Xavier Baseball Falls In Extras At Illinois, 3-2
March 23, 2014
CHAMPAIGN, ILL. - The Xavier Musketeers (12-10) lost an early lead late in the game and eventually fell in the 13th inning to Illinois (11-10), 3-2. The loss on Sunday marks the third-straight defeat for the Musketeers, all coming to the Illini.
Xavier started off the final game with a big two-run first inning. After loading the bases, Andre Jernigan sent a shot to left field to bring home Tres Eberhardt and Joe Forney and gave XU the lead, 2-0.
XU held the two-run advantage until the seventh inning when Ryan Nagle reached on a fielder's choice and brought home Adam Walton to cut the lead to one, 2-1. The next inning, Illinois tacked on another run when David Kerian scored on a groundout to second base and the game was tied, 2-2.
Both teams were locked at 2-2 until the bottom of the 13th inning when Illinois loaded the bases and Brad Kolakowski used a squeeze bunt to force the run home and give the Fighting Illini the win in the final game of the series, 3-2.
Forney went 2-for-4 at the plate and scored one of Xavier's two runs. Jernigan drove in XU's two runs during a 2-for-6 performance Sunday afternoon.
Casey Fletcher gave XU pitching headaches all afternoon, going 4-for-5 at the plate with a walk, a stolen base and scoring the game-winning run.
Eric Stiene (1-0, 0.00 ERA) started for the Musketeers and pitched 5.2 innings, giving up four hits and no runs in the no decision, keeping his ERA spotless on the season. Sean Campbell (0-1) took the loss after pitching 3.1 innings and giving up the winning run.
Winning pitcher Reid Roper earned the victory after one inning of work in the 13th inning.
Next up, Xavier travels to Lexington, Ky., to take on Kentucky during midweek action. The road game is set for a 6:30 p.m., start.