Xavier Stays Perfect In BIG EAST With A Wild 10-9 Win Over Villanova

Rizzie was one of two Musketeers to belt a home run in Friday night's win.

Rizzie was one of two Musketeers to belt a home run in Friday night's win.

April 11, 2014

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CINCINNATI - Offensive firepower in the first two innings helped Xavier keep Villanova away and XU grabbed its first BIG EAST home victory, 10-9. The Musketeers (18-14, 4-0) stayed perfect in conference, while Villanova (10-20, 2-2) fell to .500 in the BIG EAST.

Runs were abundant in the early innings with Xavier building a 10-8 lead after the first three frames. Following a one-run top half of the first from Nova, three extra-base hits from Rizzie (solo homerun), Vinny Nittoli (double) and Brian Bruening (double) plated a trio of runs for the Musketeers to provide a 3-1 advantage.

Each team put up a six-spot in the second. The Wildcats took advantage of Xavier starter Adam Hall's inability to find the strike zone to score six runs on two hits and five walks.

Schoettmer and Rizzie scored the Musketeers' first two runs in the home half of the second before Bruening singled home run number three. Andre Jernigan capped the scoring with a line-drive three-run shot that just cleared the left-field fence.

A fielding error on Joe Forney allowed VU to plate a run in the third, but Forney made up for the miscue with a sacrifice fly a half-inning later to push XU's advantage to 10-8.

Todd Czinege's solo homerun pulled the Wildcats to within a run, 10-9, to close the scoring for the game.

Hall's day ended after just 1.1 innings. Nova tallied seven runs on five hits on XU's starter. Eric Stiene (2-1) entered and worked 4.2 innings, allowing two runs on two hits and four walks. He added three strikeouts in the winning effort.

Markus Kuykendoll pitched a third of an inning and picked up a strikeout. Brad Kirschner pitched the final 2.2 innings and struck out six batters to earn his fifth save of the year.

The two teams take the field again on Saturday in a 1 p.m. start. GoXavier.com will provide a live stream and statistics for the contest.