Baseball - Fri, Apr. 22, 2005
CHICAGO - The Saint Xavier University baseball team finished with 17 total hits in the game, but could not get one when it counted leaving 21 runners stranded on the base paths in an 8-7, Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) loss to league-leading Olivet Nazarene University (Ill.) Thursday that lasted 15 innings at Richard R. Ferrell Memorial Field in Chicago. SXU falls to 22-17 overall and 9-3 in the conference, while ONU improves its overall record to 33-9 with a 14-2 league mark.

With ONU leading 4-0 heading into the bottom of the fourth inning, Saint Xavier racked up five runs led by a pair of two-RBI singles from both senior leftfielder Pat Flynn (Chicago, Ill./University of Illinois) and senior centerfielder A.J. Coia (North Riverside, Ill./Brookfield-Riverside), respectively. Following two and a half scoreless innings, SXU tacked on another run in the seventh to go ahead, 6-4, on a RBI single by junior designated hitter Chris Gruber (Joliet, Ill./Joliet Catholic).

However, in the top of the ninth inning, a one-out, two-RBI single by ONU third baseman John Arisohn tied the game, 6-6. The Cougars had a golden opportunity to end the game in the bottom of the ninth inning with no outs and junior shortstop Brendan Christy (Tinley Park, Ill./Andrew) on third base. Unfortunately, SXU recorded three straight outs on an infield pop-up and two consecutive strikeouts to send the game to extra innings.

In the 11th inning, SXU had the bases loaded with two outs, but could not pick up a hit to end the game. Olivet scored a run in the top of the 12th inning and SXU responded in the bottom of the frame with a one-out RBI triple to right-center by Coia. However, after back-to-back intentional walks by the Tigers to load the bases, ONU was able to get the final two outs in the inning without another Saint Xavier run.

In the 13th inning, the Cougars started the inning with back-to-back singles by freshman third baseman Joe Miller (Chicago, Ill./Gordon Tech) and Flynn, respectively. After another intentional walk, SXU had the bases loaded with no outs. Two straight line drive outs and an infield groundout kept Saint Xavier from picking up the win. In the 15th inning, ONU got a two-out double down the left field line and Arisohn followed it with a RBI single to put the Tigers ahead, 8-7. With two outs and the tying run at third base, the game ended on a pop fly to the shortstop.

Coia and Flynn each finished with three hits to lead the SXU offense with Coia picking up three RBI and Flynn collecting a run scored and two RBI in the game. Freshman righthander Shane Longest (Wilmington, Ill./Wilmington) took the loss for the Cougars in relief pitching the final four innings and giving up four hits and two runs (one earned) with five strikeouts. Freshman southpaw Kyle Zilis (Oak Forest, Ill./Marist) got the start for SXU pitching the first seven innings and allowing seven hits and four runs (three earned).

Saint Xavier hosts Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) foe Judson College (Ill.) on Saturday, April 23, for a doubleheader at Richard R. Ferrell Memorial Field. The first game is slated for 11 a.m.