Junior Chris Klein had five hits and three runs scored over three games in Florida this week
Junior Chris Klein had five hits and three runs scored over three games in Florida this week
Baseball - Thu, Mar. 14, 2013

St. Petersburg, Fla. – Paced by five combined hits and three runs scored by junior right fielder Chris Klein (Huntley, Ill./Huntley), the Saint Xavier University baseball team has won two of its last three games this week during its annual "Spring Break" trip in Florida.  On Monday, the Cougars (5-4 overall) took down University of Saint Francis (Ind.), 7-4, but had their Tuesday game against Florida Christian College canceled due to rain.  In a Wednesday doubleheader against Avila University (Mo.), SXU won the first game by a 9-3 score and then fell in the late game, 4-3.  Klein went 5-for-11 at the plate over the three-game stretch racking up three runs scored and a pair of RBI.

In Monday's match-up against USF, Saint Xavier gave up three early runs in the first two innings to dig a 3-0 hole.  A two-out RBI single by junior left fielder Brad Myjak (Tinley Park, Ill./Mount Carmel) plated a run for the Cougars in the bottom of the third to make it a 3-1 game.  A sacrifice fly by Saint Francis in the top of the fifth made it a three-run game again, but SXU responded in the bottom of the frame scoring two runs on RBI from Klein and senior third baseman Mike Pokers (Lansing, Ill./Andrean).  An RBI single by Klein in the seventh tied the game, 4-4, and then the Cougars added three more runs in the eighth to pick up the 7-4 victory.  USF had two errors in the eighth that helped score two of the runs and the third came off an RBI single by senior catcher Tony O'Shea (Valparaiso, Ind./Mount Carmel).  Senior right-hander Lucas Fritsch (Orland Park, Ill./Sandburg) got the win (2-0) in relief of junior starter John Smith (Evergreen Park, Ill./Moraine Valley CC/Evergreen Park).  Smith threw the first seven innings and gave up nine hits, four runs (three earned) and a walk with three strikeouts.  Fritsch pitched the eighth and allowed one hit and no runs with a strikeout.  Sophomore righty Dan Wetzel (Tinley Park, Ill./Providence Catholic) got the save (2) allowing one hit and no runs in the ninth.

O'Shea led the offensive attack for Saint Xavier in Wednesday's first game against Avila going 2-for-4 with a pair of runs scored.  The Cougars got a solid pitching performance from Fritsch, who threw all seven frames and gave up just six hits, three runs (one earned) and two walks with three strikeouts to move to 3-0 on the year.  SXU scored at least a run in every inning, but the second, to pull away for the 9-3 victory.  Sophomore designated hitter Bryan Villanova (Chicago, Ill./St. Laurence) homered in the game, while Myjak recorded a triple.  Klein had the hot bat in the nightcap going 3-for-4 with a run scored, while freshman second baseman Brian McQuillan (Evergreen Park, Ill./Brother Rice) had two hits.  Walks and a passed ball hurt the Cougars leading to three runs for Avila in the top of the fourth.  SXU fought back and tied the game, 3-3, heading into the seventh inning, but an RBI single in the top of the seventh gave Avila the lead for good.  Senior catcher Matt Munizzi (Chicago, Ill./St. Rita) had both RBI for the Cougars in the late game.  Wetzel suffered the loss (0-1) in relief pitching the seventh frame and allowing three hits, one run (earned) and no walks.   

Saint Xavier (5-4 overall) is off Thursday and returns to action on Friday, March 15, with a nine-inning conference game against Purdue University-North Central (Ind.) in Florida.  The game is scheduled for a 9 a.m. (eastern) start.