CHICAGO – With the doubleheader moved to Richard R. Ferrell Memorial Field due to wet field conditions in Deerfield, Ill., the Saint Xavier University baseball team took full advantage of the familiar confines and completed the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) series sweep of Trinity International University (Ill.) Saturday afternoon. The Cougars (11-15 overall/6-2 CCAC) won the first game of the day by a score of 9-4 and then took the nightcap, 6-2. The victories extended SXU's current win streak to five games, all conference affairs. The Cougars also got a pair of solid starts on the mound by senior Chris Klein (Huntley, Ill./Huntley) and junior Dan Wetzel (Tinley Park, Ill./Providence Catholic).
The Trojans took the 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning following an infield error by Saint Xavier. Junior third baseman Bryan Villanova
(Chicago, Ill./St. Laurence) and sophomore centerfielder Jim Augle
(Oak Lawn, Ill./Richards) each got RBI hits in the top of the third inning to put SXU ahead, 2-1. However, TIU took back the advantage in the bottom of the frame scoring three runs behind back-to-back RBI hits. The fifth inning proved to be a big one as the Cougars scored seven runs and took control of the game for good. Sophomore shortstop Alec Barnhart
(Hometown, Ill./Oak Lawn Community) sparked the big frame with a two-run double down the left field line. Klein got the win (2-2) throwing all seven innings and allowing eight hits, four runs (three earned) and three walks with five strikeouts.
Saint Xavier got on the scoreboard first in the second game with three runs in the top of the second behind RBI doubles by freshman right fielder Bryan Polak
(Alsip, Ill./Marist) and Villanova. Barnhart added a RBI double in the top of the fourth to push the lead to 4-0, but the Trojans got a run of their own in the bottom of the frame following a throwing error by the Cougars. Freshman catcher Ryan Pellack
(Tinley Park, Ill./Lincoln-Way North) and freshman pinch hitter Tom Hayes
(Crestwood, Ill./Mount Carmel) each posted RBI in the top of the fifth, Pellack's off a walk with the bases loaded and Hayes' off a sacrifice fly. A RBI single by TIU in the bottom of the ninth completed the game's scoring. Wetzel earned the victory (2-2) on the mound for the Cougars going the first six frames and giving up just four hits, one run (unearned) and three walks with five strikeouts.
Saint Xavier (11-15 overall/6-2 CCAC) continues its season on Monday, April 7, with a make-up doubleheader with conference foe Trinity Christian College (Ill.) in Palos Heights. The first game is scheduled for a 1 p.m. start.