Feb. 28, 2010

Courtesy of Xavier Athletics

An error-riddled No. 4 Georgia Tech was handed its first loss of the season Sunday afternoon as Xavier baseball came out of Atlanta with a 7-6 win over the Yellow Jackets. The Musketeers scored their seven runs on 12 hits - the most given up by GT this season - to snap Tech's seven-game win streak. This win is XU's first-ever over a top-five ranked opponent.

The Musketeers were led by junior John McCambridge who went 2-for-4 at the plate with two RBI and two runs scored. Also for Xavier, junior Ben Thomas went 2-for-4 with an RBI and a game-high 13 putouts while senior Drew Schmidt and junior Phil Bauer each added two hits as well.

Georgia Tech (7-1) put up two quick runs in the first frame when Tony Plagman sent a two-run shot over the right field fence. The Musketeers got a run back in the second when junior Ryan Bellamy led off with a double and was moved around to third on a sacrifice fly by redshirt senior Neil Lindgren. Bauer used a ground-rule double to bring home Bellamy, cutting the Jackets' lead in half, 2-1.

In the bottom of the second, GT used two hits to score another run to go up, 3-1. Xavier (1-5) put up another run in the top of the fifth when McCambridge made it to first on a bunt single and reached second when Schmidt grounded out to third. Senior Bobby Freking collected an RBI with his single through the left side as McCambridge high-tailed it home. XU had pulled to within one, 3-2.

After Georgia Tech scored one more in the bottom of the fifth, Xavier put together a huge four-run sixth to take the lead in the contest, 6-4. Lindgren led off the frame with single and advanced to second as freshman Patrick Paligraf reached on a throwing error by the pitcher. Bauer singled to load the bases and the Jackets went to their bullpen. Redshirt freshman Mark Elwell brought home Lindgren with a fielder's choice and then stole a base to put runners on second and third.

McCambridge collected two RBI with his single to center, scoring both runners, and then he stole second and advanced to third on a failed pickoff attempt. Schmidt singled to the shortstop, bringing home McCambridge for the Musketeers' fourth run of the frame. Heading into the bottom of the sixth, XU led by two.

Although Georgia Tech scored another run in the bottom of the sixth, Xavier answered in the eighth as junior Ben Thomas' RBI single scored Elwell to give XU a two-run advantage, 7-5. The Jackets' ninth-inning rally fell short as the Musketeers' defense held strong and redshirt freshman Alex Vice sent Jeff Rowland down swinging for the final out of the contest. Xavier held on for the 7-6 victory over Georgia Tech.

Freshman Jon Richard (1-1) recorded his first collegiate win on the mound for the Musketeers after tossing five innings. He gave up four earned runs on four hits and struck out two while walking three. Vice earned his first career save (1), closing out the game for XU. Sophomore Josh Deeg put in three quality innings of middle relief for the Musketeers, giving up only one run on two hits and striking out one batter.

Jed Bradley (1-1) took the loss for the Jackets after putting in five innings of work. He gave up four earned runs on eight hits while striking out six and walking none.

The Musketeers will continue on their 11-game road stretch to open the season this coming week with a stop in Buies Creek, N.C., to take on Campbell on Tuesday, Mar. 2. First pitch has been moved up to 4 p.m. due to the threat of inclement weather.