Baseball - Tue, Apr. 11, 2006
Westville, Ind. - Senior left fielder Chris Gruber (Joliet, Ill./Joliet Catholic) went 3-for-4 with a double, three runs scored, and a RBI to help lift Saint Xavier University to a big 13-3 victory over Purdue University-North Central (Ind.) in Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) baseball action Monday in Westville, Ind. The win extends the Cougars' (14-22 overall, 5-1 CCAC) conference win streak to five straight games after defeating Trinity Christian, Robert Morris, Illinois Institute of Technology, and Calumet College of St. Joseph (Ind.) last week.

Back-to-back RBI hits by Gruber and senior right fielder Luke Gregerson (Lyons, Ill./Morton) gave SXU an early 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning. After junior second baseman Craig Buske (New Lenox, Ill./Lincoln-Way Central) was hit by a pitch to start the third inning, senior shortstop Brendan Christy (Tinley Park, Ill./Andrew) made PNC pay by sending a two-run homer out of the ballpark in the next at-bat giving the Cougars a 4-0 advantage. Purdue-North Central was able to trim the lead to one, 4-3, by scoring a combined three runs in the fourth and fifth innings.

However, a three-RBI double by freshman first baseman Matt Van Mill (Palos Heights, Ill./Bishop McNamara) sparked a five-run sixth inning for Saint Xavier. Following a two-run home run by freshman centerfielder Don Skelly (Oak Lawn, Ill./Marist) later in the sixth, the Cougars pushed their lead up to six runs, 9-3. SXU cruised the rest of the way scoring two runs in the seventh and two more in the ninth to secure the 13-3 victory.

Freshman righthander Dan Miller (Joliet, Ill./Joliet Catholic) got the start Monday pitching the first six and one-third innings and allowing five hits, three runs (two earned), and no walks with one strikeout. Miller improved his season record to 4-1 with the win. Sophomore reliever Shane Longest (Wilmington, Ill./Wilmington) finished the remaining two and two-thirds innings for SXU allowing one hit, no runs, and no walks with three Ks.

Saint Xavier (14-22 overall, 5-1 CCAC) heads to Joliet, Ill., on Tuesday, April 11, to face CCAC rival University of St. Francis (Ill.). Start time for the nine-inning affair is scheduled for 3 p.m.