HAMMOND, Ind. – The Purdue Northwest baseball team captured its sixth consecutive win and eighth in its last nine games they took down the St. Xavier Cougars 11-7 in a non-conference matchup Wednesday at Dowling Park. Garrett Wiggs picked up his first win of the season for the Pride.
The Cougars jumped out to an early lead as they put up four runs in the top half of the first, as sloppy fielding from PNW produced three errors for the Pride. Hunter Ryan was able to get the Black and Gold on the board with an RBI single in the bottom half to make it 4-1.
Hunter Thorn got a big fifth inning started with an RBI single to score Michael Woods. Ray Hilbrich also hit a 2-RBI triple in the inning, as he extended his season batting average to .426, ranking him second in the conference behind only his teammate Hunter Thorn. The Pride scored five runs in the inning and took a 6-4 lead.
Brendan Kelly checked in for the top of the sixth and SXU was able to tie the game after a Matt Monahan double and he was later knocked in by Max Downs as the Cougars tied the game at six.
PNW was able to fire back with three runs in the bottom of the sixth, including another RBI single from Ray Hansen, who now has seven RBI in his last five games.
After Saint Xavier got one more in the top of the seventh, OF Michael Woods hit a moonshot to dead center field for a solo home run, his first of the season. Kevin McCune also tallied an RBI single as PNW extended its lead to 11-7.
After the conclusion of the seventh inning, the game was called due to darkness and PNW earns another home victory, as they remain undefeated at home since the renaming of the field to “Laborers’ Local 41 Field”.
Justin Graves was particularly impressive in his first career start for the Pride, as he went 1-2 with three walks and three runs scored.
Coming up next, PNW faces a conference test as they head to Detroit for a four-game set with Wayne State. The opener of that series will be Friday, April 5th at 2:30 p.m. CT.