CHICAGO – The bats came alive to the tune of 31 combined hits for the Saint Xavier University baseball team Tuesday in its home-opening doubleheader against Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) rival University of St. Francis (Ill.) at Richard R. Ferrell Memorial Field in Chicago. The Cougars swept the visiting Fighting Saints rallying back to take game one by a score of 8-7 and then pulling away early in game two en route to a 15-5 victory in eight innings. Senior left fielder Brad Myjak (Tinley Park, Ill./Mount Carmel) and freshman designated hitter Bryan Polak (Alsip, Ill./Marist) both had huge games offensively for SXU. Polak had six hits (three doubles) to go along with four runs scored and six RBI, while Myjak posted four hits (double, home run) with four runs scored and five RBI.
The first game was a tight affair with USF leading 3-2 after five innings. The sixth inning proved to be an offensive showdown with the Fighting Saints scoring three runs in the top half of the frame behind three straight RBI hits, but the Cougars tying the game in the bottom of the inning with four runs highlighted by a three-run double to the gap in left centerfield by Polak. St. Francis got a RBI single in the top of the seventh to go ahead, 7-6, and then a fielding error at first base by USF helped keep the Cougars alive in the bottom of the inning. With two outs, Myjak hit a walk-off, two-run single off the right field wall to give SXU the 8-7 win. Freshman right-hander Adrian Luna (Chicago, Ill./Washington) got the victory (3-2) in relief of freshman starter Jesse Lopez (Chicago, Ill./Washington). Luna threw one inning and gave up one hit, one run (earned) and a walk with no strikeouts. Lopez went six frames and allowed 10 hits, six runs (all earned) and no walks with one strikeout.
SXU jumped out to a 9-1 lead after four innings in game two and never looked back in capturing the 15-5 victory in eight innings. Junior third baseman Bryan Villanova (Chicago, Ill./St. Laurence) blasted four hits to go along with two runs scored and two RBI. Sophomore shortstop Alec Barnhart (Hometown, Ill./Oak Lawn Community) and Myjak both homered in the game. Freshman right-hander Jeremy Dryier (Alsip, Ill./Shepard) notched the victory (1-1) on the mound for the Cougars throwing 6.2 frames and giving up four hits, five runs (four earned) and five walks with no strikeouts. Luna closed out the game going the final 1.1 innings and allowing no hits or runs with one walk and a strikeout.
Saint Xavier (8-15 overall/3-2 CCAC) heads to Palos Heights, Ill., on Thursday, April 3, for a conference doubleheader with Trinity Christian College. First pitch of the first game is scheduled for 1:30 p.m.