Xavier Closes Out Season With 5-4 Walk-Off Win

Seth Willoughby picked up the win in relief.

Seth Willoughby picked up the win in relief.

May 19, 2012

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CINCINNATI -- It was a walk-off win for the Musketeers in the 2012 season finale as they defeated Saint Joseph's 5-4 in the bottom of the ninth. With the win, Xavier closed out the season with an even 28-28 record and a 13-11 in the Atlantic 10.

With the game tied a 4-4, the Musketeers rallied to win the game in the bottom of the ninth. Sophomore Vinny Nittoli led off the inning with a pinch-hit single and advanced to second on a Hawks error.

Jacob Bodner checked in to the game to pinch run for Nittoli. Paligraf stepped to the plate and laid down a bunt that was misplayed by the SJU pitcher, allowing Bodner to score from second base and giving the Musketeers the 5-4 win.

Saint Joseph's took a 3-0 lead with runs in top of the first, fourth, and sixth but XU rallied bottom of the seventh.

Mitch Elliott led off the seventh with a walk and moved to second on bunt single by Selby Chidemo. Elliott scored on a sacrifice fly by Paligraf to cut the SJU lead to 3-1. Elwell drove Chidemo home with a single that made it a one-run ballgame.

Derek Hasenbeck came up big with a two-out two-RBI single that gave XU a 4-3 lead after seven innings.

Junior Seth Willoughby earned the win 3.2 innings. The Xavier junior gave up just three hits and one run while striking out four Hawks. Scott Klever went 5.1 innings in the start.

The Musketeers needed a little help to clinch a spot in next week's Atlantic 10 tournament. Unfortunately, Richmond's 14-inning marathon win over Fordham clinched a spot in the tournament for the Spiders and bumped XU from the contest.

Prior to the game, the Musketeers honored the career of their lone senior, Nathan Mutsch.