May 17, 2012
CINCINNATI - The Saint Joseph's baseball team went ahead early, but Xavier rallied back to take a 7-3 win in the series opener between the two teams on Thursday at Hayden Field. Senior Kevin Taylor was 3-for-4 with a home run and two runs batted in for the Hawks.
Saint Joseph's (22-29 overall, 12-9 Atlantic 10) opened up an early lead, pushing three runs across in the top of the first inning. After a one-out double by Lansing Veeder, Greg Kumpel ripped a single up the middle to score Veeder with the game's first run. Taylor then followed with his sixth home run of the season to give the Hawks a 3-0 advantage.
Starter Daniel Thorpe kept Xavier (27-27 overall, 12-10 Atlantic 10) at bay until the fifth inning, when a single by Mark Elwell scored Selby Chidemo with the Musketeers' first run of the day.
The Musketeers closed the gap to one in the bottom of the sixth on back-to-back doubles by Daniel Rod and Mitch Elliott.
Seth Willoughby connected on a two-strike pitch with two outs in the bottom of the seventh for an RBI single to score Elwell and tie the game at three.
Xavier took the lead in the bottom of the eighth, putting two on with nobody out for Chidemo, who singled through the left side to plate Elliott and Tres Eberhardt and give the Musketeers a 5-3 lead. Chidemo then came around to score on a single by Elwell, who scored on a hit by Brian Bruening to close the scoring.
Alex Westrick got the win for Xavier, tossing three and two-thirds shutout innings to improve to 3-2. Steven Schuler took the loss, falling to 5-2 on the season. Making his 28th appearance of the season on Thursday, Schuler tied the SJU record for appearances in a single season.
Taylor led the offense, notching hits in each of his first three at bats. The home run gives him 15 in his career, tying him for eighth on SJU's all-time list.
Brian O'Keefe added a pair of hits for the Hawks, who saw their streak of 12 straight victories in Atlantic 10 series openers come to an end.
The teams will return to the diamond on Friday at 1:00 p.m.