Elgin, Ill. – Limited to just four hits in the game, the No. 4 seeded Saint Xavier University baseball team saw its 2014 season come to close Tuesday afternoon on the third day of the 2014 Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) Baseball Tournament with a 12-1 loss to No. 1 seed University of St. Francis (Ill.) in nine innings at Hoffer Field in Elgin, Ill. The Cougars (22-29 overall) were tied 1-1 with the Fighting Saints through the first three innings of play, but USF scored 11 unanswered runs over the final six frames to secure the victory. The end of SXU's season also means the end of a coaching career for Mike Dooley, who began as an assistant at Saint Xavier University in 1981 and became the head baseball coach in 1993. Dooley has amassed an impressive career record of 807-501-3 during his tenure.
"I look at my career as a body of work and I'm so proud and fortunate to have been able to coach this program through the many years of success, including the 2006 NAIA World Series berth and the numerous conference and regional championships," said Dooley. "However, it has never been about the numbers at Saint Xavier University. It has always been about the people. The players I have coached and the staff I have worked with over the years are what have truly made my career so special and they will always hold a special place in my heart."
Freshman catcher Ryan Pellack (Tinley Park, Ill./Lincoln-Way North) was the lone SXU player to record multiple hits Tuesday finishing the game 2-for-3 with the team's lone RBI. Freshman right-hander Jesse Lopez (Chicago, Ill./Washington) took the loss (5-5) pitching the first four innings and allowing six hits, three runs (all earned) and a walk with two strikeouts. After USF took a 1-0 lead in the top of the second with a runner scoring from third base on a double play, Pellack got a two-out single through the left side to drive in the game-tying run in the bottom of the frame. Unfortunately for the Cougars, the Fighting Saints scored two runs in the top of the fourth off a double and then put up six more runs in the fifth behind a grand slam by junior catcher Mario Hernandez. St. Francis added three runs over the final two innings of play to complete the scoring. USF posted 15 hits in the game, including five for extra bases.
Saint Xavier ends its season with an overall record of 22-29. The Cougars finished second in the North Division of the CCAC and fourth overall with a 15-12 conference mark.