Evan Wild

May 6, 2024 Athletics

JOLIET, Ill. – The Olivet Nazarene University baseball team brought their red-hot bats with them into the postseason as they produced a pair of double-digit hit games to open the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) Tournament Friday at the Duly Health and Care Field.

The Tigers pounded out 29 hits on the day, sending out 13 in the 12-10 win in the tournament opener against Saint Xavier before registering 16 in the 8-3 rout of St. Ambrose in the winners’ bracket matchup.

ONU jumped out to a healthy lead in the opener against Saint Xavier, piecing together three multi-run innings to build an 8-0 lead through four innings. Four Tigers recorded an RBI in the scoring stretch, highlighted by multiple RBI hits from Kai Hudson and 2-RBI double rocked by Donavan Yelle to the wall in right center.

The Cougars, who entered the tournament as the No. 4 seed, clawed their way back into the game, eventually tying the bout at 9-9 in the top of the fifth. But the No. 3-seeded Tigers rallied for a crooked three-run frame in their half of the inning. With Jack Dupuis and Hudson on first and second with one out, Taylor Steig roped a single to right field that plated Dupuis.

With both runners in scoring position, Joseph Jimenez shot a ball down the right-field line to score Hudson. Jordan Rhoden capped the big inning with an RBI groundout to push the Tiger lead to 12-9.

Jeffrey Vest came in to pitch the ninth, preserving the ONU lead by surrendering just one run to collect the save, his third of the year. Thomas Plizga went five innings as the ONU starter, allowing just two earned runs and punching out five. Cade Costello collected the win in relief.

In the nightcap against St. Ambrose, the Tigers plated three quick runs in the top of the first and never looked back to advance in the winners’ bracket. Yelle continued his strong day with an RBI single to open the scoring before ONU capitalized on an SAU throwing error that brought Jiminez and Steig home to make it 3-0 after one.

The No. 5-seed Fighting Bees rallied to cut the ONU lead to one at 4-3 in the third, but the Tigers closed the out the game scoring four unanswered runs to cruise to the victory. Hudson recorded three RBIs in the stretch to lead the team to the win.

The Tigers will now face top-seed and regular-season champion St. Francis in the winners’ bracket Saturday at 1 p.m. CST.

Box Score – Game 1

Box Score – Game 2


*Contact: Evan Wild, Sports Information Director,

Evan Wild

Student on main campus wearing pink sweater and holding water bottle.

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