Vinny Nittoli hit his sixth home run of the season in the A-10 Championship against Charlotte.
May 24, 2013
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - After winning the opening two games of the Atlantic 10 Baseball Championship, Xavier fell to host Charlotte, 12-3. The Musketeers play later Friday evening and will face the winner between No. 1 Saint Louis and No. 5 George Washington.
Following several sensational defensive plays earlier in the tournament, Xavier (32-25) continued to flash its gloves with another highlight-reel play. Stephen Schoettmer came through with a diving catch on a sac bunt attempt with no outs and runners on first and second in the first inning. The Niners eventually plated a run in the frame on Justin Seager's single, but Schoettmer's play limited the damage.
Charlotte (37-21) picked up its second run of the contest in the third inning when Brad Elwood singled home JJ Elsesser. Five runs in the fifth and sixth innings combined provided the Niners with a 7-0 lead.
Mitch Elliott reached base in the third thanks to an error by Niners' centerfielder Michael Green. Elliott put his speed on display by stealing third, but was later thrown out at home on a chopping grounder by Mark Elwell.
XU put runners in scoring position in the fourth and fifth innings, but couldn't come through with the timely hits. Patrick Paligraf finally broke through with an RBI single in the sixth to plate Xavier's first run. Derek Hasenbeck scored the run after leading off the inning with a double.
Charlotte plated four runs in the eighth inning on a grand slam by Shane Basen and one more in the ninth.
Vinny Nittoli hit a two-run jack of his own in the bottom half of the eighth inning. After drawing a walk to start the frame, Hasenbeck scored his second run of the game. The home run is Nittoli's team-leading sixth of the season.
Xavier made things interesting in the ninth after loading the bases. Schoettmer walked and Chidemo singled to start the inning. Elwell hit a hard liner that was snagged by the shortstop who flipped to second for a double play. Eberhardt then drew a walk and Hasenbeck was hit by a pitch to fill the bags. Daniel Rod flew out to close the game.
Tyler Koors went the distance on the mound for Xavier, allowing 12 runs on 15 hits with four walks and four strikeouts. The senior hurler fell to 5-6 on the season.
Brock Hudgens pitched into the ninth and was removed after giving up a lead-off walk. Hudgens allowed three runs on five hits with four walks and three Ks. Adam Huffman secured the final three outs of the contest.