Sports Information DIrector
(South Bend, Ind.) The Saints continued their action packed week of baseball on Friday afternoon with a nine inning game between fellow Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) opponent Calumet College of St. Joseph. After getting on the board early, the Saints were able to hold the lead for the entire game despite getting in some difficult situations late in the game. Jordan Gard (Mishawaka, Ind.) picked up his third win of the season while Blake Correll (Oak Creek, Wisc.) notched his fourth save of the year en route to the Saints 4-3 conference win over the Crimson Wave. The Saints now sit at 8-16 overall and 3-6 in the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference.
"Wow," said coach Blondell on his team grinding out the victory. "They had us in a tough spot late in the game, but the guys dug down deep and found a way to get the win. All the credit goes to them."
The Saints were quick to jump on the Crimson Wave after plating two runs in the bottom of the first. Giovanni Ayala (Miami, Fla.) led the inning off for the Saints with a single up the middle and then stealing his team high ninth bag of the season. Senior Dan Wawrzusin (Potomac, MD) laced a single of his own up the middle to bring Ayala home for the first run of the game. The hits continued for the Saints as third basemen Paul Kappaz (Grosse Pointe, Mich.) recorded an infield single. After a double steal advanced both Wawrzusin and Kappaz into scoring position, Max Linnville (Boone, NC) grounded out to the shortstop advancing both runners and plating the Saints second run of the inning.
The Crimson Wave answered the Saints in the top of the fifth inning after Jonathan Cardenas ripped a double to left field bringing home two runs to make it a 3-2 game.
Holy Cross, however, was quick to respond as they added their fourth run of the game in the bottom half of the fifth to extend their lead to 4-2.
The Crimson Wave were severely threatening the Saints lead in the top of eighth inning after a single and a pair of errors loaded up the bases with no outs. A sacrifice fly then cut into the Saints lead making it a 4-3 game. Freshman Blake Correll then retired the next two batters with strikeouts to help the Saints hold onto their lead.
After leaving three runners on base in the bottom of the eighth inning, the Saints headed to the ninth just three outs away from securing their eighth win of the season. Correll faced four batters in the ninth and held the Crimson Wave from tying the game while securing his fourth save of the season.
Jordan Gard (3-1) pitched seven innings while giving up five hits, two runs and striking out three en route to picking up his team-high third win of the season.
Paul Kappaz went 3-for-4 at the plate and now leads the Saints with a batting average of .342. Giovanni Ayala picked up two more stolen bases to increase his season total to ten.
"That eighth inning wasn't a difficult spot for our guys to be in," continued Blondell. "I was very impressed with how they kept their composure and didn't let the situation get too big for them. This was an impressive and gutsy performance for the guys and I'm so proud of them for fighting through it."
The Saints will resume action tomorrow afternoon in Whiting, Ind. to wrap up their three game series with the Crimson Wave. The first pitch is scheduled to be thrown at 2:00 p.m. EST.