XU baseball sweeps Wofford

By Justin Malone, Staff Writer

The Xavier baseball team wrapped up a grueling three-game series against Wofford last weekend, sweeping the Terriers by scores of 9-1, 5-2 and 14-10 and improving to 10-9 on the season.

In the series opener, the Musketeers took an early lead after sophomore pitcher Carter Hendrickson hit an RBI triple to drive in senior outfielder and first baseman Tyler DeMartino for the first run of the game. Wofford then evened the score in the fifth inning after sophomore outfielder David Wiley singled, bringing in designated hitter Aaron Thomas for the tying run.

The tie remained until the eighth inning, when freshman catcher Hayden Christiansen crushed a two-run home run to left — his second of the year — to lift the Musketeers to a 3-1 lead they would not relinquish. The offensive attack opened the floodgates in the ninth, with Xavier breaking the game open by adding six runs and seven hits to make the final score 9-1.

Senior starting pitcher Ethan Bosacker struck out a season-high nine batters in six innings during his fifth start of the season. Sophomore pitcher Justin Loer entered in the seventh, going two scoreless innings and striking out two. Junior pitcher Connor Bailey dealt a 1-2-3 ninth inning to close out the game.

The tough second game of the doubleheader sparked when the Terriers struck first in the third. The Musketeers responded after Hendrickson hit his second home run of the year to even the score to 1-1 in the fifth, which remained tied through the ninth inning. Xavier took the lead in the 10th, when junior catcher Matthew DePrey hit an RBI single. Wofford responded in the bottom of the inning to extend the game further.

The Musketeers took the lead for good in the 14th after graduate infielder Jack Housinger hit a three-run homer to right field to give the Musketeers a 5-2 lead.

Graduate pitcher Brant Alazaus pitched a season-long seven innings and matched his career-high 11 strikeouts. Alazaus and the Musketeer bullpen — composed of senior Jonathan Kelley, graduate student Clay Schwaner, freshman Nick Kolze and senior Creighton Hansen — combined for a season-high 17 strikeouts, which are the most for a Musketeer pitching staff since 2020.

Also assisting the Musketeers’ efforts were graduate outfielder Andrew Walker, who went 3-6 and came around the bases to score a run, and sophomore infielder Luke Hammond, who also scored a run on a 1-2 effort.

To close the weekend, the Musketeers initially took control with early offensive firepower in the final game, taking an early 7-0 lead in the first inning and tacking on another in the second. 

However, the Terriers roared back to score four runs and cut their deficit in half in the bottom of the second and pulled within three in the third.

Xavier responded with their own offensive invigoration. The Musketeers posted a big four-run fourth inning, highlighted by a two-run moonshot by DePrey, to go up 12-7. Though Wofford added two runs in the sixth and seventh to reduce the lead to two, home runs from Hendrickson and senior infielder Jared Cushing solidified the Musketeer victory, setting the final score at 14-10.

On the mound, senior pitcher Luke Bell pitched five innings in his first win of the season, and Loer finished the last two innings of the game and struck out four batters. 

At the plate, senior outfielder Alex Helmin went 2-4 and finished with a team-high three RBIs, and Walker finished 3-6 with two RBIs and two runs scored.

The Musketeers continue their campaign at home against Cincinnati tonight.