Xavier Bats Come Alive Late to Down St. Bonaventure, 15-11
May 23, 2007
DAYTON, Ohio - A seven-run seventh inning with two outs and six-run eighth were the difference as Xavier got past St. Bonaventure, 15-11, in the final game of the day of the 2007 Atlantic 10 Championship on Wednesday evening in Dayton. The Musketeers pounded out 15 runs on 12 hits and were aided by five Bonnies errors. The win moves XU to 28-30 on the season, while St. Bonaventure ends the season at 25-27 overall.
Senior Andy Zellers capped the big seven-run seventh with his second hit in the inning. Zellers stepped to the plate with the bases loaded and two outs and delivered a double into the left center gap, clearing the bases and putting the score at 9-6.
All of the Musketeers runs in the top of the seventh came with two outs and saw four players tally a hit including two SBU errors that extended the inning.
In the eighth inning, senior Adam Lipski delivered the big blow, drilling a one-out single into right field. The ball then got by the right fielder and allowed both runners to score and Lipski ended up on third. He would score on a single by Zellers, giving the senior his fourth RBI of the game.
"I thought we played good baseball against Rhode Island and it was real tough to sit a game and then play a good St. Bonaventure team," said Xavier head coach Scott Googins. "I thought Zelller's hit really broke the game open. What a huge hit by Andy."
The win put Xavier at 28 wins on the season, marking the most wins in a season since the 1997 squad tied the school record with 32.
SBU jumped out to an early 2-0 lead after XU starter Charlie Leesman issued three walks in the inning. Atlantic 10 Player of the Year, Brian Pellegrini, delivered the first RBI-single into left field before a sacrifice fly by Matt Marduez ended the scoring for the Bonnies.
The Musketeers plated its first run of the game in the top of the fourth as Adam Pasono started the inning by beating out a groundball to the third baseman for his fourth single of the day. A sac bunt by Neil Lindgren moved Pasono to second before Robbie Kelley singled through the left side to allow Pasono to score and cut the SBU lead to 2-1.
A rough inning in the bottom of the fourth would leave Xavier in a big hole as Josh Sova reached with a one-out single to left. A failed pickoff attempt by Leesman would allow Sova to move to third base before leadoff hitter Randy Moley drove him in with a single to make it 3-1. Back to back singles left runners at first and second with two outs for Pellegrini. The St. Bonaventure first basemen took advantage of the situation and drove a ball over the batter's eye in deep center for the three-run homerun and a 6-1 lead.
Xavier would keep fighting and get a run back in the top of the fifth as Drew Schmidt started the rally after being hit by a pitch. A two-out walk by Tyler Aholt brought Pasono to the plate and the sophomore delivered his fifth hit of the championship into center to score Schmidt and cut the lead to 6-2.
Zellers finished the game with a career-high four RBIs, a mark which he has tied for the third time this season. Kelley also had a career day going 3-for-4 with three RBIs to set new highs in hits and RBIs. Pasono continued to stay hot at the plate tallying three more hits in the nightcap and finishing 3-for-6.
Sophomore Joe Kohler picked up his second win of the season and is now a perfect 2-0. Kohler came in to relieve Leesman and went 4.1 innings, allowing five hits, three runs and tied a career high with four strikeouts. Leesman went 3.2 innings and allowed six runs on seven hits with four walks and three strikeouts. Freshman Zac Richard came in to throw the final two outs of the game and pick up his team-high seventh save of the season.
This was Xavier's first trip to the A-10 Championship since 2003 and marked the first time playing St. Bonaventure in the championship. XU is now 5-9 when playing in the A-10 Championship. This is only the third time in five trips to the championship that the Musketeers have lost their opening game, with each of those teams winning the second game of the tournament after the loss.
The Musketeers will get back to action tomorrow evening at 7:00 pm. Xavier will take on the lower seed of the two losing teams in tomorrow's first two contests. The opening game of the day will pair No. 1 Charlotte against No. 5 Rhode Island at noon, while game two will match No. 2 Fordham against No. 3 Richmond with an approximate 3:30 pm start time.