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College Baseball: St. Xavier earns split with Purdue North Central

Updated: April 29, 2014 10:33PM



Two losses in Tuesday’s doubleheader wouldn’t have been the end of the world, and more important, the end of the season, for St. Xavier.

With some help from conference rivals, the Cougars still could qualify for this week’s Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Association Tournament.

But no, Chris Klein and his teammates weren’t interested in help. They wanted to stamp their own ticket.

After dropping the opener 4-1 to visiting Purdue North Central, St. Xavier’s bats came alive in a 10-0 win in eight innings in a CCAC crossover. As it stands entering play Wednesday, St. Xavier would be the No. 4 seed in the tourney.

“Last year we’re in the same situation where we’ve got to win some games and rely on some other teams to get in,” Klein said. “We didn’t want to put ourselves in that situation this year. We had to go ahead and win a big game.”

Klein came up a double short of a cycle, finishing 3-for-5 with two runs and two RBI for St. Xavier (21-27, 15-11). Ryan Pellack, Jim Augle, Bryan Polak and Brad Myjak added two RBI apiece.

The home game was the last for St. Xavier coach Mike Dooley, who will retire at the end of the season after 22 years in the dugout for the Cougars.

“You want to play your way in, not back in,” Dooley said. “I knew walking to the field (Wednesday) this would be it. Everything comes to an end. I’m prepared for it. Is it emotional? Yes, but it’s great to go out with a win.”

In Game 2, Dooley’s squad scored at least one run in six of the eight innings, with two apiece in the first and second. Klein hit a bomb of a solo blast to left-center field in the fourth.

“We had a reality check after the first game,” Klein said. “We had to start putting the ball in play and had a good approach hitting the ball the other way.”

Jesse Lopez (5-4) scattered eight hits and two walks over seven innings, striking out three for Game 2 win.

Purdue North Central (22-25, 13-14) won the opener behind a strong pitching performance from Dan Snyder. The junior threw a complete game in the seven-inning contest, allowing one run on four hits with five strikeouts.

With the loss in the second game, the Panthers look to be on the outside looking in to qualify for the CCAC tourney. Robert Morris and Holy Cross will play a doubleheader Wednesday with huge postseason implications for all three teams.

“We had to get our early, and we did in the first game,” Purdue coach Shane Prance said. “We needed to do it the second game, and St. Xavier did it instead. They brought their bats out and beat us.”



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