Baseball - Mon, May. 9, 2005
Fort Wayne, Ind. - Junior rightfielder Luke Gregerson (Lyons, Ill./Morton) went 2-for-3 with a double, a run scored and two RBI to help lead the Saint Xavier University baseball team to an 8-6 game one road victory over non-conference foe Indiana Institute of Technology (Ind.) Sunday in SXU's final doubleheader of the 2005 regular season. The Cougars dropped Sunday's nightcap, 14-3, to the Warriors in five innings and sit at 34-20 overall heading into the 2005 National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Region VII Tournament, which begins on Wednesday, May 11, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
SXU got off to a hot start in game one plating four runs in the first inning thanks in part to three walks in the game's first four at-bats and a two-RBI single by Gregerson. Junior designated hitter Chris Gruber (Joliet, Ill./Joliet Catholic) recorded a RBI double in the fourth inning to put the Cougars ahead, 4-1, before Indiana Tech tacked on a run in the bottom of the frame to narrow the lead to three, 5-2. A bases-loaded walk by senior centerfielder A.J. Coia (North Riverside, Ill./Riverside-Brookfield) and a RBI single by sophomore second baseman Craig Buske (New Lenox, Ill./Lincoln-Way Central) allowed Saint Xavier to score two more runs in the fifth inning. Indiana Tech answered with two runs of its own in the bottom of the fifth to cut the lead to three again, 7-4.
A two-out RBI double by senior catcher Carlos Campos (Stickney, Ill./Morton) in the top of the sixth brought Gruber home from third giving SXU its eighth and final run of the game. The Warriors put two more runs on the scoreboard in the sixth to trim the lead to two, 8-6, but freshman lefthander Kyle Zilis (Oak Forest, Ill./Marist) recorded two strikeouts in the seventh inning to keep Indiana Tech from getting any closer. Zilis picked up his second save of the season pitching the last three innings of the game in relief of junior southpaw Nick Karko (Alsip, Ill./Marist). Karko got the game one win (7-4) throwing four innings and allowing five hits, two runs and three walks. Zilis gave up fours hits, four unearned runs, and struck out three.
In Sunday's second game, Saint Xavier never got its offense going and scored all three runs off just three hits. Sophomore third baseman Nick Tantillo (Tinley Park, Ill./Andrew) finished 1-for-2 at the plate with two RBI. Indiana Tech did all of its run damage in the first, second and fifth innings, including seven runs in the second. Sophomore leftie Kevin White (Chicago, Ill./St. Rita) took the loss (4-1) for the Cougars pitching the first inning and a third and giving up five hits, six runs (five earned) and two walks. SXU was outhit, 13-3, in the second game.
Saint Xavier will take a couple days before taking part in the NAIA Region VII Tournament. The No. 4 seeded Cougars will face No. 3 seed Mount Mercy College (Iowa) in first round action on Wednesday, May 11, at 7 p.m. The game will be played at Kennedy Park in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.