Bats Come Alive As Xavier Defeats St. John's, 8-2, In BIG EAST Tourney

Joe Forney belted out four hits and three RBIs in Xavier's win over St. John's.

Joe Forney belted out four hits and three RBIs in Xavier's win over St. John's.

May 23, 2014

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BROOKLYN, N.Y. - Xavier answered the call in an elimination game in the BIG EAST Baseball Championship presented by New York Life with an 8-2 win over St. John's. The Musketeers improve to 27-27 on the season and remain alive in the championship. St. John's concludes its season with a 35-20 record.

Runs in each of the first two innings spotted the Musketeers with a two-run lead. Derek Hasenbeck's single was the second of three-straight knocks for XU in the opening frame. The hit drove in Daniel Rizzie.

Xavier's second run came an inning later. Mitch Elliott tripled to left center and scored on Joe Forney's single.

The runs kept coming in the third as 10 Musketeers came to bat in the frame. Stephen Schoettmer delivered an RBI knock with runners on the corners. After Michael Moore drew a four-pitch walk to load the bases, Elliott cleared the bags with a shot that found the gap in left-center for a double.

Forney poked another two-out RBI single in the fifth to extend XU's lead to 7-0.

St. John's finally broke through in the sixth. Michael Donadio drew a walk to lead off the inning and was doubled home by Matt Harris.

XU picked up its eighth run of the game on Forney's third RBI single to extend the advantage back to seven, 8-1. SJU got one of the runs back in the eighth inning, but never threatened down the stretch in Xavier's 8-2 win.

Vinny Nittoli was dominant on the mound, allowing just one earned run and two runs total in the game. He scattered six hits and three walks, while adding four strikeouts to his final line. The win improves Nittoli's record to 6-3 on the year.

Forney and Elliott led a quintet of players to register multiple hits in the game. Xavier's starting first baseman Forney connected on four singles in the contest, driving in three runs in the process.

Elliott added three hits on the day, falling a homerun short of a cycle. He tripled in the second, doubled in the third and singled in the fifth. XU's right fielder joined Forney with three RBIs, all of which came on the double.

Hasenbeck put together a 4-for-5 performance with an RBI and run scored, while both Bruening and Schoettmer connected on a pair of hits each. Schoettmer tacked on two runs and an RBI.

Sean Campbell pitched the ninth inning for the Musketeers, giving up a harmless bloop single in closing out the game.

Xavier's batters were clutch throughout the entire game, as all eight of XU's runs were tallied with two outs.

Harris posted SJU's only RBI on the day and Robbie Knightes recorded two of the Red Storm's hits. Ryan McCormick (7-2) took the loss after lasting just 2.1 innings.

The Musketeers are back in action at 3 p.m., Saturday, in another elimination game. They will meet the loser of Friday night's final contest between No. 1 Creighton and No. 3 Seton Hall. BIGEAST.com will broadcast the game and provide live stats of the contest.