2009
Baseball bumped from NAC tournament after long first day

Baseball bumped from NAC tournament after long first day
May 8, 2009

Dave Beyer, Sports Information Director
(630) 829-6143
dbeyer@ben.edu

The opening day of the Northern Athletics Conference (NAC) Tournament proved to be a long one for Benedictine University in more ways than one. The NAC Tournament was played at Road Ranger Stadium in Loves Park, Ill. The fourth-seeded Eagles (22-20) lost their opening game of the NAC tourney to top-seeded - and eventual champion - Concordia University Chicago, 16-4, in the 9:00 a.m. game on Friday. Benedictine also fell to Rockford, 16-4, in the elimination game. The Eagles managed just five hits in the ball game against the Cougars and the lone extra-base hit was a Kenny Burdi two-out double in the sixth inning. Burdi was 1-for-2 with a run scored and two runs batted in for the game. Meanwhile, CUC rapped out 19 hits which included six doubles and one home run. Nine of those hits - along with nine earned runs - were charged to Benedictine starter Jake Thompson (4-4). Thompson lasted just 2 1/3 innings as the Cougars amassed an 11-0 lead after three complete frames. That loss to Concordia meant that Benedictine would not play again until 7:30 p.m. in the elimination bracket versus Rockford College (which lost to Aurora University in its opening game). The Eagles took a quick 2-0 lead over Rockford by scratching out single runs in the first two innings. That's when lightning, figuratively, hit BU starter James Callahan. In the top of the third inning, Callahan walked the leadoff man before registering a strikeout. Callahan then surrendered a two-run homer in the left field corner to Eric Nicholson that knotted matters at 2-2. The Eagles' righthander then proceeded to walk three-consecutive batters before RC leadoff batter Shaun Dascher crushed a prodigious blast to right field that made it 6-2 in favor of Rockford. Callahan was then touched up for a double and walk before giving up his third home run of the inning that upped the Benedictine deficit to 9-2. In the top of the sixth, Rockford added one more run off Callahan following a leadoff walk and a double. That's when Mother Nature stepped in. Lightning strikes - literally - and subsequent rain caused a delay of nearly 1 1/2 hours, with the contest not resuming action until 11:10 p.m. The delay forced a pitching change for the Eagles. However, three subsequent BU relievers were charged with six more runs as the Regents rolled to the win in the wee hours Saturday morning. Burdi was 3-for-5 with two runs scored in his final game as an Eagle. Kevin Graham and Kevin Ross each collected a pair of hits. In all, Benedictine had 11 hits in the game.

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Benedictine University is an independent Roman Catholic institution located in Lisle, Illinois just 25 miles west of Chicago. Founded in 1887, Benedictine provides 56 undergraduate majors, 16 graduate and four doctorate programs. The Chronicle of Higher Education recently ranked Benedictine University as the seventh fastest-growing campus among private nonprofit master’s universities, and Forbes magazine named Benedictine among the top 20 percent of America’s colleges for 2011. Benedictine University’s Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) program is listed by Crain’s Chicago Business as the fourth largest in the Chicago area in 2011.