Whiting, Ind. – A RBI single by freshman catcher Cameron Balough with one out in the bottom of the 11th inning gave No. 1 seed and No. 17 ranked Judson University (Ill.) a thrilling 11-10 win over No. 4 seed Saint Xavier University on the fourth day of action at the 2012 Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) Baseball Tournament Friday afternoon at Oil City Stadium in Whiting, Ind. The loss ends SXU's season with a record of 35-23 overall. The game was resumed at 3:15 p.m. Friday after being postponed in the bottom of the 11th inning late Thursday evening due to passing thunderstorms. The conclusion only lasted a few minutes as JU put a pair of runners at first and second base after back-to-back hit batters and Balough came through with the game-winning RBI hit in the next at-bat.
A RBI single by sophomore left fielder Brad Myjak (Tinley Park, Ill./Mount Carmel) gave SXU an early 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning. Judson countered in the bottom of the second with a RBI double by junior centerfielder Craig Lipp to tie the game, 1-1. A RBI single by the Eagles in the third inning gave JU the 2-1 advantage before the Cougars exploded for eight runs in the top of the fourth to build a 9-2 lead. Saint Xavier blasted seven hits in the big frame highlighted by a two-RBI single from junior catcher Tony O'Shea (Valparaiso, Ind./Mount Carmel) and a three-run homer to left field by sophomore right fielder Chris Klein (Huntley, Ill./Huntley). Judson responded with five runs in the bottom of the fifth led by a pair of two-RBI doubles by Lipp and Balough to make the score, 9-7.
Senior second baseman Tom Simek (New Lenox, Ill./St. Laurence) extended SXU's lead to 10-7 in the top of the seventh with a RBI on a fielder's choice. A dropped fly ball in the outfield with two outs in the bottom of the eighth plated two more runs for Judson and cut the lead to a single run, 10-9. A RBI triple by Balough with two outs in the bottom of the ninth tied the game, 10-10, and forced extra frames. The Cougars had their chances leaving two runners stranded on the base paths in both the 10th and 11th innings. Klein came in as a reliever on the mound when the game resumed Friday and suffered the loss (4-3) hitting the first two batters he faced followed by the RBI single from Balough. O'Shea finished the game 3-for-6 with a run scored and two RBI, while Klein went 2-for-6 with the homer and three RBI.
Both teams combined for 31 hits in the key conference tournament match-up. The game was officially recorded as a three-hour and 35-minute affair. Judson advances to play No. 3 seed University of St. Francis (Ill.) at 7:30 p.m. Friday evening in Whiting.