Grand Rapids, Mich. – Seniors Thomas Keating (Chicago, Ill./Joliet JC/St. Laurence) and Chris Klein (Huntley, Ill./Huntley) were instrumental for the Saint Xavier University baseball team Saturday afternoon as the Cougars braved wintry weather conditions and split a non-conference doubleheader with Davenport University (Mich.) at Farmers Complex in Grand Rapids, Mich. SXU dropped the opening game by a score of 4-2, but hung on for a 4-3 victory in the nightcap. Keating combined for a team-best five hits to go along with a RBI, while Klein went 3-for-7 at the plate with a triple, a run scored and a RBI. Klein also recorded the game two victory (1-1) on the mound for the Cougars throwing all seven innings and allowing nine hits, three runs (all earned) and two walks with five strikeouts.
Saint Xavier got off to a good start in the first game of the day scoring two runs over the first two frames to take an early 2-0 lead. Senior left fielder Brad Myjak (Tinley Park, Ill./Mount Carmel) kicked off the scoring with a RBI single to right field in the top of the first inning, while a pair of Panther errors in the top of the second plated SXU's second run. A RBI double and a double steal helped Davenport take the lead for good with three runs in the bottom of the fourth. A run off a wild pitch in the bottom of the sixth gave the Panthers some added insurance. Senior right-hander Scott Vachon (Plainfield, Ill./Plainfield North) suffered the loss (0-3) pitching all seven frames and giving up six hits, four runs (three earned) and four walks with three strikeouts. Keating recorded two of SXU's four hits in the game.
In the late game, Saint Xavier struck first again plating two runs in the top of the third following a RBI triple to right field by Klein and a RBI single up the middle by Keating. Freshman catcher Ryan Pellack (Tinley Park, Ill./Lincoln-Way North) got an infield single to drive home another run in the top of the fourth and put the Cougars up 3-0. The Panthers responded in the bottom of the frame with a RBI triple followed by a RBI groundout to make the score, 3-2. Davenport got four more hits, including a RBI single, in the bottom of the fifth to tie the game, 3-3. In the top of the seventh, freshman right fielder Bryan Polak (Alsip, Ill./Marist) broke the tie bringing home sophomore centerfielder Jim Augle (Oak Lawn, Ill./Richards) from third on a fielder's choice with the bases loaded. The Panthers left a runner stranded at third base in the bottom of the inning to end the game.
Saint Xavier (5-13 overall) is scheduled to play a three-game Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) series against the No. 18 ranked Judson University (Ill.) Eagles next weekend. The series has a doubleheader scheduled for a 1 p.m. start on Saturday, March 29, followed by a 1 p.m. nine-inning game on Sunday. The series is being played at Lenz Field in Jacksonville, Ill., due to the conditions of both home fields.