College Baseball: St. Xavier sweeps past St. Francis
By Tim O’Brien For Sun-Times Media April 1, 2014 7:56PM
Updated: May 3, 2014 6:32AM
St. Xavier’s Brad Myjak was struggling mightily.
The four-year varsity starter came into Tuesday hitting just .153 through 21 games.
With one swing against visiting St. Francis, though, Myjak may have turned things around not only for himself but a Cougars team looking to forge its offensive identity.
Myjak smashed a two-run walk-off double to win the first game 8-7, then knocked in two more runs and scored four runs in St. Xavier’s 15-5 win in eight innings in the nightcap of the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference doubleheader.
“When one person starts hitting, everyone starts. It’s contagious,” Myjak said. “We had a feel-good moment at the end of the first game and carried it over into the second game.”
Myjak went 4-for-7 on the day with five RBI and four runs to lead the offensive outburst as the Cougars (8-15, 3-2 CCAC North) played their first home games of the year.
None of Myjak’s four hits was bigger than his walk-off double in the opener. The double, off the right-field wall, scored Alec Barnhart with the tying run and Chris Klein with the winner.
“We’ve had difficulty winning those close games so it was a huge positive to come back and win that first game,” St. Xavier coach Mike Dooley said. “It was really good to see Brad get going. He’s been struggling, but that was a great day (Tuesday).”
Myjak’s game-winner energized the struggling Cougars, who pounded out 19 hits in the eight-inning nightcap. Trailing 1-0 in the second, St. Xavier’s Bryan Polak, Brian Villanova and Ryan Pellack all come through with RBI. The Cougars scored four runs in the inning and never looked back.
Six different players had at least two RBI in Game 2 for St. Xavier.
Jeremy Dryier (Shepard) picked up his first collegiate win, going 62/3 innings, walking five and giving up four hits. He won without the benefit of a strikeout.
“If Jeremy keeps the ball in the strike zone, he’s got good life on the ball,” Dooley said. “The key for him all year is throwing strikes.”
Alec Barnhart (Oak Lawn) had a solo homer in Game 2, with Myjak adding a two-run shot.
Matt Scott (3 RBI), Kyle Burton (2 runs, 2 RBI) and Luke Wyss (2 runs) led St. Francis (15-14, 5-2 CCAC South), which had won seven in a row entering Tuesday.
“Give St. Xavier credit, they hit the ball real well,” St. Francis coach Brian Michalak said. “That first game was a kick in the gut. It knocks you back. We had 30 minutes to come back, had the 1-0 lead, and we didn’t hold it.”