Bruening belted his first home run of the season on Friday afternoon, a grand slam against Middle Tennessee.
March 8, 2013
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - Brian Bruening connected on a line-drive grand-slam home run on his way to a five-RBI performance in Xavier's 8-3 victory at Middle Tennessee. The victory moved Xavier to 4-7 on the season and dropped MTSU to 9-4.
The second inning began with a walk by Joe Forney and consecutive singles by Mitch Elliott and Selby Chidemo to score the first run. Mark Elwell gave Xavier its third-straight single and loaded the bases for Bruening, who lined a 1-0 pitch over the wall for the grand slam.
Xavier tacked on a run in the sixth. Forney opened with a single and was moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Elliott. After Chidemo singled, Elwell put down the suicide squeeze and scored Forney from third.
Elliott drew a walk to start the eighth inning and promptly stole second. Chidemo stepped to the plate and layed down a bunt that was fielded by MTSU's pitcher Nathan Foriest, who threw the ball away. Heads up base running by both Elliott and Chidemo allowed Elliott to score and Chidemo to advance to second. Bruening collected his fifth RBI of the game with a single.
Xavier starter Jon Richard (2-1) allowed one run in the fourth inning and a pair of runs in the seventh in his longest outing of the season. In his seven innings of work, Richard limited the Blue Raiders to seven hits and struck out five batters.
Zach Johnson entered in relief. He pitched the final two innings and allowed one run in the ninth inning off of two MTSU hits. The right-hander sat down the other six batters that he faced and closed out the game for Xavier.
The Musketeers finished with eight runs on 12 hits and went errorless in the field, while the Blue Raiders scored four runs on nine hits and committed three errors.
The home run was Bruening's first of the season. He finished the game 3-for-5 at the plate with five RBIs and one run scored. Forney added a pair of hits and two runs scored, while Chidemo went 2-for-4 with an RBI and scored twice. Elliott, who went 1-for-3 at the plate, was the third Musketeer to score two runs in the contest.
Hunter Adkins (3-1) took the loss after Xavier tagged him for six runs on nine hits and three walks. Foriest went 1.1 innings for the Blue Raiders, giving up two runs. Kooper Kessler closed out the last 1.2 innings.
Xavier and Middle Tennessee will begin game two at 2 p.m. CT on Saturday afternoon. Alex Westrick will get his first start of the season for the Musketeers and will square off against the Blue Raiders' Johnathan Frebis.