Xavier baseball improves to 9-2 in Big East play

Xavier baseball traveled to Omaha, Neb., last weekend to take on Creighton in Big East Conference action before heading home for a Tuesday night game against Miami (OH).
Xavier took two of three games against the Blue Jays to improve to 9-2 in Big East play. Against the RedHawks on Tuesday, the Musketeers fell 7-4.
In game one of the series on Friday night, Xavier jumped out to a quick 3-1 lead through three innings. In the top of the second, junior catcher Natale Monastra singled home freshman infielder Jack Housinger to give the Musketeers a 1-0 lead. Creighton responded in the bottom half of the inning to score their only run, which came off a solo homer by Jordan Hovey.
That was the only blip in an otherwise impressive day for senior right-hander Damien Richard, who went 5.2 innings giving up one run while striking out four.
In the top of the third, Xavier retook the lead on an RBI single by senior first baseman Matt Warkentin to go up 2-1. The Musketeers picked up another run in the third on senior infielder Chris Givin’s double to give themselves a two-run lead.
The score remained 3-1 until the top of the eighth, when sophomore outfielder Allbry Major hit an inside-the-park home run that also scored graduate infielder Jake Shepski to put Xavier up 5-1. They tacked on three more insurance runs in the top of the ninth, with a Shepski RBI double, Warkentin RBI single and Givin RBI triple all scoring runs for Xavier. A scoreless ninth by senior reliever Matt Kent secured the 8-1 win.
After Saturday night’s game was rained out, the Musketeers returned to action Sunday afternoon for a day-night doubleheader.
Unlike Friday night, Xavier couldn’t get much going with the bats and took a 5-0 loss in game one of the doubleheader. Creighton starter Denson Hull threw a seven-inning complete game, striking out five while allowing just three hits to silence the Xavier bats.
In the rubber match of the series on Sunday night, Xavier got a fantastic outing from junior Connor Grammes to pick up a 3-1 win. He secured the win on the hill for Xavier, tossing seven innings while striking out six.
Creighton scored its lone run in the bottom of the first off a Jake Holton RBI to grab a quick 1-0 lead, but Xavier responded in the top of the fifth when Warkentin singled home freshman infielder Kody Darcy. Shepski gave Xavier a 2-1 lead and later added an insurance run when he singled home Darcy in the eighth to give the Musketeers a two-run cushion. For his quality performances last weekend, Shepski was named to the Big East Weekly Honor Roll.
Freshman relief pitcher Lane Flamm got the six-out save for his fifth save of the year.
Xavier gained a 2-1 lead early against Miami on Tuesday afternoon at Hayden Field thanks to Major’s two-run homer.
However, the Musketeers lost the lead in the fifth. Monastra also homered, but Xavier ultimately fell short by three runs.

By. Joe Clark | Staff Writer