May 30, 2009

Courtesy of Rice Athletics

Houston, TX. - Neil Lindgren smacked a tie-breaking, two-run homer in the seventh while Jordan Conley stroked three hits and shut down a final Sam Houston State rally to lead Xavier to a 9-6 win in Game Three of the Houston Regional at Reckling Park on Saturday.

Conley (2-1), who gave up the tying run after relieving starter Danny Rosenbaum in the top of the seventh, allowed a single and a double with one out in the ninth to bring the tying run to the plate. But he returned Jon Reed on a ground out to third and fanned Mark Wyatt to close out Xavier's first win in NCAA baseball championship play.

The Musketeers (39-20) move on to an elimination game on Sunday at 2 pm against the loser of Saturday night's game between Rice and Kansas State. Sam Houston State ends its season at 36-24.

After Sam Houston opened the scoring with a pair of unearned runs in the first, the Musketeers answered back in the bottom of the second when Bobby Freking slugged a two-run homer. It was Freking's fourth homer of the year, but his second in as many games in regional play.

Xavier took its first lead in NCAA baseball action with a four-run third inning. Drew Schmidt doubled to drive in Adam Pasono to break a 2-2 tie. Schmidt came in to score on an error by Riley. Conley followed with a double to drive in the Musketeers' third run of the inning and chase Bearkat starter Brent Powers.

Freking closed out the scoring by driving in his third run of the afternoon with a ground out

Powers gave up seven hits and six runs (five earned) in 2.1 innings. Will Skelton came on in relief and worked 3.2 scoreless innings to give his teammates to mount a comeback.

Sam Houston State cut the deficit to a single run by scoring three times in the fourth after two were out. Riley drove home one run with a single, a second run scored on an error and a third on a steal of home by Mooney as part of a double steal.

Rosenbaum scattered seven hits over 6.2 innings. He gave up six runs, only two of which were earned, fanned nine and walked three while throwing 124 pitches. Xavier answered back to re-take the lead in the bottom of the seventh. After O'Conner chased Skelton with a leadoff walk, Neil Lindgren greeted reliever Matt Shelton by connecting for a two-run homer to left which tagged Skelton (2-3) with the loss.

The Musketeers added an insurance run in the bottom of the eighth. Schmidt singled home Adam Pasono, who had doubled with one out.