Xavier Comes Away Empty-Handed In A Doubleheader Against Illinois
March 22, 2014
CHAMPAIGN, ILL. - Xavier came up short in both games of a Saturday doubleheader at Illinois after trailing early and falling by scores of 6-1 and 6-2. With the two losses, XU dropped to 12-9 on the year.
Illinois (10-10) jumped out to an early lead with a Ryan Roper single up the middle, bringing home Casey Fletcher from third. Roper eventually came home to score in the same inning on a double steal attempt to grab a 2-0 lead. In the fourth inning, Roper drove in another run with a double and later scored when Adam Walton singled to right field.
The Fighting Illini built their lead to six, 6-0, before the Musketeers got on the board in the eighth with a Joe Forney single, which brought home David Morton to cut the lead to five. The rally in the eighth ultimately fell short for the Musketeers and XU lost game one, 6-1.
Vinny Nittoli (3-1) made his 42nd career start as a Musketeer, moving into a tie for eighth in XU history, and pitched six innings giving up three earned runs in a losing effort. Ryan Castellanos (2-1) picked up the win with 7.1 innings of work, allowing just one earned run on seven hits.
Illinois scored first in game two when Fletcher singled to left field in the second inning to score Jason Goldstein from second. Xavier answered in its half of the third inning after Forney sent a ball deep enough into center field to score Jake Forrester on a sac fly, tying it at 1-1.
The Illini took the lead back in the third when Will Krug came home on Ryan Nagle's single to left center, making the score 2-1. Illinois scored four more runs over the next two innings to jump out to a 6-1 advantage.
XU tallied one more run in the seventh after Stephen Schoettmer reached on a fielder's choice and Brian Bruening scored on a throwing error by Illinois. Xavier fought hard late, but failed to cut the lead any further, losing game two, 6-2.
Forrester led the Musketeers at the plate with a two hits and a run scored. Bruening had the other run for XU on a 1-for-4 afternoon.
Scott Klever (2-3) took the loss after pitching six innings for the Musketeers and giving up six runs. John Krevitz (2-1) earned the win, going eight innings and giving two runs in game two. Nick Blackburn picked up the save after one inning of work in the ninth.
Both teams meet Sunday afternoon for the final game of the four-game series. The finale is slated for a 1:00 p.m. (ET) start with live statistics provided by FightingIllini.com.