Sports Information Director
(Crestwood, Ill.) Mike Pizzuto (Sarasota, Fla.) went 2-for-3 with two triples and two RBI's in game one of Tuesday's doubleheader against Roosevelt University in Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) play to help the Saints pick up their eleventh win of the season, matching 2012's total. Early success from the Lakers in game two proved to be too much for the Saints as they settled for a conference split with the Lakers. The Saints improved to 11-19 overall and 6-9 in the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference following the split.
An early run in the top of the first inning had the Saints off to a solid start in game one of Tuesday's doubleheader. With the bases loaded and one out with a chance to open up the game with a big first inning, the Lakers turned a double play to leave three runners stranded and hold the Saints to just the one run.
Roosevelt quickly responded in the bottom of the first inning where they brought in two runs off of two hits; all of which happened with two outs.
The Lakers extended their lead to 3-1 in in the second inning before the Saints answered back with one run of their own to open the third after an RBI single by Paul Kappaz (Grosse Pointe, Mich.).
It was in the top of the fifth inning when the Saints broke through on Roosevelt starter Alex Van Ness and plated two runs on two hits, including an RBI triple from first basemen Mike Pizzuto to make it a 4-3 Saints advantage. Pizzuto turned in his second RBI triple of the afternoon in the top of the seventh inning to extend the Saints lead to 5-3.
After giving up just one earned run in his last two outings, Saints pitcher Andrew Salazar (Tucson, AZ) lasted just 2 2/3 innings while giving up five hits, three earned runs and walking five. Freshman Alex Erwin (Niles, Mich.) came in out of the bullpen to throw 2 1/3 hitless innings with three strikeouts en route to his second win of the season. Freshman Blake Correll (Oak Creek, Wisc.) came in to close the game over the final two innings and picked up his sixth save of the season in the Saints 5-3 game one victory.
The Saints once again got off to a fast start in game two after picking up two runs on two hits in the top of the first inning.
Just like in game one, however, Roosevelt responded in quick fashion and put up five runs in the bottom of the first to turn a two run deficit into a three run advantage.
Freshman starter Jordan Gard (Mishawka, Ind.) lasted just three batters after walking each one of them to open up the game. Alex Erwin pitched two more innings in game two while giving up seven hits and four earned runs.
The Saints trailed 7-2 through two innings before putting up runs in the third and fourth to make it a 7-4 game.
Marcus Radz, however, proved to be too strong on the mound for the Saints to pull off the comeback after going all nine innings while giving up eight hits, four runs and striking out five. The Saints fell to the Lakers 7-4 in game two.
Austin Kiser-Petrie (Start City, Ind.) pitched five scoreless innings for the Saints out of the bullpen, giving up just one hit.
"It was a good effort from our guys," stated coach Blondell. "We unfortunately couldn't pull off the comeback in game two. We had a number of guys step up in unexpected circumstances, and I'm proud with how they continued to battle."
The Saints will play a doubleheader home series at a neutral field tomorrow afternoon against NCAA Division III opponent Franklin College at Emory G. Bauer Field on the campus of Valparaiso University beginning at 2:00 p.m. EST. Follow updates for tomorrow's doubleheader on twitter by following @hocrosaints.