CHICAGO – Coaching in his final home game at Richard R. Ferrell Memorial Field in Chicago, Saint Xavier University head baseball coach Mike Dooley got the ending he deserved as the Cougars defeated Purdue University-North Central (Ind.), 10-0, in eight innings in Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) action Tuesday afternoon. The victory also secured the Cougars (21-27 overall/15-12 CCAC) one of the six berths in the upcoming 2014 CCAC Baseball Tournament, which begins on Saturday, May 3. SXU lost the first game with the Panthers Tuesday by a score of 4-1. Dooley is retiring at the end of the 2014 baseball season after serving as the head coach of the program since 1993.
The first game was all Purdue-North Central as the visitors scored two runs in the top of the first inning and limited the hosts to just four hits en route to the 4-1 win. A pair of RBI singles scored the first two runs of the game for PNC. Another RBI single and a wild pitch in the top of the fourth scored the final two runs for the Panthers. Saint Xavier recorded its lone run with two outs in the bottom of the seventh when senior right fielder Chris Klein (Huntley, Ill./Huntley) hit an RBI triple to centerfield. Junior right-hander Dan Wetzel (Tinley Park, Ill./Providence Catholic) suffered the loss (3-7) throwing all seven frames and allowing eight hits, four runs (all earned) and three walks with seven strikeouts.
The Cougars rebounded in a big way in game two cranking out 14 hits, including six for extra bases, to end the game an inning early via the mercy rule. Klein had a huge game at the plate going 3-for-5 with a triple, a homer, two runs scored and two RBI. Sophomore centerfielder Jim Augle (Oak Lawn, Ill./Richards) and freshman third baseman Bryan Polak (Alsip, Ill./Marist) were also key to the offensive surge. Augle had four hits, including a double, to go along with a run and two RBI; while Polak had three hits, including a double, with three runs scored and two RBI. SXU scored at least a run in every inning, but the fifth and the seventh. Freshman right-hander Jesse Lopez (Chicago, Ill./Washington) moved to 5-4 on the year with the victory on the mound. He went seven innings and gave up just eight hits and two walks with three strikeouts.
Saint Xavier (21-27 overall/15-12 CCAC) awaits its final seed for the 2014 CCAC Baseball Tournament, which begins on Saturday, May 3, in Elgin, Ill. Pairings and game times for the tournament are expected to be released on the league office later this week.