Baseball - Tue, May. 3, 2005
CHICAGO - Behind standout performances on the mound by freshman righthander Kyle Zilis (Oak Forest, Ill./Marist) and junior leftie Nick Karko (Alsip, Ill./Marist) respectively, the Saint Xavier University baseball team picked up two big wins (2-0 and 9-1) over Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) foe Judson College (Ill.) Monday at Richard R. Ferrell Memorial Field in Chicago. With the victories, SXU improves to 32-19 overall and wraps up its regular season conference schedule with a 17-3 mark. The Cougars tied Olivet Nazarene University (Ill.) for the CCAC's best league record, but finished in second place due to its two losses to ONU earlier in the season.

Monday's first game saw two great pitchers battling it out with Saint Xavier eventually pulling out the 2-0 victory over Judson in seven innings. Zilis pitched the complete game allowing just two hits and a walk, while recording nine strikeouts and his sixth win of the season (6-2). Judson's Rob Luck took the loss for the Eagles, but threw very well giving up just six hits, two earned runs and a walk. The Cougars picked up both of their runs in the fifth inning on back-to-back, two-out RBI singles by senior centerfielder A.J. Coia (North Riverside, Ill./Riverside-Brookfield) and sophomore second baseman Craig Buske (New Lenox, Ill./Lincoln-Way Central), respectively. Buske led SXU at the plate in game one finishing 2-for-3 with a RBI.

Game two was a different story as Saint Xavier scored at least a run in each of the first five innings, including four runs in the second, to pick up the 9-1 win. Buske kept up his hot hitting with a three hit (3-for-3) and two runs scored outing in the nightcap, while freshman leftfielder Bryan Druktenis (Oak Lawn, Ill./Richards) also turned in three hits (3-for-3) with a double, two runs scored and two RBI. Karko was solid on the mound for SXU throwing all seven innings and allowing just three hits, an unearned run and a walk with five strikeouts to improve to 6-4 on the season.

Saint Xavier will take a day off before travelling to Charleston, Ill., to face NCAA Division I opponent Eastern Illinois University on Wednesday, May 4. The nine-inning road game will begin at 3 p.m.