Whiting, Ind. – Sophomore shortstop Alec Barnhart (Hometown, Ill./Oak Lawn Community) went a combined 4-for-8 at the plate with three RBI in helping the Saint Xavier University baseball team split a doubleheader with Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) foe Calumet College of St. Joseph (Ind.) Wednesday afternoon at Oil City Stadium in Whiting, Ind. The Cougars dropped the opener, 2-1, but bounced back in the nightcap for a 7-3 victory. SXU got two solid complete games from senior right-hander Scott Vachon (Plainfield, Ill./Plainfield North) and junior right-hander Dan Wetzel (Tinley Park, Ill./Providence Catholic). Vachon took the game one loss (2-4) throwing all six innings and allowing eight hits, two runs (both earned) and no walks with four strikeouts. Wetzel went nine frames giving up nine hits, three runs (all earned) and two walks with eight strikeouts for his third win (3-2).
In the first game, Barnhart posted two hits, but was the only Cougar to finish the game with multiple hits as SXU finished with six as a team. Saint Xavier got the game's first run in the top of the third inning when junior third baseman Bryan Villanova
(Chicago, Ill./St. Laurence) drove home freshman catcher Ryan Pellack
(Tinley Park, Ill./Lincoln-Way North) with a RBI single after Pellack opened the frame with a double. However, the Crimson Wave got a RBI single in the bottom of the fourth to tie the game and then got the go-ahead run later in the inning on a double steal. CCSJ sophomore pitcher Enrique Zemora controlled the rest of the game from the mound limiting the Cougars to just two hits, both singles, over the final three innings. Zemora finished the game with 10 strikeouts.
The second game was a different story as Saint Xavier got the bats warmed up and belted 10 hits to the tune of seven runs. Pellack opened the third inning with a homer to give the Cougars a 1-0 lead. A two-run single by Barnhart in the top of the fifth extended the lead to 3-0. CCSJ answered in the bottom of the fifth with a run on a RBI single to make it 3-1. The Crimson Wave tied the game in the sixth with a RBI single and a sacrifice fly, but SXU controlled the later innings scoring four unanswered runs over the final three frames to capture the 7-3 victory. Barnhart hit a sacrifice fly in the seventh to score Pellack and break the tie before senior first baseman Thomas Keating
(Chicago, Ill./Joliet JC/St. Laurence) and freshman designated hitter Bryan Polak
(Alsip, Ill./Marist) hit back-to-back homers in the eighth to help the Cougars pull away. Keating's homer was a two-run shot.
Saint Xavier (13-18 overall/8-4 CCAC) hosts Purdue University-Calumet (Ind.) in a non-conference clash on Friday, April 11, at Richard R. Ferrell Memorial Field in Chicago. The game is scheduled for a 3:30 p.m. start.