Musketeers take West Coast road trip

Photo courtesy of | Senior catcher Nate Soria hit a grand slam in the first game of the Saturday doubleheader against San Francisco. He is currently hitting .243 with a .351 slugging percentage. He has nine hits and six RBIs this year.

The Xavier baseball team came up short this past weekend, going 1-3 in a four-game series against the San Francisco Dons to end spring break.

The Musketeers were able to claim victory in the first game of the series, winning 14-6. Freshman southpaw Trevor Olson got his first career win, pitching seven innings and striking out three while giving up five runs.

Junior infielder Chris Givin had four hits, including a home run, with two runs scored and a career-high five RBIs. Xavier was able to snap a five-game losing streak with the win, scoring the 14 runs on only 13 hits.

There wasn’t as much luck in game two of the series on Friday, with the Musketeers falling 8-2. Despite San Francisco scoring in the first inning, Xavier responded with a fielder’s choice RBI by freshman infielder Ryan Altenberger.

Graduate senior outfielder Joe Gellenbeck knocked in Altenberger with a two-out double. San Francisco countered with a grand slam in the bottom half of the inning, putting the game out of reach for the Musketeers.

Xavier fell just short in the first game of a Saturday doubleheader, losing 8-5. With the team down 8-1 with two outs in the ninth, senior catcher Nate Soria hit a grand slam to bring the Musketeers within three runs. However, Xavier was unable to capitalize and fell short. Despite receiving credit for the loss, senior right-handed pitcher Damien Richard still posted a solid outing, only allowing two earned runs while striking out seven.

Game two of the doubleheader was a close game, but ultimately the Musketeers lost 1-0. Xavier had six hits, with Gellenbeck and sophomore infielder Conor Grammes both going 2-4 with a double each.

Grammes also pitched two perfect innings of relief, striking out five. Freshman righty Henry Miller also put in a strong performance. Despite being charged with the loss, he only gave up one run on three hits while striking out three.

“The biggest takeaway is that we know we are still a good team,” Gellenbeck said. “It’s easy to panic and lose confidence after a road trip like this, but that’s not where we’re at right now.

“The good thing is we came away with more answers than questions this past weekend. We had a lot of opportunities to win games. It just seemed like we struggled to extend the lead or get the big hit or out when it was needed. We’re a tough team and success is going to come in those big opportunities.”

Xavier was supposed to visit Wright State in Dayton on Tuesday for a 6:30 game. However, it was canceled because of low forecasted temperatures in the Dayton area.

In the meantime, Xavier will play this weekend against Miami (Ohio). The Musketeers first travel to Miami for games on Friday and Saturday, but then they return on Sunday for their home opener to close out the series.

Gellenbeck has a positive outlook going into this series.

“We have always been really good at putting a lot of pressure on other teams, especially offensively. We want to continue to apply this pressure, so making sure that we aren’t getting ourselves out as much is a big key for us moving forward,” he said.

By: Jack Dunn ~Staff Writer~