by will pembroke, multimedia show manager
The Xavier Musketeers baseball team traveled to St. John’s University last weekend to take on the Red Storm in the first Big East series matchup.
Game one of three was a defensive battle, ending with a final score of 2-1 in favor of St. John’s.
Junior outfielder Andrew Walker paced the Musketeers offensively, securing two hits and scoring Xavier’s lone run of the contest. Senior left-hander Nick Zwack starred on the mound, throwing for almost seven innings, striking out nine and allowing only one earned run.
The bats weren’t there for the Musketeers this game, a trend that would not continue in the following two. Over the final two games in the series, Xavier combined to score 30 runs compared to the nine of St. John’s.
The second game showed much of the same as the first, as it was close throughout.
However, the eighth inning was one of Xavier’s best of the season. The Musketeers scored 11 runs in just one inning and did it all without hitting a single home run.
Junior shortstop Jack Housinger with a hit, two walks and three runs batted in.
Graduate catcher Natale Monastra recorded two hits and runs batted in. Sophomore outfielder Garrett Schultz scored three off of two hits as well.
The pitching staff performed for Xavier, allowing just three runs. Junior right-hander Lane Flamm struck out six, allowing only five hits and two earned runs in seven innings.
The offense showed up again for Xavier in the final game of the matchup, finishing off the series win versus the Red Storm by a tally of 18-6.
Junior catcher Luke Stephenson rocked a two-run homer in the first inning. Senior second baseman Ryan Altenberger finished with five RBIs throughout the day, including a three-run home run in the seventh inning.
Monastra and sophomore outfielder Alex Helmin added in two hits apiece, capping off a dominant showing by the Musketeers.
Looking ahead, Xavier will be back at Hayden Field to host a four-game series against the Butler Bulldogs.
The Musketeers second Big East matchup will begin Friday, April 16 at 3:00 p.m. A sweep against Butler would bring Xavier above a .500 record, as the Musketeers currently are sitting at 11-14 as they go full speed ahead into conference play.
Another good sign going forward for the Musketeers is that four of their remaining six series will take place in the comfort of their home stadium at Hayden Field.