Xavier's Ninth Inning Rally Snuffed In 4-3 Loss At UAB
Feb. 22, 2013
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - Xavier (1-3) made a late charge in the eighth and ninth innings, but the rally fell short and UAB (3-3) defeated the Musketeers, 4-3, on Friday night. In the process, Brian Bruening slapped three singles to extend his hitting streak to 16-consecutive games.
Trailing by four runs entering the eighth inning, the Musketeers finally broke into the scoring column. Bruening singled and advanced to third on Derek Hasenbeck's double down the right-field line. Vinny Nittoli chopped a grounder to third, scoring Bruening on a throwing error on the third baseman. A double by Patrick Paligraf plated Hasenbeck and left runners on second and third with no outs. Back-to-back strikeouts and a groundout thwarted a great opportunity to score more runs.
After Daniel Przeniczny held UAB scoreless in bottom half of the eighth, Xavier made another charge. Selby Chidemo, Bruening and Hasenbeck strung together three-consecutive singles to score Chidemo. Nittoli was hit by a pitch to load the bases with just one out in the inning, but Patrick Paligraf struck out and Stephen Schoettmer grounded into a fielder's choice to end the game.
UAB struck for three runs in the bottom of the third off of Xavier starter Nittoli (0-2). The Blazers led off the inning with a double. Nittoli seemed to be in the clear after retiring the next two batters, but struggled to find his command. UAB strung together a hit, two walks and two hit batters to plate three runs.
A fourth run was tacked on by the Blazers in the fifth inning on a walk and a single that advanced the runner to third. The next batter grounded into a 4-6-3 double play, scoring the runner at third.
Xavier had a scoring chance in the top of the fifth after Brian Bruening singled and stole second and Derek Hasenbeck drew a walk. Following a Nittoli foul out the runners advanced to second and third on a wild pitch. However, Patrick Paligraf popped up to third base and Stephen Schoettmer flew out to deep center field.
Nittoli (0-2) lasted only two innings on the mound, giving up three runs on three hits. Alex Westrick threw five solid innings in relief. He gave up one run on six hits, striking out three batters.
Tanner Bryant went four innings with three strikeouts and held Xavier scoreless until an undisclosed injury forced him to leave the game. Jacob German (1-0) got the win with just two innings of work.
Game two of the series will begin at 1 p.m. on Saturday afternoon at UAB's Young Memorial Field.