Baseball - Wed, Apr. 12, 2006
CHICAGO - Overcoming an early 3-0 deficit against Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) rival University of St. Francis (Ill.), Saint Xavier University senior left fielder Chris Gruber (Joliet, Ill./Joliet Catholic) hit a three-RBI double to help spark a five-run fifth inning as SXU pulled out the 5-4 victory in baseball action Wednesday at Richard R. Ferrell Memorial Field. The win extends the Cougars' (16-22 overall, 7-1 CCAC) conference win streak to seven straight games and gives them sole possession of first place (by a full game) in the league standings.
Gruber finished the game 2-for-4 at the plate with a double, a run scored, and three RBI, while junior second baseman Craig Buske (New Lenox, Ill./Lincoln-Way Central) went 2-for-3 with a run scored. Saint Xavier fell behind early giving up a run to the Fighting Saints in each of the first three innings to trail 3-0 heading into the fourth. Junior righthander Ryan Quigley (Joliet, Ill./Joliet Catholic) got the start for SXU and settled down after the first three innings. Quigley earned the win Thursday pitching the first eight innings and giving up seven hits, four runs, and five walks with four strikeouts. Senior reliever Luke Gregerson (Lyons, Ill./Morton) recorded the save, his fourth of the season, putting USF down 1-2-3 in the ninth.
St. Francis junior starter Justin Vaughan hit freshman centerfielder Don Skelly (Oak Lawn, Ill./Marist) with a pitch to start the bottom of the fifth. After back-to-back walks to load the bases, Gruber came up big with a hard-hit double to the gap in right-centerfield that plated three runs. Still with no outs, Gregerson traded places with Gruber with a double of his own to give SXU the lead, 4-3. Junior third baseman Nick Tantillo (Tinley Park, Ill./Andrew) completed the scoring for the Cougars with a RBI double later in the fifth.
Saint Xavier (16-22 overall, 7-1 CCAC) continues its conference home stand with a nine-inning game against Olivet Nazarene University (Ill.) on Thursday, April 13. Start time for Thursday's game is scheduled for 3 p.m.