Baseball - Mon, Apr. 3, 2006
CHICAGO - Behind a perfect 3-for-3 and three RBI showing at the plate for senior designated hitter Chris Gruber (Joliet, Ill./Joliet Catholic), the Saint Xavier University baseball team earned a 8-7 victory Sunday in game three of its four-game, non-conference series with Aquinas College (Mich.) over the weekend at Richard R. Ferrell Memorial Field in Chicago. Unfortunately for the Cougars (8-20 overall), the remaining three games were not as productive. SXU dropped both games of Saturday's doubleheader, 4-2 and 6-0, as well as game four Sunday, 11-1.

In game one Saturday, Gruber went 2-for-3 with a RBI, but Saint Xavier managed only two runs from its seven hits in the game. He was the only Cougar hitter to record multiple hits in the first game. SXU junior starter Ryan Quigley (Joliet, Ill./Joliet Catholic) gave up three runs in the first inning, but settled down the rest of the way allowing six hits, four runs, and three walks over seven innings of work with four strikeouts. Quigley falls to 0-4 on the season with the loss.

The offensive woes continued in the second game with Saint Xavier posting only three hits en route to a 6-0 loss. Senior shortstop Brendan Christy (Tinley Park, Ill./Andrew) went 2-for-3 in the game. Three errors also hurt the Cougars in game two, which led to only one of Aquinas' six runs in the game recorded as an earned run. Freshman righthander Rick Kehoe (Oak Lawn, Ill./Richards) got the start on the mound and gave up four hits, five walks, and an earned run in five and two-thirds innings of work.

In the game three win, Gruber and junior catcher Ryan Buchler (Schererville, Ind./South Suburban CC) carried the offense combining for five hits, two runs scored, and six RBI. SXU scored four runs in the final two innings, including three in the bottom of the sixth, to complete the rally for the 8-7 victory. Sophomore rightie Shane Longest (Wilmington, Ill./Wilmington) earned the win in relief pitching two and two-thirds innings and allowing just a hit, a walk, and no runs with a strikeout. Senior closer Luke Gregerson (Lyons, Ill./Morton) pitched the final inning and recorded his second save of the season.

The momentum of the win did not carry over into the final game of the series as Aquinas scored 11 runs in six innings to end the nightcap early, 11-1. Longest came in to play third base in the middle of the game and picked up Saint Xavier's lone RBI on a sacrifice fly in the fourth inning, which scored Gruber from third. The Cougars were again hurt by errors with three in the game. Sophomore lefthander Jake Curran (Frankfort, Ill./Lincoln-Way East) took the loss pitching the first two innings and allowing eight hits and six runs (three earned) with two strikeouts.

Saint Xavier (8-20 overall, 0-1 CCAC) returns to its Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) slate on Tuesday, April 4, with a road game against Trinity Christian College in Palos Heights, Ill. Game time is set for 3:30 p.m.