Vinny Nittoli hit his team-leading fourth home run and delivered two RBIs in XU's win at St. Joe's
May 4, 2013
PHILADELPHIA - Xavier (24-20, 11-6) built a four-run lead and held on to defeat St. Joseph's, 6-4, to even the series at a game apiece. For the second-straight game, Vinny Nittoli delivered a home run and now leads the Musketeers with four on the season.
Nittoli opened the scoring in the top half of the first with an RBI double to right field that scored Tres Eberhardt. The Musketeers tacked on a second run an inning later when Jacob Bodner and Daniel Rod pulled off the double steal. Bodner stole second base and Rod swiped home on the throw.
St. Joe's (24-21, 10-7 A-10) got one of the runs back in their half of the second using a walk by Lansing Veeder, a single by Quinn Renner and RBI double from Collin Forgey. The score held at 2-1 until the Musketeers came to the plate in the seventh.
XU manufactured its third run of the game and extended its lead to 3-1 on Mark Elwell's RBI single. Stephen Schoettmer doubled to lead off the inning and moved to third on Bodner's sacrifice bunt. Elwell singled through the left side to plate Schoettmer.
SJU answered in the bottom half of the inning. Renner singled and advanced to second on a failed pickoff attempt by Bodner, who was pitching in relief of Xavier starter Scott Klever. Mike Muha singled to center field, scoring Renner and pulling the Hawks within a run at 3-2.
Nittoli led off the eighth inning with a solo home run to left field, giving him his second extra-base hit and second RBI of the game. The homer put Xavier ahead, 4-2.
The Musketeers tacked on a pair of insurance run in the ninth inning. Schoettmer started the two-run inning with his team-leading fifth triple of the season. Bodner delivered an RBI single and moved to second on Elwell's sac bunt.
Patrick Paligraf walked to put runners at first and second for Selby Chidemo. Chidemo hit a grounder to the shortstop and reached base thanks to a throwing error by St. Joe's second baseman, who was trying to turn the double play. Bodner scored on the error, giving Xavier a four-run cushion, 6-2.
The two runs proved to be the difference in the game, as SJU tallied two runs in their final at bat of the game. Alex Vice took the mound for XU to close out the game and secured the first out. Vice walked the second batter and then surrendered a two-run home run to Stefan Kancylarz. Xavier's closer induced the next two Hawks into a ground out and a fly out to end the game.
Klever worked six innings for the Musketeers, giving up one run on eight hits and a walk. Klever improved to 4-4 on the season. Bodner tossed two innings of relief and surrendered one run on three hits, while striking out four Hawks. Vice pitched the final inning and allowed two runs on one hit.
Xavier scored four runs on nine hits against St. Joe's starter Jordan Carter. Carter struck out 11 Musketeers over eight innings of work. Veeder pitched the ninth inning and fell to 3-4 with the loss.
The rubber match of the series will commence at noon on Sunday.