By: Rtan O’Toole ~Staff Writer~
It has been a bit of a struggle at the start of the season for Xavier baseball so far, but it seems that the team may be starting to figure things out.
Xavier rebounded after a tough stretch of ten straight losses with two wins against in-state rival Miami, winning both games with a score of 10-5.
In the first game, played in Mason, Ohio, eight different Xavier players recorded at least one hit and the Musketeers finished with 14.
Sophomore pitcher Greg Zacknewitz was impressive, striking out seven batters in four innings.
He was a little disoriented in the first inning, giving up two runs early but once he settled in, the Redhawks struggled to get things going offensively.
Even more impressive was the performance from senior Zach Johnson, who came in as relief for Zacknewitz and nabbed the save.
In three innings of work, Johnson kept the Redhawks scoreless, surrendering only two hits without issuing a walk.
The second contest was played on the road in Miami, but the outcome was the same, with Xavier winning its second straight game over the Redhawks.
Again, Xavier fell behind 2-0, but infielders junior David Morton and sophomore Ethan Schmidt led an offensive attack for Xavier with three hits each, Schmidt’s first career home run being them.
Senior pitcher Eric Stiene was solid, throwing six innings and giving up only three runs.
Xavier then headed to Lipscomb for a three-game series. The first two games saw the Musketeers struggling again to produce runs, a problem that has reared its ugly head throughout the whole season thus far.
The second game was especially tough, and Xavier lost 11-1.
Sophomore Trent Astle would not let the Musketeers fall to Lipscomb a third time.
In a 5-1 win, Astle went the distance, pitching a complete game gem featuring 10 strikeouts. Schmidt hit his second home run of the week, helping boost Xavier’s offensive attack.
Xavier will play its next game March 24 against Ohio University before facing Northern Kentucky March 27-29.
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