An Eight-Run Fourth Catapults Xavier By Georgia Southern, 11-4
March 1, 2013
STATESBORO, Ga. - Xavier (3-4) tallied eight runs in the fourth inning and went on to win the series opener at Georgia Southern, 11-4. The Musketeers totaled a season-high 17 hits on the night, including nine that went for extra bases.
With the game knotted at one, the first nine batters of the fourth inning reached base safely for the Musketeers. Stephen Schoettmer began the rally with a triple to right-center and the Musketeers' barrage continued with a double by Joe Forney, triple from Daniel Rod and a walk by Selby Chidemo. Mark Elwell layed down a bunt single, which Brian Bruening and Derek Hasenbeck followed with two more singles. Patrick Paligraf struck for his second double of the game to give the Musketeers a 9-1 advantage through the top of the fourth.
Jon Richard (1-1) gave up just three runs, only one of which was earned, on seven hits and recorded four strikeouts on the night. Zach Johnson worked the final three innings, allowing one run, to register his first save of the season. This is the fifth-consecutive game in which the Musketeers' pitching staff held their opponent to exactly four runs.
Bruening, who went 2-for-5 at the plate, extended his hitting streak to 19-straight games. Schoettmer led nine Musketeers with multiple hits in the contest. The senior connected for three hits, including a triple and double, and was a home run shy of hitting for the cycle.
Georgia Southern (4-5) put a run on the board in the bottom of the first to take an early 1-0 lead. XU evened the score at one-apiece in the top of the second on back-to-back doubles by Paligraf and Schoettmer. Xavier tacked on runs in both the fifth and sixth innings to reach its 11 runs, while Georgia Southern scored two in the fifth and one in the eighth.
Sam Howard (2-1) suffered the loss for GSU after giving up seven runs on nine hits and three walks in just three-plus innings on the mound. Reliever Josh Stevenson allowed the other four Xavier runs. He worked three innings and struck out four Xavier batters. Drew Johnson finished the game for the Eagles and held Xavier scoreless for the final three innings.
Game two of the series is scheduled for a 2:30 p.m. start on Saturday afternoon at J.I. Clements Stadium.