Ninth-Inning Rally Clinches Xavier's A-10 Tourney Berth
May 17, 2013
INDIANAPOLIS - Xavier rallied in the ninth inning to grab a 4-3 win at Butler and clinch a spot in the Atlantic 10 Championship set to be held in Charlotte May 22-25.
Xavier (29-24, 15-8 A-10) entered the ninth trailing, 3-2, after surrendering the lead in the eighth. Derek Hasenbeck led off with a double down the right field line with no outs before being replaced by Michael Moore to pinch run. Vinny Nittoli reached on a single to shortstop, advancing Moore to third.
Joe Forney laid down a sac bunt to score Moore from third and reached on a throwing error by BU's pitcher Chase Byerly. Forney continued to second on the error and Nittoli went to third.
Alex Vice entered in the ninth to close the door on Butler (25-26, 12-11 A-10), allowing a one-out single before inducing a game-ending double play. The save was the eighth of the year for Vice, a total that ties for the fifth-most in school history.
XU built a 2-0 lead with runs in the second and sixth innings. Paligraf doubled and scored on Selby Chidemo's single to right field in the second. Chidemo singled again in the sixth before scoring on Tres Eberhardt's double.
Starting pitcher Scott Klever was cruising through the first six innings, but Butler broke through with one run in the seventh and two runs in the eight to grab a 3-2 lead. Mike Kseniak connected on an RBI single in the seventh and Michael Fries hit a two-RBI single in the eighth to set up the dramatic ninth inning.
This marks the sixth time in the last seven seasons in which the Musketeers have advanced to the A-10 Championships. XU won the tournament in 2009 under the guidance of head coach Scott Googins.
Xavier and Butler will meet on Saturday at 2 p.m. The game will be held at Victory Field, home of the Indianapolis Indians. The Indians are the Triple-A affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates.