Musketeers Falter In Series Finale At MTSU

Patrick Paligraf scored twice in the series finale at MTSU.

Patrick Paligraf scored twice in the series finale at MTSU.

March 10, 2013

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MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - Xavier was denied its first series sweep of the season in a 24-4 loss to Middle Tennessee. The Musketeers fall to 5-8 on the season and the Blue Raiders improve to 10-5.

MTSU opened up a six-run lead in the first inning. The Blue Raiders registered six hits off of Xavier starter Tyler Koors and were aided by an error in the inning. Of the six runs Middle Tennessee scored, only two were earned.

Patrick Paligraf singled and Joe Forney drew a walk to give Xavier base runners in the top of the second. Daniel Rizzie followed with a single, scoring Paligraf. Stephen Schoettmer picked up an RBI on a groundout to short and Selby Chidemo doubled home Daniel Rizzie. The Musketeers loaded the bases when Mark Elwell was hit by a pitch and Brian Bruening walked. Derek Hasenbeck nearly gave Xavier its second grand slam of the season when he drilled a shot that cleared the fence, but went just foul. Hasenbeck was eventually retired on a fly ball to right field.

The wheels then fell off for Xavier. Middle Tennessee tacked on two more runs in both the third and fourth innings, three in each the fifth, sixth and seventh and five more in the eighth. XU sent five pitchers to the mound, but MTSU was able to pound out 26 hits in the game. Koors' (1-2) day ended after three plus innings on the mound, allowing eight runs - only four earned - on eight hits.

The Musketeers loaded the bases in the ninth inning and Michael Moore drove in Paligraf on a fielder's choice to score Xavier's fourth run and provide the final margin.

The 24 runs allowed is the most scored against XU since Xavier dropped a 25-29 contest at Bowling Green on May 1, 2001.

Zac Curtis () picked up the victory for MTSU, giving up three earned runs through six innings. Curtis registered five strikeouts and walked four Musketeers.

Xavier opens the home portion of its season with a meeting against Bryant this Tuesday at 3 p.m. at Hayden Field. The Musketeers were scheduled to host Miami (Ohio) last Tuesday, but the game was canceled due to a snow storm.