Baseball Captures First NCAA Tournament Win, 9-6, Over Sam Houston

Junior Bobby Freking hit his second homer of the regional vs Sam Houston on Saturday

Junior Bobby Freking hit his second homer of the regional vs Sam Houston on Saturday

May 30, 2009


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HOUSTON - The third-seeded Xavier baseball team captured the program's first NCAA Tournament win Saturday afternoon, eliminating No. 4 Sam Houston State, 9-6, at Reckling Park in the Houston Regional hosted by Rice University. Junior Neil Lindgren's two-run homer in the seventh scored the winning run for XU and senior shortstop Jordan Conley closed out the game on the mound for the Musketeers.

Lindgren went 3-for-4 on the day with two runs and two RBI while Conley also had a good day at the plate, going 3-for-4 with a run and an RBI. Three other Musketeers had multi-hit days as well and junior Bobby Freking recorded his second home run of the regional in the second inning.

Sam Houston (36-24) was able to take an early two-run lead after a throwing error put a man on second who stole third and was knocked in on a single by Jon Reed. Nick Zaleski made it around to home on a single down the right line, giving the Bearkats the 2-0 advantage after the first half inning.

Xavier (39-20) tied up the game in the bottom second as Conley got on base with his single to right center and Freking launched his fourth long ball of the season, a two-run shot over the left field fence. After two complete, the two squads were knotted at two apiece.

The Musketeers took their first-ever lead of the NCAA Tournament in the third when junior Drew Schmidt doubled in senior Adam Pasono. Lindgren's single got Schmidt to third and as sophomore Ben Thomas reached on a fielding error, Schmidt came across the dish. Lindgren was knocked in by a Conley double and Thomas made it home on a Freking ground out. After the third frame, Xavier held the 6-2 lead.

The Bearkats got three back in the fourth as Braeden Riley collected an RBI with his single and Ryan Mooney followed with a single as well but a Musketeer fielding error on the play allowed a SHSU runner to come home. With two outs and two on, Sam used a double steal to score its third run of the frame and pulled to within one, 6-5.

With two outs and a man on first in the top of the seventh, XU called Conley in from shortstop to the mound to close out the game. After a balk moved the runner over to second, Sam Houston's Mark Wyatt singled in Reed to tie the game again, 6-6.

After the seventh inning stretch senior Billy O'Conner took a base on balls and was moved over to second with a sacrifice bunt from Schmidt. Lindgren was up next, blasting out a two-run long ball to left giving the Muskies the lead back in the contest, 8-6.

In the bottom of the eighth the Musketeers put up another run after Pasono doubled down the left line and made it to third on a throwing error by the Bearkats second baseman. Schmidt was up with two outs and a man on the hot corner and his single to center brought home Pasono to stretch XU's lead to three, 9-6, which proved to be the final score.

Conley (2-1) got the win for the Musketeers after throwing the final two and a third innings. He gave up zero runs on three hits and struck out three while walking none. Starter junior Danny Rosenbaum put in 6.2 inning of work in the no-decision. He gave up six runs, only two of which were earned, on seven hits and fanned a season-high nine while walking three.

Will Skelton (2-3) took the loss for the Bearkats as he tossed 3.2 innings. He gave up one run on two hits and struck out three while walking one.

The Musketeer live to play another day and will face the loser of tonight's matchup between host and top-seeded Rice and No. 2 Kansas State at 3 p.m. on Sunday.