Elgin, Ill. – Forced to play at Judson University's Hoffer Field due to field conditions around the Chicago area, the Saint Xavier University baseball team dropped a pair of games to Indiana Wesleyan University (Ind.) in doubleheader action Saturday afternoon in Elgin, Ill. The Cougars (7-16 overall) lost the first game, 8-5, and then fell, 6-2, in the late game. SXU finished the doubleheader with 15 total hits over both games, but had just one player log multiple hits in either of the two games. Sophomore shortstop Mark Martin (Evergreen Park, Ill./Evergreen Park) and sophomore second baseman Garrett Bright (Crystal Lake, Ill./Crystal Lake South) were two of the offensive leaders for Saint Xavier Saturday each posting two total hits, a run scored and two RBI.
In the first game, the Wildcats got off to a fast start scoring three runs in the bottom of the first inning off an RBI double and a two-run single. The Cougars answered right back tying the game at 3-3 following an RBI groundout by senior centerfielder Alex Neufeld (Tinley Park, Ill./Roosevelt University/Lincoln-Way North) and a two-run single by Bright. However, Indiana Wesleyan scored five unanswered runs over the next three frames to build an 8-3 advantage heading into the fifth inning. A two-run homer by Martin in the top of the fifth narrowed the gap, but SXU went hitless over the final two innings to drop the game. Freshman right-hander Jared Jones (Plainfield, Ill./Joliet Catholic) suffered the loss (1-2) in relief of junior starter Tyler Hebel (Waterloo, Ill./Waterloo). Jones threw two innings of relief and allowed five hits, two runs (both earned) and a walk with three strikeouts.
In the second game, senior designated hitter Ryan Pellack (Tinley Park, Ill./Lincoln-Way North) got SXU on the scoreboard early with an RBI single in the bottom of the first. However, the Wildcats took the lead for good in the top of the third scoring four runs off two hits and three walks. In the bottom of the fifth, junior catcher Agustin Guerrero (Chicago, Ill./Washington) recorded an RBI single to trim the deficit in half, 4-2. Unfortunately for the Cougars, back-to-back RBI singles in the top of the seventh pushed the advantage up to 6-2 for Indiana Wesleyan. SXU did not record a hit over the final two frames. Freshman righty Tim Brokup (Bourbonnais, Ill./Bradley-Bourbonnais) took the loss (1-3) in relief of junior starter Matthew McKenzie (Oak Forest, Ill./Marist). Brokup pitched two-thirds of an inning and gave up two hits, four runs (all earned) and four walks.
Saint Xavier (7-16 overall) hopes to host its home opener on Tuesday, March 21, with a scheduled game against Davenport University (Mich.) that day at Richard R. Ferrell Memorial Field. The game is slated for a 2 p.m. start in Chicago, weather permitting.