Jacksonville, Ill. – Senior right-hander Scott Vachon (Plainfield, Ill./Plainfield North) notched his first victory (1-3) of the season on the mound, but the Saint Xavier University baseball team dropped its next two games in a weekend series with Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) foe Judson University (Ill.) played at Lenz Field in Jacksonville, Ill. The Cougars opened the series with a 4-2 victory Saturday in the first game of an afternoon doubleheader behind Vachon's strong pitching. However, SXU fell behind early in a 5-3 setback in the late game Saturday and then gave up three runs in the bottom of the ninth of Sunday's game to lose 8-7. Vachon threw all seven innings of Saturday's opener allowing seven hits, two runs (both earned) and two walks with five strikeouts.
After the Eagles opened Saturday's first game with a run off a RBI double in the top of the first, senior left fielder Brad Myjak (Tinley Park, Ill./Mount Carmel) answered the call in the bottom of the frame with a two-run double with two outs to give Saint Xavier the 2-1 lead. Judson tied the game in the top of the third on a RBI single and the Cougars responded again with two outs in the bottom of the inning when freshman Tom Hayes (Crestwood, Ill./Mount Carmel) posted a pinch-hit, two-run single to give SXU the 4-2 advantage. Vachon settled in giving up just three hits and two walks over the final four frames to capture the victory.
In the late game Saturday, sophomore centerfielder Jim Augle (Oak Lawn, Ill./Richards) and freshman right fielder Bryan Polak (Alsip, Ill./Marist) each went 2-for-4 with a run scored to lead the Saint Xavier offense. The Eagles opened the game again with a run in the top of the first off a RBI single and SXU tied the game in the bottom of the third on a RBI groundout by Myjak. Two singles led to three runs for Judson in the top of the fourth and JU added another run in the fifth following back-to-back doubles to take a 5-1 lead. Hayes came up big again in the bottom of the seventh with a two-run single to narrow the gap, but the Cougars managed no more hits the rest of the way en route to the 5-3 loss. Senior right-hander Chris Klein (Huntley, Ill./Huntley) suffered the loss (1-2) throwing the first six frames and allowing nine hits, five runs (all earned) and three walks with four strikeouts.
Augle and Polak posted three hits apiece in Sunday's game, which proved to be a back-and-forth contest throughout. SXU built a 7-4 lead heading into the bottom of the eighth inning, but allowed a run in the bottom of the frame and three more runs in the ninth to lose the game, 8-7. Sophomore shortstop Alec Barnhart (Hometown, Ill./Oak Lawn Community) finished the game with three runs scored, while junior designated hitter Bryan Villanova (Chicago, Ill./St. Laurence) posted two hits and two runs scored. Freshman right-hander Adrian Luna (Chicago, Ill./Washington) took the loss (2-2) in relief of junior starter Dan Wetzel (Tinley Park, Ill./Providence Catholic). Luna threw 1.2 frames and allowed five hits, four runs (one earned) and a walk. Wetzel pitched seven innings and gave up seven hits, four runs (all earned) and three walks with five strikeouts.
Saint Xavier (6-15 overall/1-2 CCAC) hosts CCAC rival University of St. Francis (Ill.) on Tuesday, April 1, at Richard R. Ferrell Memorial Field in Chicago. The first game is scheduled for a 1:30 p.m. start.