Xavier baseball goes 2-2 on the week

The Musketeers dropped two of three at home before a key road win at Miami

By Jake Geiger, Staff Writer

The Musketeers dropped two of three at home before a key road win at Miami

BAfter sweeping arch-rival Cincinnati in all four games last week, the Musketeers looked to continue their hot play against non-conference opponents Western Carolina Catamounts and Miami Redhawks. 

The first game was played at Prasco Park in Mason, Ohio in chilly conditions on Friday evening. That did not stop Western Carolina from starting the game off with a bang as they hit two solo home runs at the top of the first inning. Xavier responded quickly, though, as junior outfielder Garrett Schultz had an RBI single and junior infielder Jared Cushing hit a solo blast of his own to make it a 2-2 ballgame. 

The Catamounts would respond quickly with a two-run home run in the fifth, though the Musketeers would limit the damage as junior outfielder Tyler DeMartino had an RBI single to only make it a one-run deficit. 

Western Carolina would add the next three runs to make it a 7-3 lead. The Musketeers did have a two-run double in the seventh from Schultz, but it was too little, too late for Xavier as they took the 7-5 loss and fell to 13-14 overall.

Xavier celebrates after scoring a run in its 17-2 win against Miami. The Musketeers head into conference play with a 15-15 record in the non-conference. The Musketeers play 5-21 Seton Hall this weekend.

The Musketeers returned to their normal homestand in Hayden Field and bounced back in a big way as they won 7-3 with great performances from DeMartino and junior left-hander Jack Lynch. Lynch notched his fourth victory on the mound while DeMartino hit a crucial grand slam in the fourth inning. 

While the Catamounts took a two-run lead in the third, DeMartino responded in the fourth inning with the bases-clearing bomb. Senior Lane Flamm started the game and went 4.1 innings and allowed only one earned run. DeMartino and Cushing had back-to-back home runs in the seventh while seniors Jack Housinger and Luke Franzoni had back-to-back doubles in the eighth to make it a 7-2 lead. 

Lynch and fellow junior pitcher Jared Gadd threw 4.2 scoreless innings to give the Musketeers a pretty performance on the mound. Gadd was credited with the save, and the Musketeers moved back to .500 with a 14-14 record.

Sunday afternoon would determine who wins the series between these non-conference foes. The Musketeers took a tough loss as they were crushed 14-4 and were not in the game from the start. 

Both teams had the same amount of hits with 12, but the Catamounts clearly took advantage. Freshman George Eisenhardt had a tough go on the mound as he allowed four runs in the first inning. Franzoni did have a solo shot to cut the deficit to three runs, but the pitching woes continued. 

Fellow freshmen Luke Hoskins and Justin Loer relieved Eisenhardt, but could not stop the damage,  allowing three runs apiece to make it a 10-1 deficit at the end of four innings. 

Freshman Aedan Anderson hit a home run in the eighth inning, and senior Eddie Rivero hit his first home run of his career in the ninth inning to get the Musketeers to four total runs. 

Xavier fell back under .500 at a record of 14-15 while Western Carolina finished the weekend with a 13-15 record and a series victory, winning two out of three games.

In the Joe Nuxhall Classic, the Musketeers took on Miami in a single game matchup in Oxford, Ohio. Xavier pulled out a dominating final score of 17-2. After only scoring five runs in the first five innings, the Musketeers turned up their offensive production to the tune of 13 runs in the final four innings. 

In spite of Xavier’s offensive onslaught, sophomore right-hander Connor Bailey stole the show, putting up six strikeouts in just under three innings of work. Franzoni led the team in walks with four. Senior outfielder Andrew Walker and junior  Schultz pitched in four RBI’s apiece.

Xavuer begin Big East play this weekend as they travel to New Jersey to face the Seton Hall Pirates. The Pirates have a non-conference record of 5-21.