Two Big Innings Help Xavier Record Game One Win Over Illinois, 6-2
March 21, 2014
CHAMPAIGN, ILL. - Three-run innings in the third and ninth helped the Musketeers hold off the Illini in game one of the four-game series, 6-2. Xavier (12-7) found the hot bats on the road to earn the win, while Illinois (8-10) struggled to rally at home.
Hasenbeck opened up the scoring for the Musketeers in the third inning with a two-run home run, his third of the year, just clearing the left field fence. Tres Eberhardt scored on the homer. XU scored one more run in the same inning after Daniel Rizzie singled to right center, scoring Vinny Nittoli from third and giving Xavier a 3-0 lead.
Illinois answered in its half of the sixth with a Reid Roper two-run jack to cut the XU lead to one, 3-2.
Xavier nursed the one-run lead until the top of the ninth inning. Leadoff hitter David Morton sent a home run over the right field wall to build the XU lead, 4-2. Two more runs in the inning off of RBIs from Brian Bruening and Rizzie earned the Musketeers a 6-2 victory and game one on the road.
Adam Hall (3-0) picked up the win after pitching 6.1 innings and allowing two runs on three hits and four walks. Brad Kirchner earned his second save on the year after 1.2 innings of no-hit work.
Hasenbeck batted .500 on the night with two RBIs, a walk and the big homer that gave Xavier the initial lead. Eberhardt extended his hitting streak to 12 games with another multi-hit game, his third in the last four games, and scored twice to run his team-leading total to 21. Rizzie finished 2-for-4 with two runs driven in for the Musketeers.
Drasen Johnson (2-3) was tagged with the loss after going 2.1 innings and letting in three runs.
Roper had two RBIs for the Illini, going 1-for-4 with a home run.
These two teams meet tomorrow afternoon for game two and three of the four-game series. The first game is set to start at 1:00 p.m., ET. FightingIllini.com will provide live statistics for both events.