By: Brendan Burris ~Staff Writer~
As Spring Training nears in Major League Baseball, the Xavier baseball team began its season with a 2-2 road trip against Army, Boston College and Wofford in Spartanburg, S.C.
The Musketeers first faced a solid Army team, with sophomore left-handed pitcher Brad Kirschner making his first career start for Xavier.
Kirschner ended the day after five innings, giving up two hits and two walks and striking out seven.
In what was largely a pitchers’ duel throughout the game, the Musketeers led the Black Knights 5-1 heading into the bottom of the ninth inning.
Army then started to come back, scoring three runs, until its possible tying run was thrown out at home plate by the Musketeers.
Next, the Musketeers were unable to upend Boston College, who won the first of two matchups between the teams 14-7.
Despite the loss, Xavier junior infielder Andre Jernigan went 4-5 in the game, scoring twice and driving in one run.
The team then fell to the Wofford Terriers 11-3, despite multi-hit games by junior infielder David Morton and junior catcher Daniel Rizzie, and two RBIs by senior right fielder Brian Bruening.
In the final matchup of the weekend, which saw the team play four games in three days, the Musketeers were able to avenge their previous loss to the Golden Eagles of Boston College by a score of 9-4.
Trailing 4-0 heading into the sixth inning, the Musketeers put five runs on the board plus another four in the top of the eighth.
The comeback was led by redshirt senior outfielder Patrick Jones and senior infielder Selby Chidemo, who went 3-5 and 2-4 from the plate, respectively.
During the weekend, junior shortstop Andre Jernigan batted .500 (8 for 16), had four RBIs, four stolen bases and two multi-hit games. This was enough to make him the Big East Player of the Week, the second time he has received the award. Sophomore Greg Jacknewitz also was honored, making the weekly Big East Honor Roll with his first career save in the Musketeers first win of the weekend against the Army Black Knights.
The team next plays in the “First Pitch Invitational” on Feb. 20-22 in Greenville, S.C., against Furman, Presbyterian and Indiana.