Mark Elwell had a sensational day at the plate with four hits, including a pair of doubles.
March 3, 2013
STATESBORO, Ga. - Mark Elwell belted four hits, including a pair of doubles, but Xavier was unable to withstand a seven-run seventh inning by Georgia Southern and fell to the Eagles, 9-3. The loss drops XU to 6-3 on the season and GSU improves to 6-5.
Georgia Southern struck for two runs in the bottom of the first. Xavier starter Tyler Koors retired the first two Eagles, but issued a walk and three-straight singles allowing GSU to take a 2-0 lead.
In three of the first four innings, the Musketeers were able to put runners in scoring position and only came away with one run. Elwell led off the game with a double down the right-field line before the next three batters were retired.
Selby Chidemo singled with one out in the third and Elwell followed with his second double, putting runners at second and third. Chidemo scored on a groundout by Brian Bruening to put XU on the scoreboard. Xavier threatened again in the fourth with a pair of one-out, infield singles by Patrick Paligraf and Stephen Schoettmer, but Daniel Rizzie grounded into a double-play to end the threat.
Mitch Elliott doubled down the right field line to open the fifth. Elwell connected on his third hit of the game to score Elliott and tie the game at two-all. A single by Bruening advanced Elwell to second and extended his hitting streak to 21-straight games. Vinny Nittoli slapped a 2-1 pitch to center, scoring Elwell and putting the Musketeers ahead, 3-2.
Koors pitched out of a jam in the bottom half of the fifth. Already with two outs in the inning, Koors gave up a double down the left field line and a walk to the next batter. He ended the threat by inducing a line drive to Elliott in left field, retaining Xavier's lead.
Koors' afternoon ended after going six strong innings and holding GSU to two runs on six hits and a pair of walks. He registered just one strikeout but kept the Eagles off-balance at the plate and left the game with XU still holding a 3-2 lead.
Georgia Southern struck for seven runs in the seventh off of relievers Jacob Bodner, Joe Forney and Daniel Przeniczny. GSU sent 13 batters to the plate in the inning and collected six hits. Xavier's pitching staff issued three walks and a hit by pitch.
Xavier put together back-to-back singles with two outs in the eighth inning, but Rizzie popped up to the short-stop to end the inning. The Musketeers were unable to mount a charge in the ninth, retiring in order to end the game.
Bodner (0-1) took the loss after throwing just a third of an inning. He allowed three runs on two hits and a walk. Forney was also charged with three runs on two hits and an intentional walk. Przeniczny was credited with two-thirds of an inning pitch, allowing a run on two hits and two walks. Alex Vice pitched the eighth innings for XU, allowing a one-out walk.
Evan Challenger (1-1) picked up the win for the Eagles. Challenger pitched three innings of shutout ball, registering three strikeouts and allowing just three hits.
The Musketeers return to Cincinnati in preparation for their first home game of the season on Tuesday. Miami (Ohio) will make the short trek from Oxford, Ohio, for a 3 p.m. first pitch at Hayden Field on Xavier's campus.