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Johnson City, Tenn. -- East Tennessee State junior Reid Casey struck out 15 Xavier batters but it wasnt enough as the Musketeers ruined the Bucs home opener with a 5-3 win at Cardinal Park. Casey struk out the side three times and recorded at least one strikeout in seven of his eight innings.
Xavier (2-3) starter Jeff Barger earned his first victory of the season witha nine-hit, eight-strikeout performance. Second baseman Jeff Crandell stroked two hits and had one RBI in the win.
The ETSU (2-6) offense was led by third baseman Andy Baxter who collected two RBI on sacrific flies. Senior Nathan Copeland went 2-4 with one RBI in the loss.
The Bucs struck early as Copelands double plated Brandon Cross in the first inning. ETSU threatened in the third but a spectacular diving catch by centerfielder Lucas Dines saved two runs. The Bucs did capitalize in the inning when a sacrifice fly by Baxter scored Jeremy Terry.
Xavier got on the board in the fourth with two runs. After one out, Ty Brenning doubled and started the rally. He later scored on a Russ Reyes single. Mark Andres came home when Casey walked Matt Tedford with the bases loaded. The Musketeers took a 3-2 lead in the fifth when Ryan Schreen scored from second on a single by Jeff Crandell.
ETSUs Baxter knotted the score, 3-3, with his second sac fly of the game in the home-half of the fifth. Xavier regained the lead with the game-winning run in the seventh. Schreen scored his second run of the game, this one on a double-play grouder.
The Musketeers added another run in the eighth when Jarret Sues hit a fly ball into right field that carried rightfielder John Gorton onto the trecherous hill. Gortons diving attempt failed and Sues earned an RBI triple that scored Dines.
ETSU returns to action tomorrow at 3 p.m. against Valparaiso in the second day of the Pirate Club Classic. Xavier will face Akron at Noon.
Game 1 Recap: Xavier 10, Akron 5
Xavier second baseman Jeff Crandell went 4-4 with four runs scored and one RBI to lead the Musketeers in their first victory of the season, a 10-5 win against Akron in the opening game of the East Tennessee State Pirate Club Classic.
Musketeer starter Greg Wiggers earned the win after allowing five runs in five innings. Akrons Ryan Rankin suffered the loss by allowing two runs in the fifth inning.
Third baseman Ty Brenning earned Xaviers other mutliple-hit game with two knocks. Akrons Ty Moorhead (3) and Steve Bowers (2) led the way for the Zips.
Akron scored four in the first inning but surrendered a five-run fifth that sealed the game for Xavier.
The two teams will rematch tomorrow at Noon.