CHICAGO – Junior first baseman Thomas Keating (Chicago, Ill./Joliet JC/St. Laurence) went 2-for-4 with a double, a run scored and an RBI, but the Saint Xavier University baseball team were outhit 17-9 and fell by a score of 11-3 to Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) rival University of St. Francis (Ill.) Friday afternoon on "Senior Day" at Richard R. Ferrell Memorial Field in Chicago. The Cougars (21-18 overall/16-12 CCAC) had their chances leaving 20 runners stranded on the base paths in the nine-inning affair. Senior left-hander Mike Klett (Plainfield, Ill./Western Michigan/Plainfield North) suffered the loss (2-1) pitching the first 5.2 innings and allowing 13 hits, eight runs (all earned) and two walks with a pair of strikeouts. With the loss, SXU's chances of earning a postseason berth in next week's conference tournament become very slim.
USF started off the game hot with three hits for three runs in the top of the first. Saint Xavier answered in the bottom of the frame with a run off a bases-loaded walk by junior left fielder Brad Myjak (Tinley Park, Ill./Mount Carmel). After two scoreless innings, the Fighting Saints added two more runs in the top of the fourth with back-to-back RBI singles. An RBI on a groundout in the top of the fifth extended the St. Francis lead to 6-1 before sophomore third baseman Bryan Villanova (Chicago, Ill./St. Laurence) recorded an RBI single to right field in the bottom of the fifth to make it, 6-2. Unfortunately for the Cougars, the Fighting Saints continued to shine offensively scoring five more runs over the next two frames to pull away for good. Keating posted an RBI double to the gap in left centerfield in the eighth, but that was the final run of the ballgame.
Saint Xavier (21-18 overall/16-12 CCAC) wraps up regular season play on Saturday, April 27, with a conference doubleheader against the Fighting Saints at Silver Cross Field in Joliet, Ill. The first game of the twin bill is scheduled for a noon start.