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Saints Win 13th Straight At Silver Cross Field

4/23/2014, 10:36 a.m.
Sophomore Chris Blatti (Joliet, Ill./ Joliet Catholic) and senior Brad Porter (Plainfield, Ill./ Plainfield North) combined on a four-hit shutout ...

Sophomore Chris Blatti (Joliet, Ill./ Joliet Catholic) and senior Brad Porter (Plainfield, Ill./ Plainfield North) combined on a four-hit shutout on the mound and junior Brandon Mendoza went 2-for-3 with two runs batted in and a run scored at the plate to lead the University of St. Francis baseball team to its 13th win in a row at Silver Cross Field with a 4-0 Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference victory over Purdue University North Central Friday afternoon.

Coming off a tough start against Olivet Nazarene last Saturday where he faced just 13 batters in one-plus inning, Blatti (5-2) worked into the ninth inning on Friday before giving way to Porter after walking the leadoff batter. Porter retired the next three batters to preserve the shutout.

Blatti allowed only four hits and three walks, while striking out one over his eight innings. He retired 10 batters in a row from the fourth inning through the seventh inning before allowing a leadoff double to Will Rudolphi in the eighth inning. Rudolphi wound up being stranded at third base – the only Panther to reach that base – and was one of only four PUNC players to get as far as second base on the day.

St. Francis (27-15, 15-3 CCAC) scored the only run it needed in the first inning when senior David Kuhne was hit by a pitch, went to third on a failed pickoff attempt and scored on Mendoza's double to left centerfield. The game stayed that way until the fifth inning when Mendoza delivered a gain, this time with a single through the left side to score freshman Kyle Burton.

Porter drove in the Saints' third run with a single after junior Mike Chimera registered his second hit of the game in the sixth inning. Mendoza closed out the scoring one inning later, reaching base on a fielder's choice before scoring all the way from first base on a wild pitch.

Winners of five games in a row and 12 of their last 13, the Saints continue the three-game series with Purdue North Central (16-21, 8-10) on Saturday in Westville, Ind. with a doubleheader beginning at noon.