By: Kyle Isaacs ~Staff Writer~
The Xavier men’s baseball team traveled to Maryland this past weekend to compete in its first Big East series in the program’s history. The Musketeers finished the series off in grand fashion, sweeping the Georgetown Hoyas in three games. The series victory moves the Musketeers’ record to 16-13 on the season and 3-0 in conference play.
In the final game on April 6, Xavier defeated the Hoyas 11-6 behind four RBIs from junior Joe Forney. Forney collected three hits in five plate appearances and also scored a run. The Musketeers got on the board first behind an RBI single from senior Bo Slemons, but the Hoyas knotted things up with a run in the bottom half of the first.
With the score even for the next four innings, Xavier finally busted open the game, plating four runs in the sixth. The Musketeers were the benefactors of a few errors by the Georgetown defense.
Despite a comeback attempt by the Hoyas, the Musketeers were able to close the game in the final two innings, posting three runs each inning to extend their lead.
Senior Pitcher Vinny Nittoli earned the quality start on the day, going six innings while giving up only three runs, two of which were earned. Nittoli struck out eight batters while surrendering six hits. Junior reliever Sean Campbell entered in the seventh inning and picked up his first win on the season.
The victory came two days after the Musketeers started the series off with a 15-6 win. On Saturday, Xavier bested the Hoyas 8-2 behind a five run eighth inning. After falling behind 1-0 in the first inning, the Musketeers used a two run second inning to gain the lead for good.
Senior Scott Klever picked up his fourth victory of the season, pitching six and two-thirds innings while only surrendering two earned runs.
Freshman Brad Kirschner came in to the game and notched the final seven outs to secure the win. Head coach Scott Googins was impressed with his team’s performance.
“It’s a great start to the Big East season, but one weekend doesn’t make a season. We have to continue to get better,” Googins said.
The team took part in the Joe Nuxhall classic Apil 8 and April 9 in Oxford, Ohio, losing to Miami(OH) 14-9.