April 18, 2008
CINCINNATI, Ohio - Two first-inning runs propelled the Xavier Musketeers to a 3-1 victory over Saint Joseph's on Friday afternoon in Atlantic 10 baseball action. The Hawks committed four errors, two of them in the first inning, to help the Musketeers jump ahead.
Xavier (15-19, 9-4 Atlantic 10) got on the board right away in the first. Leadoff hitter Drew Schmidt reached on an error by David Valesente and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt. First baseman Bobby Freking then laced a single up the middle to score the first run of the game. After a walk and a single loaded the bases, an error on first baseman Brian Hartsell allowed Freking to score and put XU ahead, 2-0.
The Musketeers scored again in the bottom of the seventh on a one-out solo home run to left field by Robbie Kelley.
Saint Joseph's (13-22, 5-8 Atlantic 10) would not be heard from offensively until the top of the ninth. Third baseman Chris Hildreth was hit by a pitch to start the inning before advancing to second when Ben Wendle reached on an error. With two on and nobody out, a fly out by Valesente allowed Hildreth to reach third. Senior Kenny Pustizzi then grounded out to short to bring the run home. Unfortunately for the Crimson and Gray, pinch hitter Dewey Oriente went down on strikes to end the game.
Hawk starter Randy Mower was solid once again, pitching seven innings and giving up just five hits. He ceded three runs, but only one of them was earned. The loss drops him to 5-4 on the season. Xavier's Charlie Leesman pitched eight stellar innings to improve to 2-3 on the year. Jordan Conley notched his seventh save of the season with one inning of relief.
The teams will return to Hayden Field Saturday afternoon for the second game of the series. First pitch is slated for 1:00 p.m.