Baseball - Thu, Mar. 30, 2006
Bourbonnais, Ill. - Despite a 3-for-4 showing at the plate by senior outfielder Luke Gregerson (Lyons, Ill./Morton), the Saint Xavier University baseball team dropped its Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) opener with Olivet Nazarene University (Ill.), 5-1, Wednesday at Watson Field in Bourbonnais, Ill. The Cougars (7-17 overall) had a 1-0 lead through the first four and a half innings of the nine-inning affair, but gave up five runs to Olivet in the bottom of the fifth inning which proved to be the difference.

In the fourth inning, senior designated hitter Chris Gruber (Joliet, Ill./Joliet Catholic) was hit by a pitch and able to advance to third on back-to-back singles by junior catcher Ryan Buchler (Schererville, Ind./South Suburban CC) and senior rightfielder Luke Gregerson (Lyons, Ill./Morton). A sacrifice fly by junior third baseman Nick Tantillo (Tinley Park, Ill./Andrew) scored Gruber from third. Unfortunately, after a walk by freshman first baseman Matt Van Mill (Palos Heights, Ill./Bishop McNamara) to load the bases, the Cougars could not produce any more hits to put more runs on the board.

Olivet Nazarene took full advantage of back-to-back doubles to start the bottom of the fifth inning, which helped spark a six-hit, five-run frame. SXU was able to get runners to first base over the final three and a half innings, but none were able to get into scoring position. Sophomore lefthander Kyle Zilis (Oak Forest, Ill./Marist) took the loss on the mound for Saint Xavier pitching five innings and allowing eight hits, five earned runs, and a walk with four strikeouts.

Saint Xavier (7-17 overall) returns to Chicago for a four-game weekend series against non-conference foe Aquinas College (Mich.), beginning with a doubleheader on Saturday, April 1, at Richard R. Ferrell Memorial Field. The Saturday doubleheader is scheduled to start at 12 p.m. with another noon doubleheader scheduled for Sunday, April 2.