Baseball - Thu, May 5, 2005
Charleston, Ill. - Sophomore righthander Ryan Quigley (Joliet, Ill./Joliet Catholic) kept the Eastern Illinois University batters in check as the Saint Xavier University baseball team picked up three runs in the top of the 11th inning to defeat the Panthers, 7-4, Wednesday in the extra-innings affair at Coaches Stadium in Charleston, Ill. The Cougars are 33-19 this season and have won nine of their last 10 games, including their last six.
Junior shortstop Brendan Christy (Tinley Park, Ill./Andrew) and sophomore second baseman Nick Tantillo (Tinley Park, Ill./Andrew) led Saint Xavier at the plate Wednesday each going 2-for-5 with two runs scored and a RBI. Senior centerfielder A.J. Coia (North Riverside, Ill./Riverside-Brookfield) also had a solid performance with the bat finishing 1-for-3 with a home run and three runs scored. Quigley pitched the first seven innings of the game allowing seven hits, three runs (one earned) and three walks, while striking out five batters. Junior reliever Luke Gregerson (Lyons, Ill./Morton) threw the next three frames for the Cougars and gave up just three hits and a run to earn the win (2-2). Freshman rightie Joe Zotto (Tinley Park, Ill./Andrew) recorded the save pitching the 11th inning allowing two hits and no runs.
Coia led off the game with a homer to put SXU ahead, 1-0, after the first inning. EIU answered with a RBI single in the bottom of the third to tie the game. The Panthers tacked on two unearned runs in the seventh inning behind two Saint Xavier errors and a wild pitch to take a 3-1 lead into the eighth. A RBI double by Tantillo sparked a three-run ninth inning rally for the Cougars giving them a 4-3 advantage. Eastern Illinois answered in the bottom of the ninth with a RBI double to send the game to extra innings.
A wild pitch on a strikeout allowed Coia to reach first base to lead off the 11th inning. After back-to-back singles by Tantillo and Christy respectively, another wild pitch allowed Coia to score the game-winning run from third base. A RBI single by sophomore first baseman Kevin White (Chicago, Ill./St. Rita) and a sacrifice fly by Gregerson allowed SXU to score two more insurance runs in the 11th.
Saint Xavier will take a couple days off before wrapping up its regular season slate with a four-game, non-conference series this weekend against Indiana Tech (Ind.). The first of two doubleheaders begins on Saturday, May 7, at 1 p.m.