Musketeers Win Again At Home, Defeat Bearcats, 6-3

Brad Kirschner picked up his sixth save of the year after pitching the final 1.2 innings.

Brad Kirschner picked up his sixth save of the year after pitching the final 1.2 innings.

April 30, 2014

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CINCINNATI - Xavier used a four-run fifth inning and its home-field advantage at Hayden Field to pull away with a 6-3 win over the Bearcats. XU moves to 24-18 on the season, while UC falls to 16-26.

Xavier has been sensational at home this season, improving to 8-1 at Hayden Field. After dropping its first home contest against Toledo, XU has responded with eight-consecutive wins on its home turf.

The Bearcats opened scoring in the second frame, tallying three runs on four hits and one Musketeer miscue. Jake Richmond, Rob Blissitt, Jr. and Matt Williams delivered RBIs for UC.

Xavier finally broke through in the fifth inning, sending ten batters to the plate in a four-run outburst. After loading the bases, Joe Forney got Xavier on the board with a fielder's choice grounder that scored Brian Bruening.

A wildpitch from Cincinnati starting pitcher Grant Walker allowed Derek Hasenbeck to score. Forney the scored the game-tying run on Andre Jernigan's single. The Musketeers took a 4-3 lead on a double from Vinny Nittoli.

A two-out triple from Bruening was followed by a crushing home run to left field by Hasenbeck to provide XU with a three-run cushion after eight.

Brad Kirschner, who replaced Xavier starter Trent Astle in the eighth, worked a spotless ninth for his sixth save of the season.

Astle pitched a gem on the mound for XU. He surrendered three runs, only one of which was earned, in 7.1 innings. The freshman hurler improved to 3-4 on the season.

Hasenbeck, Bruening and Nittoli led the offensive attack for XU with two hits apiece. Hasenbeck, Xavier's designated hitter, drove in a pair of runs and scored twice, while Bruening also scored two runs. Nittoli, who was joined by Jernigan and Forney, scored once.

The Musketeers will try to take advantage of their home field, as they host a big weekend matchup against St. John's. Both teams are tied for second in the BIG EAST at 7-2. Friday's action starts at 3 p.m. at Hayden Field.