Conley's Four-Hit Day Gives Baseball First Win of 2009
Feb. 21, 2009
RALEIGH, N.C. - The Xavier baseball team picked up its first win of the 2009 season with an 8-3 victory over host North Carolina State at the Summit Hospitality Invitational on Saturday. Senior Jordan Conley provided the winning margin for the Musketeers with a double in the top of the sixth that scored a pair.
With the scored tied at 2-2 heading into the sixth inning, XU scored three runs in the top half to take the lead for good. Conley hit a two-out double through the right side that put the Musketeers in front 5-3, providing more than enough cushion. It was one of his game-high four hits on the day.
Five XU players recorded multi-hit games, helping the team tally 12 hits total. Senior Sean Farrell led the Musketeers with three RBI, going 2-for-4 at the plate. Fellow senior Steve Brown scored three runs for Xavier (1-1), also getting a pair of hits in four plate appearances.
Redshirt freshman Nathan Mutsch got the win for the Musketeers, allowing one earned run over five innings with three strikeouts and one walk in his first collegiate start.
NC State took the early lead with a run in the bottom half of the second inning. Pratt Maynard started things off for the Wolfpack with a single to right field and advanced to second on a passed ball. After a groundout allowed Maynard to move to third, Chris Schaeffer drove him home with an infield single.
XU erased the deficit and took the lead with a pair of runs in the top of the fourth inning, capitalizing on a bases loaded situation. Junior Drew Schmidt reached on an error with one out to start the rally and Brown singled to right field to give the Musketeers two men on. One out later, an infield single by junior Bobby Freking then loaded the bases for Farrell.
He delivered with a two-out single to center field that brought Brown and Schmidt around to score, giving XU a 2-1 lead. NC State (0-2) tied the game in the bottom half of the fifth, scoring an unearned run on an RBI single from Dallas Poulk.
The Musketeers responded with a three-run rally in the top half of the sixth, all coming on just one hit. Three straight free passes, two walks and hit batter, loaded the bases for XU, and Brown gave the lead back to Xavier by scoring on a wild pitch. After a fielder's choice gave the Musketeers runners on the corners, Conley delivered his double through the right side.
The Xavier offense had another three-run outburst in the top of the eighth inning, pushing its advantage to 8-2. Brown led off the inning with a single down the left field line and, one out later, Freking singled to right field, one of his two hits on the day. Farrell brought Brown in to score with a single to center field and Conley loaded the bases full of Musketeers with an infield hit.
Senior Billy O'Conner then recorded his second hit of the day, a single to third base that brought Freking home. When NC State failed to turn two on senior Anthony Pasono's fielder's choice, redshirt freshman Danny Rinck scored XU's eighth run of the day.
The Wolfpack scored one run in the bottom half of the eight, but could get no closer. Sophomore Brian Muransky pitched three strong innings, giving up just one run, and Conley closed out the game with a scoreless ninth for the Musketeers.
XU will wrap up the first weekend of the 2009 season with an 11 a.m. showdown with Rhode Island on the final day of the Summit Hospitality Invitational.