Elgin, Ill. – Scoring a pair of runs off RBI singles from sophomore shortstop Alec Barnhart (Hometown, Ill./Oak Lawn Community) and freshman third baseman Bryan Polak (Alsip, Ill./Marist) in the top of the 13th inning, the No. 4 seeded Saint Xavier University baseball team won its opening game in the 2014 Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) Baseball Tournament with a wild 6-5 victory over No. 3 seed Trinity Christian College (Ill.) in a 13-inning marathon Saturday night at Hoffer Field in Elgin, Ill. Junior right-hander Dan Wetzel (Tinley Park, Ill./Providence Catholic) earned the win (4-7) on the mound for SXU after coming in to relieve senior right-hander Scott Vachon (Plainfield, Ill./Plainfield North) in the ninth inning. Vachon threw the first eight frames and allowed six hits, three runs (one earned) and two walks with nine strikeouts. Wetzel went the final five innings and gave up three hits, two runs (one earned) and a walk with six strikeouts.
The Trolls scored first when sophomore right fielder Vincent Flores drove in a run on a single to right field in the bottom of the third inning. Saint Xavier quickly answered in the top of the fourth when freshman catcher Ryan Pellack
(Tinley Park, Ill./Lincoln-Way North) tied the game with an RBI single. Later in the inning, Trinity Christian senior starter Danny Britt had trouble with his control and walked both Barnhart and senior first baseman Thomas Keating
(Chicago, Ill./Joliet JC/St. Laurence) on back-to-back at-bats with the bases loaded to give SXU a 3-1 advantage. After three scoreless innings, the Trolls tied the game with two outs in the bottom of the eighth on a two-run single up the middle by senior second baseman Steven Brewer after the inning was extended following an infield fielding error by the Cougars.
Neither team scored in the ninth sending the game to extra frames and SXU got a go-ahead run from senior left fielder Brad Myjak
(Tinley Park, Ill./Mount Carmel) on an RBI double to left field by sophomore centerfielder Jim Augle
(Oak Lawn, Ill./Richards) in the top of the 10th inning. However, Trinity Christian came up with a huge RBI double by junior centerfielder Joe McCaw in the bottom of the frame to tie things up again. After scoreless innings in the 11th and 12th, senior right fielder Chris Klein
(Huntley, Ill./Huntley) hit a one-out double to the gap in left centerfield to set up the RBI single by Barnhart. Polak drove in another run with a single later in the frame to give SXU a 6-4 edge. The Trolls got a run back in the bottom of the 13th inning, but Wetzel got a strikeout followed by a foul-out to end the game.
Saint Xavier (22-27 overall/15-12 CCAC) advances in the tournament to face host Judson University (Ill.), the No. 2 seed in this year's tourney, on Monday, May 5. The game is scheduled for an 8 p.m. start at Hoffer Field.