Klever held off the Bluejays for eight strong innings.
May 15, 2014
CINCINNATI - Xavier baseball jumped on Creighton early with three runs in the third and held off the Bluejays at home, 9-4. In a much-needed victory, XU (26-24, 8-8 BIG EAST) dropped its magic number to make the BIG EAST Championships to one, while Creighton (28-16-1, 12-4) already clinched its spot along with Seton Hall and St. John's.
Both teams struggled to hit early in the game, but XU broke through first. In the bottom of the third, Andre Jernigan sent a ball just over the left field wall and gave Xavier an early lead. Joe Forney added two more with a single through the left side to build the advantage to three.
Creighton answered with its own homer from Jake Peter to cut the deficit to two, 3-1.
Stephen Schoettmer joined the home run club in the fifth when he sent a long ball into the left field netting.
A quick rally in the seventh put Xavier in the driver's seat. With two outs, Daniel Rizzie ripped a single into center field, scoring Brian Bruening and Schoettmer. Patrick Jones came up to bat with runners on the corners and drove a ball onto Victory Parkway to give the Musketeers a 9-1 lead.
The Bluejays did not go away quietly. In the top of the ninth, Landon Lucansky found space in left field and drove in Reagan Fowler. Lucansky eventually came around to score with Nicky Lopez on a Brad McKewon single. However, it was not enough to surpass the XU lead and the Musketeers clipped the Bluejays, 9-4.
Every Musketeer starter reached base at least once in Thursday's game. Schoettmer led all XU batters with three hits, his second-straight three-hit game. Jones extended his hot streak by recording three RBIs and going 2-for-4. Forney and Rizzie each had one hit and two RBIs.
Scott Klever (6-4) started for Xavier and pitched another gem at Hayden Field. The senior righty went eight innings, allowing just three hits and one run in his final contest in front of the home crowd. The duo of Daniel Przeniczny and Brad Kirschner closed out the ninth to seal the win.
Taylor Elman (2-5) pitched well in the first two innings, but struggled with control after that. He was tagged with the loss after going 6.2 innings and allowing seven runs.
Fowler and Peter each finished 1-for-3 at the plate with one run scored for Creighton.
Game two between these two teams is set for 3:00 p.m. Friday afternoon. With a home win or a Butler loss, Xavier would clinch the fourth and final spot for the BIG EAST Championships. Live statistics will be provided by GoXavier.com.