Baseball sweeps its way into a NAC tourney slot
May 3, 2009
Dave Beyer, Sports Information Director
It was the old "do-or-die" for Benedictine University baseball on Sunday versus Concordia University (Wis.) on the final day of the Northern Athletics Conference (NAC) regular season at The Sports Complex.
The Eagles "did" and now will "live," earning a spot in this weekend's NAC postseason tournament, thanks to its 9-7 and 10-4 victories over the Falcons. The wins upped BU's record to 22-18 overall and 14-8 in NAC play.
Benedictine had the exact same league record as Concordia, but advances as the No. 4-seeded team in the tourney based on head-to-head record against CUW.
In the first game of the day that had playoff-style electricity in the air, the Eagles found themselves down, 3-2, after just two innings. However, both teams took a scoring hiatus until Benedictine plated seven runs in the bottom of the sixth to break the game open.
Or so it seemed.
The Falcons rallied for three in the top of the seventh, chasing starter Jake Thompson. The Eagles used a trio of relief pitchers to hold off CUW and senior Dan Vincenti earned his third save of the season by working the ninth inning.
Thompson was credited with the win for his 6 1/3 innings of work. He is now 4-3 on the year.
Kevin Ross and Matthew Brewer (2-for-4) each hit home runs for the Eagles. Tony DeMartino, Dan Healy and Uli Ortiz all collected two hits in the game. Brewer also had a double as his second hit.
In all, Benedictine had 13 hits in the contest.
The second game of the day saw the Falcons lead by a 4-3 margin after 4 1/2 innings, before Benedictine knotted it at 4-4 in the bottom of the fifth. The Eagles would add two in the sixth and four more in the eighth - all while holding CUW scoreless the remainder of the game - to punch its ticket for the NAC tournament.
Starter Nick DePaul lasted 3 2/3 innings, allowing four runs (three earned). DePaul had a rocky outing as he walked four Falcons.
Senior Kennedy Grear - who got a crucial out in the first game - came back on in relief in the second and was the winning pitcher. Grear restored order thanks to 2 1/3 scoreless innings of work and permitting just two hits.
Sophomore Adam Franson was credited with a save for three innings of one-hit relief to close out the game.
The Eagles mounted a 16-hit attack, including six extra-base hits. DeMartino had the big day at the plate by going 2-for-2 with a walk, good for five runs batted in.
Brewer was 3-for-3 in the game, while Kenny Burdi, Kevin Grahanm, Gino Miglio and Ortiz each collected two hits. Graham and DeMartino had doubles in the game, as did teammates Nick Meitzler and Kevin Ross. Brewer and Rick Porcaro each tripled.
Meitzler and Porcaro each had two RBI, as well.
Benedictine will face top-seeded Concordia University Chicago in the NAC tournament's opening game at 9:00 a.m. on Friday (May 8). The tournament is being played at Road Ranger Stadium in Loves Park, Ill.
Benedictine University is located in Lisle, Illinois, just 25 miles west of Chicago, and has branch campuses in Springfield, Illinois, and Mesa, Arizona. Founded as a Catholic university in 1887, Benedictine enrolls nearly 10,000 students in 56 undergraduate and 19 graduate programs. Forbes magazine named Benedictine among "America's Top Colleges" for the sixth consecutive year in 2016. Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (hlcommission.org). For more information, contact (630) 829-6300, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit ben.edu.