Baseball - Mon, Apr. 10, 2006
CHICAGO - Junior third baseman Nick Tantillo (Tinley Park, Ill./Andrew) went 5-for-12 with three doubles, four RBI, and five runs scored to help lead the Saint Xavier University baseball team pick up two wins during its four-game road stretch over the weekend. The Cougars (13-22 overall/4-1 CCAC) got its fourth straight Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) win Friday defeating Calumet College of St. Joseph (Ind.), 15-1, but lost two of its three non-conference games with Madonna University (Mich.) on Saturday and Sunday.

Tantillo came up big in Friday's big 15-1 CCAC win over Calumet College finishing 3-for-5 at the plate with three doubles, two runs scored, and three RBI. Freshman first baseman Matt Van Mill (Palos Heights, Ill./Bishop McNamara) also had a huge game going 4-for-5 with a double, a run scored, and four RBI. Freshman righthander Rick Kehoe (Oak Lawn, Ill./Richards) recorded the win for the Cougars pitching the first six innings and allowing four hits, a run, and five walks with five strikeouts.

Originally scheduled for a noon doubleheader, SXU was only able to play one game against Madonna Saturday due to field conditions. It proved to be a long one as the Cougars dropped a 5-4 heartbreaker in 12 innings. Senior shortstop Brendan Christy (Tinley Park, Ill./Andrew) and junior second baseman Craig Buske (New Lenox, Ill./Lincoln-Way Central) were the only two Saint Xavier players with more than one hit in the game each finishing 2-for-6 at the plate. Madonna scored three of its five runs in the bottom of the first, but SXU answered in the top of the second with three runs of its own behind RBI hits from junior catcher Ryan Buchler (Schererville, Ind./South Suburban CC) and sophomore left fielder Joe Miller (Chicago, Ill./Gordon Tech), respectively.

Both teams scored a run in the fifth inning of Saturday's game to keep the game tied, 4-4. Senior designated hitter Chris Gruber (Joliet, Ill./Joliet Catholic) recorded a RBI single in the fifth to give Saint Xavier its fourth run of the game. In the bottom of the 12th inning, Madonna was able to get runners on first and second with one out following back-to-back walks and a single to left field brought home the game-winning run. The Cougars left 12 runners on base in the game.

In Sunday's twinbill with Madonna, the Cougars started well picking up a 4-2 victory in game one behind solid pitching from sophomore rightie Joe Zotto (Tinley Park, Ill./Andrew), who threw six innings and gave up four hits, two runs, and two walks with two strikeouts to earn the win. Freshman centerfielder Don Skelly (Oak Lawn, Ill./Richards) had the big hits in game one with RBI singles in the second and seventh innings. He finished 2-for-3 with two RBI, while Tantillo went 1-for-1 with two runs scored and a RBI.

The second game was a different story as Madonna scored 18 runs, including a nine-run fifth inning, to defeat Saint Xavier, 18-8, in six innings. Both teams scored early and often with Saint Xavier holding an 8-6 advantage heading into the fourth inning. However, the scoring stopped for the Cougars and Madonna scored 12 runs over the next three innings to end things early. Christy went 3-for-4 at the bat with two runs scored and a RBI, while Gruber finished 2-for-4 with two runs scored and three RBI.

Saint Xavier (13-22 overall, 4-1 CCAC) returns to its CCAC slate on Monday, April 10, with a road game against Purdue University-North Central (Ind.). Game time is set for 3 p.m. in Westville, Ind.