No. 12 North Carolina Rallies Past Xavier, 3-2

Brian Bruening knocked out four hits against the 12th-ranked Tar Heels on Sunday afternoon.

Brian Bruening knocked out four hits against the 12th-ranked Tar Heels on Sunday afternoon.

Feb. 23, 2014

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CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - Xavier couldn't hang on to a two-run lead in the ninth and suffered a 3-2 loss to 12th-ranked North Carolina on Sunday afternoon. The loss drops XU to 4-2 on the season, while UNC moves up to 3-3.

A three-hit seventh inning provided Xavier with its first run of the game. Joe Forney singled and advanced to third on Derek Hasenbeck's base hit. Forney later scored on Brian Bruening's single.

XU picked up another run in the eighth off of a sac fly from Bo Slemons to take a 2-0 lead. Stephen Schoettmer walked to open the inning, moved to second on a wild pitch and then took third on Andre Jernigan's groundout. Slemons lifted a 2-2 count just outside the right-field line, allowing Schoettmer to come home.

Vinny Nittoli was masterful on the mound, but did not factor into the decision. The senior right-hander went six full innings, allowing just two hits and registering one strikeout. Brad Kirschner worked 1.2 scoreless innings before giving way to Daniel Przeniczny.

Przeniczny closed out the eighth, but ran into trouble to start the ninth. Three of the first four Heels reached base to load the bags with one down, and Xavier's Alex Westrick took the mound.

North Carolina scored the first run on a passed ball. Following an intentional walk, UNC knocked out consecutive hits for the walk-off win. Przeniczny took the loss, falling to 0-1 on the season.

Bruening was a perfect 4-for-4 with an RBI. Forney collected a hit and a run scored and Schoettmer drew a walk with a run scored.

Xavier takes to the road next weekend for three games in Clarksville, Tenn. The Musketeers will play Bradley, Dayton and host Austin Peay on the weekend.