Sports Information Director
(Chicago, Ill.) The Holy Cross Saints baseball team traveled to Chicago, Ill. on Friday afternoon for game one of their three game series with Saint Xavier University. Despite early offensive production, the Saints saw their lead diminish as fast as they gained it. The game was called in the bottom of the fifth inning with two outs after conversations from the umpires and coaches. The Saints fell to the Cougars by a score of 11-8, ending their current four-game winning streak and dropping their season record to 16-22 overall and 8-11 in the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC).
"We lacked a little intensity today," coach Blondell said. "We jumped out to a big 5-0 lead, but just didn't have our best stuff on the mound today. It's one of those games you move on from and look forward to do games tomorrow."
The Saints offense was quick to strike after opening up the game with five runs in the top of the first. Trevor Hurley (Sioux Falls, SD) got things started with a one out single, followed by his fifth stolen base of the year. Paul Kappaz (Grosse Pointe, Mich.) continued his hot hitting with an RBI single to score Hurley and give the Saints an early 1-0 lead. The Saints added four more runs with the help of three Cougar errors to put five runs on the board and head into the bottom half of the inning with a solid lead.
The Cougars responded in rather quick fashion with their own five run inning off just two hits. Saints starting pitcher Andrew Salazar (Tucson, AZ) struggled on the mound lasting just 1/3 of an inning while giving up two hits, five runs and four walks. Brandon Weinkauf (Elkhart, Ind.) replaced Salazar to get the final two outs of the inning and holding runners on second and third.
After going down in order in the top of the second, the Cougars took their first lead of the game in the bottom of the second on an RBI double. The Saints, however, reclaimed the lead with two runs in the top of the third to make it a 7-6 score.
Just like in the first inning, the Cougar bats came alive as they put up their second five run inning capped off by a two out three-run home run to put the Saints behind 11-7.
The Saints would add one final run in the fifth inning on a Max Linnville (Boone, NC) RBI single to make it an 11-8 game. Due to darkness, however, the game was called with two outs in the bottom of the fifth inning by the umpires making it an 11-8 Saint Xavier victory, ending the Saints four game win streak.
Paul Kappaz and Max Linnville led the Saints at the plate with two hits each. Kappaz also finished with two RBI's and two stolen bases, giving him a team-best 20 steals on the year. Mike Pizzuto (Sarasota, Fla.) saw his twelve game hit streak fall, however, he did pick up two RBI's in the effort.
"I thought our bats did a good job keeping us in the game," continued Blondell. "Unfortunately it just wasn't our day on the mound. We will be ready to go come tomorrow with a big home series."
The Saints will close out their three-game series with the Cougars on tomorrow with a 2:00 p.m. EST start doubleheader at Coveleski Stadium.