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2013-03-30 Bats explode in game three as Tigers take series from St. Xavier; Fightmaster, Beckham win starts
Ryan Kern(2)

Senior Ryan Kern hit two homeruns on Saturday against St. Xavier in a 22-4 win

Bats explode in game three as Tigers take series from St. Xavier; Fightmaster, Beckham win starts

Author: Nick Birkey
Posted: Monday, April 01, 2013 at 11:04 AM
Adrian Perez (3)

Senior Adrian Perez finished with six RBIs and two doubles in the series against St. Xavier

CHICAGO, Ill. — The Olivet Nazarene University baseball team capped off a week of seven games with a 22-4 stomping of conference rival St. Xavier University (Ill.) on Saturday afternoon. The Tigers won the season series 2-1 after a game one win on Friday, 7-2. The Cougars stole game two from ONU with five runs in the last two innings for a 5-4 win. The Tigers continued their unbeaten streak of 17 games at home on Friday, have won 12 of 16, and now are second in the CCAC South Division.

On Friday, junior Jonathan Fightmaster (Bourbonnais, Ill.) (4-2) started his seventh game and went the distance in the win. He allowed only two runs off six hits and struck out four of the final six batters in a hitless eighth and ninth. The Cougars starter Lucas Fritsch (4-1) went 7 2/3 innings, allowing six runs off 11 hits.

“He’s had a lot of starts in his career, and it’s only a matter of time until he gets into a groove,” Reid said of Fightmaster. “We’re never in a panic with him because he’s so good down the stretch.”

Neither team scored until the bottom of the third when the Tigers (19-11, 8-3) put two runs on the board. ONU kept the Cougars (11-8, 6-4) quiet until their at-bat in the fifth when Bryan Villanova scored on a passed ball. Olivet answered in the bottom half of the inning on a ground ball RBI. St. Xavier scored again in the sixth to make it 3-2, but the Tigers were able to get out of the threat with two runners on base. In the eighth, ONU got things going with a Ryan Kern (Bloomington, Ill.) double, and he was followed by three more hits that subsequently scored four runs. That was all the Tigers would need for the 7-2 win.

Freshman Jordan Hayes (St. Charles, Ill.) went 3-for-4 with two hits and two runs. Adrian Perez (Chicago, Ill.) was 2-for-4 with two RBIs, and Cody Haver (Valparaiso, Ind.) had one hit and two runs scored.

On Saturday, the Tigers got it started in the top of the second with two runs. Two singles and a sacrifice bunt by Alex Cavender (Momence, Ill.) scored the first run, and a Jordan Hayes single scored the second. St. Xavier remained scoreless as the Tigers piled on two more runs in the fourth when Cavender doubled, scoring Matt Davenport (Swayzee, Ind.) and Kevin Lasowski (Schererville, Ind.). Olivet was able to keep the Cougars off the scoreboard until the sixth when a walk scored the first of three runs. Alec Barnhart singled, scoring Villanova and Thomas Keating. In the seventh the Tigers went down easy and, in the bottom of the inning, the Cougars had two runs and walked off with the win. Keating singled to score Chris Klein, making it 4-4. The winning run for the Cougars came on a Brian McQuillan hit-by-pitch.

Senior Paul Griffin (Pekin, Ill.) started the game for the Tigers and went 5 1/3 innings allowing three runs — two earned — off three hits. Parker Shelton (Columbus, Ind.) allowed one hit to one batter, and closer Kevin Lasowski gave up the final two Cougar runs in the seventh, allowing two hits and walking three. It was his first blown save of the year.  

Dan Wetzel (2-2) got the win for the Cougars, pitching the seventh inning.

In the final game of the series, Steven Beckham (Mt .Vernon, Ill.) won his fifth game of the season after pitching five innings, allowing four runs off seven hits. Ryan Archer (Moline, Ill.) and Matt Webber (Kankakee, Ill.) each pitched an inning of relief and struck out two combined.

The Cougars starter, Chris Klein (2-1), allowed eight runs — six earned — off six hits in 3 1/3 innings. In the fourth through six innings, Scott Koziol and John Smith allowed 14 runs — 13 earned — 12 hits and walked five.

The Tigers had 18 total hits — 11 batters finished with at least one — with 13 scored runs, and nine had a RBI. They also had five doubles and three home runs. Perez went 4-for-6 with five RBIs, three runs and two doubles. Kern went 2-for-3 with four RBIs and three runs. He finished the day with two home runs, a two-run shot in the first inning and a single-shot in the fourth. Matt Davenport went 3-for-3 with two RBIs and a run. He hit a home run in the fourth as well. Kevin Lasowski went 2-for-2 with one RBI and two runs.

ONU will pick things up on Tuesday, April 2, with a doubleheader at Watson Field against Judson University (Ill.) starting at 12:30 p.m.