Xavier Hosts Saint Joseph's In Final Series Of The Season

The Musketeers will honor senior Nathan Mustch Saturday.

The Musketeers will honor senior Nathan Mustch Saturday.

May 16, 2012

CINCINNATI -- The Xavier baseball team will honor senior Nathan Mutschprior to Saturday's regular season finale as the Musketeers host Atlantic 10 foe Saint Joseph's in a three-game series beginning Thursday at 3 p.m. Friday's game is set for 1 p.m. while Saturday's contest is set for 12 p.m.

The Musketeers (26-27, 11-10 A-10) are still battling for a spot in the Atlantic 10 tournament and could possibly seal a tournament berth by winning or sweeping the series against the Hawks (22-28, 12-8 A-10). Xavier currently sits in sixth place in the conference just behind fifth-place Fordham (22-31, 12-9 A-10). Only the top six teams will make the conference tournament which will be held May 23 through the 26 at Fordham University. The last time the Musketeers were absent from the Atlantic 10 tournament was 2006.

Saturday, the Musketeers will honor the career of Mutsch. The right-handed pitcher from Alexandria, Ky., has been a solid reliever for the Musketeers throughout his career. He holds a 5-6 career record with a 1-0 record and 3.77 ERA this season.

Xavier will have one change to its usual pitching rotation. While sophomore right hander Vinny Nittoli will take the mound Thursday and junior Jon Richardwill start Friday but Saturday's starter remains to be seen. Nittoli is coming into his final regular season start with a 4-5 record and a 3.86 ERA. Richard earned a win last Saturday at George Washington to improve to 5-5 with a 5.53 ERA.

Junior Seth Willoughbyleads the Atlantic 10 with 12 saves and is just one save shy of tying the Xavier single-season record of 13 saves.

Offensively junior Mark Elwellleads the Musketeers with a .325 average and 26 RBI. The XU center fielder has reached base in eight straight games. Sophomore Brian Brueing had a big weekend at GW and extended his hitting streak to nine games and leads the team with six multiple-RBI games.

SJU has yet to name a starter for Thursday's contest. Friday's starter, Kyle Mullen, holds a 5-4 record with a 3.45 ERA. Saturday will see right hander Alex Pracher looking to improve on his 4-8 record and 4.24 ERA.