Sports Information Director
(Valparaiso, Ind.) The Saints baseball team continued their nine game week on Wednesday afternoon with a doubleheader against NCAA Division III opponent Franklin College at Emory G. Bauer Field on the campus of Valparaiso University. After giving up the lead late in game one, the Saints held on for a 1-0 victory in game two with solid pitching and excellent defense. The split for the Saints gives them their twelfth win of the season; a program best.
"We had some unlucky breaks in game one, but I felt overall the guys played a solid game," stated coach Blondell. "Blake (Correll) played three different positions for us today, and really did a solid job when we brought him in to pitch."
The Saints got off to a rocky start in game one after the Grizzlies scored four runs in the top of the first inning. A two hit second inning, however, got the Saints on the board in the bottom half of the first after Paul Kappaz (Grosse Pointe, Mich.) laced a single up the middle to bring home Giovanni Ayala (Miami, Fla.) for the Saints first run of the game.
After keeping the Grizzlies of the scoreboard in the second, the Saints turned in back-to-back two-run innings in the second and third to open up a 5-4 advantage; their first lead of the afternoon. Franklin was quick to respond in the top of the fourth with a two-run inning of their own to retake the lead at 6-5. The Grizzlies added one final run in the top of the sixth inning to make it a 7-5 ballgame.
The Saints were unable to register a hit in the last four innings and dropped game one of the doubleheader 7-5.
Calib Wininger (Kokomo, Ind.) (1-3) suffered his third loss on the season after pitching 3 2/3 and giving up six runs.
After a thirty minute break in-between games, the Saints opened up game two with a quick top of the first inning where they brought home one run on one hit. This one run proved to be an important one as neither team would score the remainder of the game.
The Grizzlies first major threat came in the bottom of the fourth inning where they had the bases loaded and one out. Paul Kappaz scooped a hard shot at shortstop and started a big double play that got the Saints out of the inning unscathed.
The final significant threat the Saints saw took place in the bottom of the seventh inning where a two-out single had the runner advance to third just two pitches later after a wild pitch and passed ball.
A groundout to third base helped the Saints seal the defensive battle with Grizzlies and pickup their program best twelfth win.
Blake Comella (Glendale, AZ) pitched 3 1/3 innings of shutout ball before leaving the game with an injury. Blake Correll (2-3), who started the game at third base, came in to pitch the final 3 2/3 and picked up his second win of the season. Correll played three positions in the doubleheader (catcher, third base and pitcher) and pitched a combined seven innings in both games.
Paul Kappaz had the game winning RBI in game two. For the day, Kappaz went 3-for-5 with three RBI's.
"The guys held strong and played with a lot of heart to pick up this 1-0 win," continued coach Blondell. "Both Blake's did a great job pitching for us and really put us in a good position to win the game. I thought the defense was very strong and a lot of guys made some real tough plays."
"It's a great felling without question," stated coach Blondell on setting a new program best with 12 wins. "The team continues to come to work every day and I think there's a lot of potential with this group to keep picking up these wins."
The Saints will enjoy an off day tomorrow before traveling to Bourbonnais, Ill. on Friday and Saturday for a three-game series with the Olivet Nazarene Tigers.