CHICAGO – Three innings of quality relief work by freshman Jesse Lopez (Chicago, Ill./Washington) in the late stages of game two Wednesday helped the Saint Xavier University baseball team pick up a 7-4 victory against Holy Cross College (Ind.) in Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) action at Richard R. Ferrell Memorial Field in Chicago. The Cougars (16-21 overall/11-6 CCAC) lost the first game to the Saints, 1-0, in seven innings after being limited to just five hits. Senior left fielder Brad Myjak (Tinley Park, Ill./Mount Carmel) and sophomore shortstop Alec Barnhart (Hometown, Ill./Oak Lawn Community) both had solid games at the plate for SXU Wednesday.
Junior right-hander Dan Wetzel (Tinley Park, Ill./Providence Catholic) got the starting nod for Saint Xavier in the opener and threw well over all seven frames allowing just six hits, one run (earned) and two walks with five strikeouts. Unfortunately for Wetzel, the SXU offense was stifled by HCC junior Jacob Lanning, who also threw a complete game and gave up just five hits and a walk en route to the shutout. Wetzel fell to 3-4 on the year with the loss. The Saints scored the game's lone run on an RBI single by junior shortstop Darwing Ereu. Both Myjak and Barnhart went 2-for-3 in the first game for the Cougars with Myjak recording the team's lone extra-base hit, a double in the bottom of the seventh.
An RBI single by senior right fielder Chris Klein (Huntley, Ill./Huntley) in the bottom of the second gave SXU an early 1-0 in the late game, but Holy Cross quickly tied the game in the top of the third with a sacrifice fly. Back-to-back RBI singles by junior third baseman Bryan Villanova (Chicago, Ill./St. Laurence) and Barnhart in the bottom of the fourth plated two more runs for the Cougars to give them the 3-1 lead. Four walks, an error and a two-run single by the Saints in the top of the sixth scored three runs for HCC and gave the visitors a 4-3 advantage. However, a sacrifice fly by sophomore Steve Carrabotta (Tinley Park, Ill./Andrew) tied the game in the bottom of the sixth and then an RBI single by Myjak and a two-run single by freshman pinch hitter Tom Hayes (Crestwood, Ill./Mount Carmel) in the eighth put the game away. Lopez threw the final three innings of the second game and allowed just one hit and no walks with a strikeout to earn the victory and move his record to 3-3 on the year.
Saint Xavier (16-21 overall/11-6 CCAC) heads up north to Milwaukee, Wis., on Friday, April 18, for a nine-inning conference game with Cardinal Stritch University (Wis.). The game is scheduled for a 1 p.m. start.