Purdue Cal Splits with Calumet College; Peregrines Clinch CCAC Playoff Spot

PUC-PeregrinsThe Purdue University Calumet baseball team capped its regular season with a split at Calumet College of St. Joseph Monday, winning Game 1, 1-0, before falling in the nightcap, 6-5, at Oil City Stadium.

In the process, the Peregrines (23-14, 16-14) clinched a berth – in their first eligible season for postseason play – in the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference Tournament, set for May 1-6 at Judson University.

With several more league games still to be played Tuesday and Wednesday, the seeding for the tournament has yet to be determined, though host Judson (36-16, 18-9) has appeared to clinch the top spot in the North Division. St. Francis (23-24, 19-8) has a one-and-a-half-game edge on Holy Cross (27-17, 17-9) for the No. 1 seed in the South.

Currently, the Peregrines stand as the second of two wild card spots, as eight teams (top three from each division and two wildcards) make the tournament.

Anthony Colosimo’s (Lake Forest, Ill./Loyola Academy) RBI single in the first inning proved to be all Peregrines’ starter John Livingston (Highland, Ind./Highland) needed, as the senior right-hander threw a three-hit gem in his first complete game shutout of the year.

Livingston gave up just two walks and struck out six in seven innings on the hill to improve to 2-1 this season and help the Peregrines clinch the series win over Calumet College (14-27, 11-17), 2-1.

In the first, junior Eric Sickles (Benicia, Calif./Benicia) singled and Cody Dykema (Crown Point, Ind./Lake Central) followed with a base hit to set up Colosimo, who singled down the right-field line to plate what would be the game’s lone run.

Livingston recorded five 1-2-3 innings against CCSJ batters in the game, as the Crimson Wave came the closest to scoring in the second, advancing runners to second and third with one out. But Dykema completed the throw to home for the force out on a Enrique Zamora fielder’s choice and Livingston ended the inning with a strikeout to stop the threat.

Dykema finished 2-for-3 to lead the Peregrines’ offense, which was held to just five hits in a commendable performance by CCSJ starter Zamora, who finished with four strikeouts and five walks.

Cesar Mari’s walk-off walk with the bases loaded gave the Crimson Wave the victory in a back-and-forth contest in the nightcap.

Trailing 5-4 heading into the bottom of the ninth, the CCSJ tied the game on an Armand Gordon RBI-single and then drew two straight walks with runners on first and second to complete the walk-off win.

The Peregrines again took an early lead in Game 2, as Anthony Colosimo connected for an RBI-single to left field to score Eric Sickles (reached on error) and give the visitors a 1-0 lead. Purdue Calumet would get another in the second, as a Sickles’ double brought home Adam Crnkovic (Robertsdale, Ind./Clark), who singled and stole second.

That score held until the fifth, when the Peregrines’ Alec Skalka (Munster, Ind./Munster) scored on a wild pitch to make it 3-0 Purdue Calumet. But the Crimson Wave began to make their move in the bottom of the frame, scoring two runs off four hits – the biggest a Gordon two-RBI single to right field.

CCSJ got two more scores in the sixth, as a Michael Ryerson double and a Luis Rondon run on a passed ball gave Calumet College a 4-3 lead. Purdue Calumet rallied in the eighth, as Cody Dykema opened the frame with solo home run – his team-leading second of the year – and Luke Schmidt (Crystal Lake, Ill./Crystal Lake South) connected on an RBI double to give the Peregrines back the lead at 5-4.

But Gordon, who took over in the eighth for CCSJ on the hill and was credited with the win, got out of a two-runner jam in the top of the ninth to set up bottom of the frame for the Crimson Wave.

Nine different players totaled a hit for the Peregrines, led by RBI hits from Sickles, Schmidt, Colosimo and Dykema.