Sports Information Director
(Chicago, Ill.) Andrew Salazar (Tucson, AZ) put together his second consecutive impressive outing with a complete shutout in game one over fellow Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) opponent Illinois Tech. en route to the Saints 4-0 game one victory. A late rally in game number two put the Scarlet Hawks up 4-3 in the bottom of the eighth inning where they held on to defeat the Saints 4-3 and split the season series. The Saints are now 7-15 overall and 2-6 in the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference.
"Another really impressive start from Salazar," coach Blondell said. "He's done a great job this year throwing strikes and attacking hitters. The guys fed off his impressive outing and we were able to pick up this game one victory."
The Saints were quick to get on the board in game one of Wednesday's doubleheader after sophomore Giovanni Ayala (Miami, Fla.) led off the top of the first with a double. Ayala scored the game's first run just two batters later after Paul Kappaz (Crown Pointe, Mich.) reached base on an error.
Following the top of the first, the game turned into a pitchers duel with both Salazar and Bledsoe doing an effective job of keeping runners off the base path.
Holy Cross turned in a big top of the fifth inning to get things rolling where they scored three runs off hits from Dan Wawrzusin (Potomac, MD), Ben Bournay (Dowagiac, Mich.) and Max Linnville (Boone, NC) who cleared the bases with a three RBI double to make it a 4-0 Saints lead.
Despite not getting a hit in the final two innings, Salazar did his part by shutting down the Scarlet Hawks en route to his second win of the season and first complete game shutout. Salazar (2-2) went all seven while giving up five hits with one walk and one strikeout.
Game two started much like game one in Wednesday's doubleheader with both pitchers doing an excellent job of not allowing runners to score. It wasn't until the fifth inning where we had the first runs of the game; two runs from the host Scarlett Hawks on two hits, and an error by the Saints, helped Illinois Tech. open up game two with their first lead of the afternoon.
A big top of the eighth inning where the Saints produced three hits including two RBI singles from Hurley and Paul Kappaz gave the Saints a late 3-2 lead in the game.
The Scarlet Hawks, however, weren't quite finished. In the bottom of the eighth inning they produced two key runs to overtake the Saints and hold a late 4-3 advantage. The Saints were unable to tie the game in the ninth inning and dropped game two to Illinois Tech. 4-3.
Starting pitcher Brandon Weinkauf (Elkhart, Ind.) had an impressive outing in his first start of the season going 6 2/3 innings while giving up 10 hits, two runs (one earned) and striking out two for a non-decision.
"This was a tough one for our guys," continued Blondell. "They did a great job coming back in this one but unfortunately came up just short. We will use this as a learning experience and look to not let it happen again."
The Saints return to the Diamond in Chicago, Illinois on Thursday to take on NCAA Division I program Chicago State University. The first pitch is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. EST.