College Baseball: St. Francis, Judson split doubleheader
By Tim O’Brien For Sun-Times Media April 23, 2014 7:12PM
Updated: May 25, 2014 3:44PM
St. Francis’ Brandon Mendoza was sure it was deja vu.
Hadn’t he already been waiting in the hole, with teammate Dave Kuhne standing in the on-deck circle?
Mendoza certainly had an excuse for the confusion. St. Francis was absolutely killing the ball Wednesday, with Mendoza hitting two two-run singles as part of the Saints’ 10-run third inning.
“Usually when we’re all hitting, we just keep on,” Mendoza said. “I look up and Dave is standing up there again. The inning went quick, we got consecutive hits and the outcome turned out good.”
Did it ever for St. Francis.
After dropping the opening game of Wednesday’s Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Association doubleheader 1-0 to Judson, the Saints exploded in Game 3, piling up 19 hits in a 18-2 CCAC crossover win at Silver Cross Field.
St. Francis and Judson were tied for the conference lead coming into Wednesday. Both teams have five games remaining in CCAC play.
“We’re set up pretty good with pitching,” Kuhne said. “We need go for 5-for-5 over our last five because Judson’s schedule isn’t that tough from here on out.”
Managing two hits in Game 1, St. Francis (30-17, 18-4) exploded at the plate in the nightcap, with Mendoza’s first two-run single starting the scoring in the inning.
The Saints slapped out 10 in the 10-run inning, with Mendoza capping the scoring with another two-run single. Judson starter Andrew Bergmann was tagged for nine runs in the inning.
“We faced him last year, he held us to one run and they won,” Kuhne said. “We’ve seen him a lot. One guy gets a hit, then another. Hitting is contagious.”
St. Francis scored seven more runs in the fourth. All 19 Saints hits were singles.
Adam Panayotovich (7-2) earned the win, going the distance (seven innings) with eight strikeouts.
“I haven’t had that many runs behind me since freshman year in high school,” Panayotovich said. “We don’t care who we play at this point. We’ll pitch well and hit. We’ve got a good philosophy so we’ll be OK.”
Trevor Cherwin, Wyss (3 runs), Brad Porter (2 runs), Kyle Burton and Kuhne (2 runs) had two RBI apiece for the Saints in Game 2. Joe Ruge Rick Faron and Cody Columbus scored two runs apiece.
In the opener, Judson’s Ryan Perez outdueled St. Francis’ Jake Butler. Perez scattered two hits over seven innings, striking out two, while Butler allowed eight hits and a run with seven strikeouts.
Judson (34-15, 18-4) got all its offense on a Mark DeYoung RBI single that scored Josh Raymond in the sixth.
“All three of my pitches were working, and I had command of all three,” Perez said. “I tried to keep them off balance, and that helped. In a close game, you stay positive and keep attacking the strike zone.”