Xavier Cruises Past Middle Tennessee, 12-0
March 9, 2013
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - Xavier pounded out 17 hits and sophomore Alex Westrick tossed six shutout innings as Xavier (5-7) cruised to a 12-0 win at Middle Tennessee (9-5) on Saturday afternoon. Westrick (1-0) allowed just three hits and fanned eight Blue Raiders without issuing a walk.
Meanwhile, Xavier batters tagged MTSU starter Johnathan Frebis for five runs on seven hits. Frebis worked into the third inning, but did not record an out. The Musketeers got to relievers Jordan Cooper and Cody Tollison as well, tacking on four more runs against the two.
Xavier tagged MTSU's pitching for seven extra-base hits during the afternoon contest. One of the nation's leaders in doubles, XU registered five more against the Blue Raiders.
Patrick Paligraf led XU at the plate with a game-high four RBIs. Xavier's starting shortstop knocked a three-run homer in the eighth inning, his first of the season. Mark Elwell continued his hot streak at the plate with three hits, including his seventh double of the year, and drove in three RBIs. Elwell also scored once.
Vinny Nittoli collected two extra-base hits on the afternoon, a double and a triple, while driving in three runs. Three other Musketeers connected for two hits in the game, Brian Bruening, Daniel Rizzie and Stephen Schoettmer.
Nittoli, Markus Kuykendoll and Sean Campbell combined with Westrick to record Xavier's first shutout of the season. XU's previous low was four runs on six different occasions, including Friday's 8-4 win over MTSU.
Middle Tennessee's best chance to score came in the seventh inning when the Blue Raiders loaded the bases with a single and two walks off of Nittoli. The junior recovered and closed the door to help preserve the shutout. Kuykendoll gave up a lead-off single to start the eighth, but retired the next three batters. Campbell worked a 1-2-3 ninth, registering a pair of strikeouts in the process.
The Musketeers registered a season-high 11 strikeouts, paced by Westrick's eight, and issued a season-low two walks.
The win gives Xavier the series victory, its first of the season. XU goes for the sweep Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m. ET at Reese Smith Jr. Field on MTSU's campus.