Sports Information Director
(South Bend, Ind.) After failing to score a run in game one of Saturday's doubleheader against the visiting Cougars of Saint Xavier University, the Saints offense exploded for a thirteen run performance in game two including a ten run sixth inning which helped result in the game ending early with the 'ten run rule'. The Saturday split brings the Saints season record to 17-23 overall and 9-12 in the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC).
"I thought we played solid baseball in both games," coach Blondell stated. "We had our opportunities in the first game, but just left too many runners on base. Our bats really came alive in the second game and we were able to pick up a much needed victory."
Jordan Gard (Mishawaka, Ind.) struggled to get batters out in the top of the first after giving up two early runs but got a big double play started with the bases loaded and one out to get out of the inning with just two runs given up. After the difficult first inning, Gard shut the Cougars offense down for the next three innings and didn't give up his next hit until the top of the fifth. Gard (4-3) finished the game pitching all seven innings while allowing eight hits, three runs and walking two batters.
Finishing with just five hits on the game, the Saints were unable to produce with any of their threats leaving five runners on base and failing to score a run. The Saints dropped game one to the Cougars 3-0.
The Saints saw themselves in familiar territory with game two underway after giving up two runs in the top of the first off of three hits. Just like in game one, starting pitcher Calib Wininger (Kokomo, Ind.) induced an inning ending double play to stop the damage and head to the bottom of the first with just a 2-0 deficit.
Unlike in game one, the Saints offense was quick to match the Cougars early production with two runs of their own in the bottom of the first.
From that moment on it was all Holy Cross. The Saints took their first lead of the day in the bottom of the fourth inning after an RBI single from Max Linnville to make it a 3-2 ballgame. It was in the bottom of the sixth where everything seemed to go the Saints way. After six hits and three Cougar errors, the Saints scored ten runs in the bottom of the sixth to make it a 13-2 advantage.
A double play in the top of the seventh ended the game due to the 'ten run rule' and gave the Saints their first ever win over Saint Xavier University.
Calib Wininger (2-3) picked up his second win of the year after pitching seven innings and giving up seven hits, two runs and striking out two.
"We definitely had some things go our way in that second game, but I thought our hitters did a great job coming up in big spots and driving the ball," continued Blondell. "I thought Calib did a great job on the mound and wasn't afraid to let his defense help him out. In short, I'm very proud of our effort today."
The Saints will return to the diamond on Tuesday, April 16th with a home doubleheader against Cardinal Stritch University. The game is a 2:00 p.m. EST doubleheader start and will be played at Newton Park in Lakeville, Ind.