MARION — The bigger the moment, the better Gabe Lux seems to perform.
Monday night’s Mississippi Valley Conference baseball doubleheader against Linn-Mar was vintage Lux.
In the opener, his two-out, two run double in the sixth inning broke a 3-3 tie, propelling the Saints to 7-5 win.
Lux was even better in the nightcap. The senior shortstop had a pair of triples, driving home five runs, the second a bases-clearing shot with two outs in the fifth to break a 5-5 tie as Xavier completed the sweep with an 8-6 triumph.
“I’ve grown up playing a lot of sports and have been tested in a lot of different sports,” Lux said. “We’ve been playing a lot of tough teams and they always give us their best effort.
“I just like to take each pitch like it is no different from another and just do my job.”
The sweep pushed Xavier’s win streak to 15 games. Coach Dan Halter’s team (27-9, 21-5 MVC) is ranked No. 2 in Class 3A.
“I don’t want to jinx anything, but we’re just finding ways to win,” Halter said. “Tonight certainly wasn’t our prettiest game. We made mistakes in several areas but the next guy just picked us up.”
ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW ADVERTISEMENT
Lux said the Saints aren’t afraid of any moment and don’t panic if things aren’t going their way.
“One word that really describes this team is grit,” said Lux, who has committed to play baseball at Kirkwood. “No matter what the score is, these guys really have a lot of heart inside. They just find a way to get one guy on and pass it along.”
Ryan Hosch pitched five solid innings in the opener to get the win for Xavier. Sophomore Ben Kisting survived a shaky first inning in the nightcap to go six innings to earn the victory.
Dan Coughlin hit 3-for-3 in the nightcap for Linn-Mar (22-14, 14-12).
Xavier completes regular-season play Tuesday, hosting Davenport Assumption. The Saints start tournament play with a 3A district game against Anamosa at 7 p.m. Friday at Xavier.
Linn-Mar opens Class 4A substate play at 7 p.m. Friday at home.