All of the young Junior Saints who were honored at Ken Charipar Field Monday night were home safely in bed by the time Xavier's unsightly doubleheader against Cedar Rapids Washington ended at 10:45 p.m.
It's probably a good idea that all those future Saints didn't stick around for the sad ending.
Xavier owned a 9-4 lead after five innings of the nightcap and its first victory of the season was only six outs away, but Washington rallied and won the game 17-11 in eight painful innings.
The Warriors also took the first game, 8-6, leaving the Saints with an 0-and-9 record in Bob Cataldo's first season as head coach.
The Saints had their first victory within reach in the nightcap, but Washington scored three times in the sixth inning to pull within 9-7 and tied the score 9-9 on a two-run double by Drew Christensen in the seventh.
The Warriors then scored eight times in the top of the eighth for a 17-9 lead before Xavier got a pair of consolation runs in the bottom of the eighth.
Cataldo is not sure how he's going to lift his team's spirits in time for Tuesday night's home game against Benton Community.
"I don't know," he said after meeting with his team in right field after the twin-bill. "All I know is, baseball is a game of seven innings and you have to play all seven.
"With a new program and a new culture, it's just learning how to win and we don't know how to win yet."
The Saints fell to 0-9 overall and 0-5 in the Mississippi Valley Conference. Washington raised its records to 5-7 overall and 2-4 in the league.
Xavier also had its chances in the opener. KJ Giles had three hits and Sean Murphy collected two hits for the Saints, including a triple.
Johnny Dobbs pitched a complete game and belted a two-run homer for Washington in the first game.
Bryce Schulte pitched the first four innings for Xavier in the second game and left the mound with a 7-4 lead. The Saints tacked on two more runs in the fifth for a 9-4 advantage, but the game began to unravel in the sixth inning and went downhill from there with a series of walks, wild pitches, hit-batsmen, fielding miscues and a few timely hits fueling the Warriors.
Schulte played third base, center field and shortstop after his pitching duties were over, but the Saints needed their star quarterback to throw a Hail-Mary touchdown pass to pull this one out.
Nick Kamin had three hits, including a triple, for Xavier in the second game. Nick Stark and Giles had two hits. Sean Murphy had a base hit and four straight walks for the Saints before he was finally retired.
Luke Jonasson had four hits, four runs and three RBIs for Washington in the nightcap. Christensen, Dobbs and Blake Mosely had two hits. Jacob Bockenstedt got the victory in relief.
Adding injury to insult for the Saints, starters Bryce Charipar and Nolan Butkowski are battling medical problems.
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