Xavier Suffers 2-1 Setback at Saint Joseph's

Vinny Nittoli belted his third home run of the season in the sixth inning on Friday night.

Vinny Nittoli belted his third home run of the season in the sixth inning on Friday night.

May 3, 2013

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PHILADELPHIA - Vinny Nittoli's team-high-tying third home run of the season wasn't enough offensive fire power for Xavier in a 2-1loss at Saint Joseph's on Friday afternoon. The setback drops Xavier (23-20) into a tie with St. Joe's (24-20) in the Atlantic 10 standings, with both teams sporting a 10-6 mark.

The Hawks picked up a pair of runs in the fifth inning, capitalizing on an error by the Musketeers. Lansing Veeder walked and Anthony Cirillo singled up the middle. Veeder and Cirillo advanced to second and third, respectively, on a failed pickoff attempt by Xavier starter Jon Richard.

A sacrifice fly by Quinn Renner and a single to left field from Collin Forgey plated both runners. Cirillo's run was unearned due to the error, but SJU had taken a 2-0 lead.

Xavier tallied its only run just a half inning later, when Nittoli drilled a shot to left field. The home run was Nittoli's third of the season, tying him with Derek Hasenbeck for the team lead in home runs.

XU was able to put two runners on in both the seventh and eighth innings, but was unable to come up with the key hit to tie the game. The Musketeers out-hit the Hawks, 6-5, but the fifth-inning miscue proved costly in the loss.

Richard, who surrendered just three hits in the game, took the loss and fell to 7-3 on the season. The setback was his first since a loss on March 15 at No. 4 Louisville, a stretch that spanned seven weeks. Jacob Bodner worked the eighth inning, allowing a pair of hits before inducing an inning-ending double play.

Kyle Mullen picked up the victory for SJU improving to 7-3 on the year. Mullen struck out 10 Musketeers in the contest. Steven Schuler worked the eighth before giving way to Jimmy Yacabonis who pitched the ninth inning for his eighth save.

The two teams will meet in game two at 2 p.m. on Saturday afternoon.