Georgia Southern Rallies Past Xavier, 7-5
March 2, 2013
STATESBORO, Ga. - Derek Hasenbeck connected on a solo homerun in the third inning, but Xavier surrendered four runs in the fifth and lost to Georgia Southern, 7-5. The Musketeers fell to 3-5 on the season and the Eagles improved to 5-5.
Georgia State put two runs on the scoreboard in the bottom of the first inning off of Xavier starter Vinny Nittoli. The Eagles used a double, a walk and a single to score the first run. A sac fly scored the second.
Derek Hasenbeck gave the Musketeers the lead with a solo shot to left field to open the third. The home run by Hasenbeck was the first home run by a Xavier player this season. A run scoring sac fly by Georgia Southern tied the score at three after the first three innings of play.
Xavier responded with a run in the top of the fifth on a sac fly of its own. Hasenbeck drew a walk to open the inning. Nittoli reached on a fielder's choice, but Hasenbeck was thrown out on the play. Consecutive walks by Patrick Paligraf and Stephen Schoettmer loaded the bases. Nittoli scored on a sac fly by Joe Forney, but the Musketeers were unable to take full advantage of the bases-loaded situation.
Georgia Southern answered with four runs, all with two outs, in the bottom half of the inning. Alex Westrick, pitching in relief, gave up a single before allowing the next four batters to reach base without a hit. The Eagles drew a pair of walks and Westrick hit two batters to score the first two runs. T.D. Davis singled through the left side to score the final two runs.
Brian Bruening singled to right-center and stole second base to give Xavier a runner in scoring position in the top of the sixth. Hasenbeck picked up his second RBI of the afternoon with a single to left field, bringing the score to 7-5 in favor of Georgia Southern.
The Musketeers were only able to get one runner on base over the final three innings when Chidemo reached on a throwing error by the Eagles' third baseman with one out in the eighth inning.
Elwell finished the game with two hits and two RBIs, joining Hasenbeck with multiple RBIs in the contest. Bruening connected for two more hits, extending his hitting streak to 19-straight games.
Westrick (1-1) took the loss, giving up four runs in fiving innings pitched. He allowed just three hits and struck out six batters. He walked only two hitters, but hit two more with errant pitches.
Jason Richman (2-1) earned the win for GSU, throwing five innings of four-run ball. He struck out four Musketeers and issued three walks.
Xavier and Georgia Southern will face off in the series-deciding game three at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday afternoon at J.I. Clements Stadium.