Photo courtesy of goxavier.com | Junior first baseman Matt Warkentin now leads the team in home runs after he launched his eighth of the season against Seton Hall.
The baseball team fell to 12-23 on the season and 2-4 in conference play after losing two of three games this weekend on the road to the Seton Hall Pirates in New Jersey.
On Friday, Xavier jumped out to a 1-0 lead when freshman outfielder Allbry Major crossed home on a groundout by senior catcher Nate Soria in the second inning.
The Musketeers managed to push out two more in the third inning, when Joe Gellenbeck hit a two-run homer.
However, senior starting pitcher Damien Richard allowed four runs on four hits, in just 4.2 innings pitched while striking out six batters. Though Major would pitch 3.1 innings of scoreless relief to keep Seton Hall at four runs, the offense was unable to get another run across, and the team took a 4-3 loss.
Major was lights out in relief, striking out five batters while allowing just two hits in his appearance.
The Musketeers bounced back with a strong 5-3 win on Saturday in a back-and-forth game.
Major doubled in the first inning to drive in Gellenbeck and give Xavier a 1-0 lead. Seton Hall responded with a run of its own in the bottom of the first to tie it.
The Pirates scored again in the bottom of the third to take a 2-1 lead before sophomore catcher Natale Monastra drove in sophomore third baseman Connor Grammes on a groundout to tie it at 2-2 in the top of the fourth.
Xavier struck again in the top of the sixth, when freshman infielder Ryan Altenberger scored on a wild pitch to take a 3-2 lead.
Junior infielder Chris Givin then used a bunt single to drive in Soria and extend the lead to 4-2. Seton Hall would answer with a run in the bottom of the sixth to close to gap to 4-3.
However, a solo homerun by junior first baseman Matt Warkentin in the top of the ninth sealed the game for Xavier, as it came away with a 5-3 victory. The winning pitcher was Matt Kent.
The win set up a rubber match on Sunday to determine the winner of the series. Xavier got out to an early lead, scoring three runs in the top of the first.
Gellenbeck drove in Givin to score the first run, and Warkentin’s two-run homerun gave Xavier the early 3-0 lead.
The Pirates would get on the board with a run in the bottom of the inning to cut the deficit to 3-1.
The Musketeers answered when Major hit a solo homerun to push the lead back to three runs at 4-1.
In the bottom of the fourth, Seton Hall managed to pull back within one run, scoring two to make the score 4-3.
Another three runs in the bottom of the fifth would give Seton Hall the 6-4 lead.
Xavier would score again in the top of the seventh, making the score 6-5 in favor of Seton Hall.
The Pirates would plate three more runs in the seventh and eighth innings to make the score 9-5.
Xavier would get another run across in the ninth, but it wasn’t enough as Seton Hall took the game and the series with a 9-6 win.
Xavier takes on Cincinnati today at 6:30 p.m. in a single game.
This coming weekend, the Musketeers will be home at Hayden Field to take on the Creighton Blue Jays in a Big East matchup.
Friday’s first pitch is scheduled for 3 p.m., Saturday’s for 1 p.m and Sunday’s for noon.
By: Donnie Menke ~Staff Writer~