Brian Bruening opens the 2013 season riding a 12-game hitting streak which began at the end of last season.
Feb. 14, 2013
Xavier also returns 98.9 percent of its starts in the field. Senior centerfielder Mark Elwell led XU in both batting average (.329) and RBIs (29). Joining Elwell is Patrick Paligraf, who scored a team-high 30 runs and anchored the infield from shortstop.
In the Atlantic 10 preseason coaches' poll, Xavier was predicted to finish seventh. XU finished the 2012 season in seventh place. Saint Louis was predicted to win the conference with Rhode Island, VCU, Dayton, Richmond and St. Joseph's picked ahead of X.
Bruening Goes Streaking
First baseman/outfielder Brian Bruening closed out the 2012 season on a 12-game hitting streak, the longest of the season for Xavier. Bruening was one of four players to record hitting streaks of 10 games or more. The junior will look to continue the hitting streak in 2013, when the Musketeers take on College of Charleston in the opening weekend.
Xavier returns a very experienced ball club for 2013. In the field, XU brings back 98.9 percent (498-of-504) of its starts. Patrick Paligraf earned 53 starts at shortstop, followed by centerfielder Mark Ewell and first baseman Brian Bruening with 52 starts. Derek Hasenbeck started 51 games, mostly behind the plate. The Musketeers also return the majority of their pitching staff, including the starting weekend rotation of Vinny Nittoli, Jon Richard and Tyler Koors.
Elwell Perfect in the Field
Senior centerfielder Mark Elwell has played in 127 games and registered 288 putouts with six assists. Amazingly, Elwell has not committed a single fielding error in his career. Not only is Elwell a maestro in the field, he led Xavier in hitting with a .329 batting average (10th in A-10) in 2012 and drove in a team-high 29 RBIs. Elwell ranked eighth in the conference in on-base percentage (.431) as well.