CHICAGO – Big days at the plate by junior right fielder Chris Klein (Huntley, Ill./Huntley) and freshman centerfielder Jim Augle (Oak Lawn, Ill./Richards) helped propel the Saint Xavier University baseball team to a doubleheader sweep of Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) foe Trinity International University (Ill.) Tuesday afternoon at Richard R. Ferrell Memorial Field in Chicago. The Cougars (13-8 overall/8-4 CCAC) rallied from a early 4-0 deficit in the first game to capture a 6-4 victory and then scored four runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to win the nightcap, 9-8. Klein went a combined 3-for-7 with a triple, a homer, two runs scored and four RBI; while Augle also combined for a 3-for-7 showing with a triple, three runs scored and three RBI.
In Tuesday's opener, the Trojans took advantage of seven hits over the first three innings to plate four runs, including three in the top of the third, and took a 4-0 lead. However in the bottom of the third, SXU responded in a big way with Augle recording a two-run triple down the right field line and senior third baseman Mike Pokers (Lansing, Ill./Andrean) turning in a two-run single to highlight a five-run frame. A RBI single by freshman shortstop Alec Barnhart (Hometown, Ill./Oak Lawn Community) in the bottom of the fifth gave the Cougars some added insurance and completed the game's scoring. Junior right-hander Scott Vachon (Plainfield, Ill./Plainfield North) earned the win (4-0) throwing all seven innings and allowing eight hits, four runs (all earned) and two walks with nine strikeouts.
Augle got Saint Xavier on the scoreboard early in game two scoring from third base on a passed ball in the bottom of the first inning. A solo homer by Klein and freshman second baseman Brian McQuillan (Evergreen Park, Ill./Brother Rice) getting hit by a pitch with two outs and the bases loaded plated two more runs for the Cougars in the fourth inning pushing the lead to 3-0. TIU answered right back in the top of the fifth recording three RBI hits, including a pair of doubles, to tie the game. A wild pitch in the top of the sixth gave the Trojans a 4-3 lead, but McQuillan's RBI single and another run by Barnhart off a fielding error in the bottom of the frame gave SXU back the lead, 5-4. Trinity International tied the game again in the top of the seventh on a RBI single setting the stage for a wild eighth inning. The Trojans opened the eighth with a pair of RBI singles and scored a third run off an error to go ahead, 8-5. However, a RBI on a bases loaded walk by Augle followed shortly by a three-run triple by Klein put SXU back in the lead for good, 9-5. Sophomore righty Dan Wetzel (Tinley Park, Ill./Providence Catholic) got the win in relief (3-2) throwing the final two innings and giving up two hits, three runs (two earned) and three walks with a strikeout.
Saint Xavier (13-8 overall/8-4 CCAC) heads to Palos Heights, Ill., on Friday, April 5, for a conference game against Trinity Christian College (Ill.). The nine-inning game is scheduled for a 3:30 p.m. start.