Sports

Xavier Snags two road victories in opening series

Resilient Muskateers mount several comebacks against the Memphis Tigers

Junior left-handed starting pitcher Nick Zwack earned a win for the Musketeers in second game of the opening weekend against Memphis. He tossed 5.2 innings, collecting nine strikeouts on three hits.

Xavier baseball roared to a successful start in the opening series of the 2020 season last weekend, taking two of three games on the road against Memphis.

After losing their season opener 6-1, Xavier won game two 3-1 before taking the rubber match 9-6.

Sophomore pitcher Lane Flamm took the hill for his first career start in Xavier’s season opener.

The Cincinnati native went six innings, striking out a career-high eight hitters while only allowing two earned runs on four hits.

Memphis led 2-0 going into the bottom of the seventh, when it put three runs on the board to take a 5-0 lead.

Xavier found offense hard to come by and was held hitless until the top of the 8th, when sophomore infielder Kody Darcy doubled. The Musketeers produced their first and only run of the game by taking advantage of a passed ball.

The Tigers padded their lead with a run in the bottom half of the inning to go up 6-1, which ended up as the final score.

In game two, Memphis got out to a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first on a solo shot from Ben Brooks, but Xavier responded well by blanking the Tigers the rest of the way.

Junior left-handed pitcher Nick Zwack picked up the win, going 5.2 innings while striking out nine and allowing just three hits. Freshman reliever Ethan Bosacker followed suit, picking up the first save of his Xavier career in his first collegiate appearance, tossing 3.1 scoreless innings.

Xavier plated two runs in the top of the third as sophomore Luke Franzoni brought home freshman outfielder Garrett Schultz with a sac fly.

Senior catcher Natale Monastra put the Musketeers ahead 2-1 with a solo shot. He also scored Xavier’s third and final run of the game in the top of the eighth on an RBI single from freshman infielder Jonathan Kelly.

The resilient Musketeers took the rubber match last Sunday to return home with a series win. Memphis once again took an early lead in game three when Alec Trela hit an RBI single and Austin Baskin delivered a two-RBI single to put Memphis up 3-0.

Kelly’s RBI double in the top of the second brought home sophomore catcher Luke Stephenson to slice the Tigers’ lead to two runs.

Xavier had a big top of the third, scoring four runs on a sac fly by Franzoni, an RBI single by Monastra and a big two-run homer by Flamm.

Memphis scored a run each in the fourth, fifth and sixth to go back up 6-5, but Franzoni came through again for Xavier in the top of the seventh with a two-run homer to put Xavier up 7-6.

Schultz knocked in two runs on an RBI single in the next frame to give Xavier two more insurance runs.

Graduate pitcher Trey Schramm shut the door in the ninth, earning the long save on two no-hit innings.

Xavier’s season continues on the road this weekend when the Musketeers play a three-game series at Ole Miss — a team that earned an at-large bid in last year’s NCAA Tournament.

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