By Luke Stanczyk
The Benedictine University Eagles baseball team completed a perfect 4-0 weekend with a double header sweep of the Concordia University Falcons in Wisconsin on Sunday. With the two wins, the Eagles remain in a three way tie with CUW and Aurora for second place in the Northern Athletics Conference standings.
It was all Eagles in game one, as they jumped out to an early lead with five runs in the fourth inning en route to a 14-3 slaughter rule win in eight innings.
Benedictine tallied five runs in the fourth, highlighted by a two-run triple by junior shortstop Nick Karakosta and a two-run single by senior center fielder Dan Zust. The Eagles had another big inning in the eighth, as they scored eight more. Karakosta, sophmore outfielder Mike Luschen, and junior infielder Mike Loni all had RBI singles for BenU.
For the game, the Eagles finished with 16 hits, including three by freshman outfielder Tim Hendricks and two apiece by Zust, Karakosta, and senior infielder Uli Ortiz.
Junior catcher Tom Higgins said that the key to success for the Eagles in game one was their ability to adjust.
“The wind was howling in today, so we had to adjust the way we were hitting,” Higgins said. “Today, we were able to hit the ball on a line and hard on the ground, which helped us put together some big innings.”
Junior Kevin Crowley had a solid outing on the mound for the Eagles, tossing seven shutout innings to improve his record to 3-4 on the season.
Game two was a completely different game for the Eagles, as they rode their pitching to a 3-1 victory.
Sophomore Nick Diessner, making his first start of the season, allowed one run over five innings to pick up the victory. Freshman Spencer Lehmann and junior closer Shay Wagner provided 4.2 innings of scoreless relief to preserve the win.
Benedictine opened the scoring in the first inning, as junior outfielder John Cervantes singled home Zust giving the Eagles a 1-0 lead. The Eagles struck again in the fourth, as sophomore Ryan Mullin scored on an error and Oritiz had an RBI single.
That was all the scoring the Eagles would need, as Lehmann provided 3.2 innings perfect innings and Wagner pitched a scoreless ninth picking up his sixth save, which ties him for the conference lead.
With the win, the Eagles improved to a season beset five games over .500 and are firing on all cylinders.
“Our offense has been hot all week, and we are really starting to pick it up defensively at the right time.” Ortiz said.
The Eagles will be back in action this Wednesday as they entertain Wheaton College in a non-conference tilt at 6 p.m. at the Lisle-Benedictine Sports