CHICAGO – Sophomore shortstop Alec Barnhart (Hometown, Ill./Oak Lawn Community) had a tremendous game offensively in helping lead the Saint Xavier University baseball team to a 12-2 victory over Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) foe Trinity International University (Ill.) in seven innings on a chilly and windy Friday afternoon at Richard R. Ferrell Memorial Field in Chicago. Barnhart went 3-for-5 with a home run, a double, three runs scored and two RBI. He posted two of SXU's seven extra-base hits in the game and three of the team's 15 hits. The Cougars improve to 9-15 overall with the victory, while upping their conference mark to 4-2. Senior right-hander Scott Vachon (Plainfield, Ill./Plainfield North) got the win (2-3) on the mound for Saint Xavier throwing all seven frames and allowing eight hits, two runs (one earned) and two walks with nine strikeouts.
In addition to Barnhart, the Cougars had plenty of key offensive performers Friday. Senior right fielder Chris Klein (Huntley, Ill./Huntley) went a perfect 4-for-4 with four runs scored, while senior left fielder Brad Myjak (Tinley Park, Ill./Mount Carmel) went 2-for-3 with a double, a triple, two runs scored and three RBI. Senior first baseman Thomas Keating (Chicago, Ill./Joliet JC/St. Laurence) also had a big game going 2-for-4 with a homer and three RBI. After TIU scored in the top of the second to take an early 1-0 lead, freshman designated hitter Bryan Polak (Alsip, Ill./Marist) tied the game in the bottom of the frame with a RBI off a fielder's choice. A RBI double by the Trojans in the top of the third put the visitors back ahead, 2-1. However, the Cougars answered the call again plating three runs in the bottom of the third in an inning highlighted by Myjak's two-run triple to the gap in right centerfield.
After a scoreless fourth inning, the SXU bats really started warming up. Keating extended the lead to 6-2 in the bottom of the fifth with his two-run shot over the wall in left field. In the sixth, Barnhart blasted a two-run homer to right field to push the advantage to 8-2 before the Cougars scored three more runs in the frame off RBI from Keating, Myjak and freshman catcher Ryan Pellack (Tinley Park, Ill./Lincoln-Way North). SXU ended the game early per the 10-run mercy rule in the bottom of the seventh when Barnhart hit a double to centerfield and sophomore centerfielder Jim Augle (Oak Lawn, Ill./Richards) brought him home in the next at-bat with a single to right field.
Saint Xavier (9-15 overall/4-2 CCAC) finishes the conference series with Trinity International University (Ill.) on Saturday, April 5, with a doubleheader in Deerfield, Ill. The first game is scheduled for 1 p.m. first pitch.