saint Xavier Friday and had a nice outing throwing the first six frames and allowing four hits, one run (unearned) and two walks with four strikeouts. ONU scored its first run of the game in the top of the first following a throwing error on a rundown at third base. The Cougars tied the game, 1-1, on a walk with the bases loaded by freshman centerfielder Tyler Peper (New Palestine, Ind./New Palestine) in the bottom of the second and took a 2-1 lead later in the frame on a sacrifice fly by junior catcher Tony O'Shea (Valparaiso, Ind./Mount Carmel). An infield error by Olivet plated a third run for SXU in the bottom of the third to make the score, 3-1.
Both pitchers settled down over the next four innings and the score did not change until the eighth inning. A two-out, two-RBI single by ONU senior right fielder Shane Breitzke tied the game in the top of the eighth. Both teams went down in order in the ninth inning to send the game to extra frames. The Tigers took advantage of the miscues in the field by the Cougars to plate the go-ahead run and got key outs in the bottom of the 10th leaving runners at the corners for SXU. Sophomore righty Chris Klein (Huntley, Ill./Huntley) suffered the loss (4-2) for the Cougars Friday going two innings and allowing two hits, one run (unearned) and no walks with four strikeouts. All four of ONU's runs on the day were unearned due to four errors by SXU. Klein, sophomore left fielder Brad Myjak (Tinley Park, Ill./Mount Carmel) and senior second baseman Tom Simek (New Lenox, Ill./St. Laurence) each had two hits for the Cougars in the game.
Saint Xavier (34-19 overall/20-8 CCAC) completes its 2012 regular season slate on Saturday, April 28, with a road doubleheader in Bourbonnais, Ill., against the Tigers. The first game is scheduled for a 12:30 p.m. start.