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John Riordan (left) and Matt DeGraw tossed shutouts on Monday to keep the Saints alive in the CCAC Tournament.
John Riordan (left) and Matt DeGraw tossed shutouts on Monday to keep the Saints alive in the CCAC Tournament.
Baseball - Tue, May 9, 2017

ELGIN, Ill. --- Riding the arms of sophomore John Riordan (Chicago, Ill./ St. Laurence) and senior Matt DeGraw (Lockport, Ill./ Lockport), University of St. Francis  kept its playoff run alive at the 2017 Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference Baseball Tournament with a 1-0 shutout of Purdue University Northwest and a 12-0 blanking of Indiana University South Bend on Monday.

The pair of wins kept the Saints (33-25) as one of only three teams remaining in the eight-team tournament with Saint Xavier University and St. Ambrose University being the other two clubs.  USF meets Saint Xavier in another elimination game on Tuesday at 4:30 p.m. with the winner to face St. Ambrose at 7:30 p.m. 

St. Ambrose remains as the lone unbeaten in the tournament.  Should the Saints prevail in both games on Tuesday, they would face St. Ambrose again on Wednesday at 7 pm for the tournament title.

Game 1 --- USF 1, Purdue Northwest 0

Riordan had a no-hitter going through 8 1/3 innings before Tyler Crussen broke up that bid with a base hit.  The single to right field, however, did not break up Riordan's shutout.  That was saved by senior rightfielder CJ Duffek (Brookfield, Ill./Riverside-Brookfield), who made a perfect throw home on the play to nail Luke Schmidt at the plate for the second out in the inning.  Duffek also contributed at the plate with a pair of hits. 

Two innings before, the Saints registered the game-winning run on a sacrifice fly by sophomore Anthony Faron (New Lenox, Ill./ St. Rita) to score senior centerfielder Kyle Burton (Kankakee, Ill./ Herscher), who got hit by a pitch to open the inning.  He eventually moved to second on a sacrifice by junior leftfielder Pat Michalak (New Lenox, Ill./ Lincoln-Way Central) and to third on a single by senior catcher Dan Darling (Coal City, Ill./ Coal City).

Riordan (7-1) finished his day with seven strikeouts against five walks, while allowing just the one hit.  It was his fourth shutout of the season.

Game 2 --- USF 12, Indiana South Bend 0

DeGraw (6-2) matched Riordan's shutout by authoring the first one of his St. Francis career in the nightcap.  He scattered six hits and a pair of walks, while striking out seven batters.  He also received plenty of offensive support.

As a team, the Saints collected 16 hits and took control of the contest in the middle innings when they turned a 2-0 lead after three innings into a 9-0 advantage after six innings with three runs in the fifth inning and another four in the sixth inning.

Freshman designated hitter Tyler Schoonover (Braidwood, Ill./ Reed-Custer), junior shortstop Tom Smith (New Lenox, Ill./ Lockport) and Michalak all registered three hits with Schoonover scoring four runs and Smith driving in a pair.  Senior third baseman Nick Fleischauer (Shorewood, Ill./ Minooka) also drove home two runs and had two hits.