Xavier has impressed as of late, extending their win streak to ten games against Butler
By Justin Malone, Staff Writer
Xavier baseball wrapped up their thrilling Big East opening series against Butler in a dominating fashion last weekend, sweeping the Bulldogs 8-3, 4-2 and 13-6, while also extending their win streak to 10 games.
The weekend’s action began with the Musketeers taking an early lead after getting the first two batters of the second inning on base, with senior outfielder and first baseman Tyler DeMartino moving to third on a fielder’s choice. A sacrifice fly by senior outfielder Alex Helmin drove in DeMartino for the first run of the game.
In the sixth inning, the Musketeers added to their lead after freshman infielder Connor Misch hit an RBI single that brought in pitcher Connor Hendrickson, making the score 4-0. Xavier tacked on another run when senior infielder Jared Cushner scored on a fielder’s choice.
Butler then invigorated their own offensive rally as the Bulldogs crushed a pair of home runs in the eighth inning, reducing the Musketeer lead to two. However, Xavier quickly responded in the bottom of the frame after junior catcher Matthew DePrey hit an RBI double and graduate outfielder Andrew Walker pummeled a two-run home run, setting the final score at 8-3.
Senior starting pitcher Ethan Bosacker struck out nine batters and walked two in his career-long 7 2/3 inning appearance. Sophomore Justin Loer entered in the eighth, getting the Musketeers out of a jam with a strikeout, and senior Jonathan Kelly finished out the game with a strikeout in the ninth.
Xavier got on the board early in the second game after DePrey blasted a home run to center field in the first, and senior infielder Matt McCormick smacked a solo homer to right in the second, delivering an early 2-0 Musketeer lead. Butler responded with a solo shot in the fourth to cut the lead in half, but Cushing crushed a two-run homer to right in the bottom of the inning to put the Musketeers in front 4-1.
While the Bulldogs would get another run from a solo blast in the fifth inning making the final score 4-2, graduate pitcher Brant Alazus limited Butler’s offense to only those two hits in a career-long eighth inning appearance, a season-low for the Musketeer pitching staff. He also struck out nine without allowing a walk in his efforts, picking up the victory along the way. Graduate pitcher Clay Schwaner picked up a strikeout in the ninth, earning his fifth save of the season.
To close out the weekend, the Bulldogs initially took control of the game on a first-inning home run and scored two more runs in the third. In the bottom of the inning, a Housinger RBI double and Butler defensive error allowed the Musketeers to make the score 3-2.
The Bulldogs’ one-run lead maintained until the fifth inning, when Xavier’s offensive attack opened the floodgates in the bottom of the frame. A Helmin two RBI home run — his first of the season — and a Cushner run put the Muskies in front 4-3. Xavier added four more runs to their lead after Walker hit an RBI single and DeMartino pummeled a three-run homer to make the score 8-3 at the end of the frame.
The Bulldogs tacked on their own run in the sixth, but the Musketeers responded in the seventh scoring three runs on three hits and two walks. Butler then added another two runs to their total in the eighth, but a DePrey solo homer and an RBI single by sophomore outfielder Teddy Deters put the Musketeers up 13-6 for good.
On the mound, Kelly picked up the win working three innings in relief, while Junior Nick Boyle picked up a strikeout in the seventh.
Xavier looks to stay hot this Friday as they take on Connecticut.