MASON, Ohio (WKRC) - No. 2 seeded Xavier baseball took down the top-seeded UConn Huskies in the winner's bracket of the 2023 BIG EAST Championship, advancing to the title game on Saturday with a 10-2 win at Prasco Park. The Musketeers moved to 36-22 overall, adding to the second-highest win total in program history, with the 2009 team's 39-21 record standing as the school record.
Xavier got on the board in the first inning, with a lead-off walk from Jack Housinger, a single for Matthew DePrey and a walk for Andrew Walker loading the bases with no outs. Tyler DeMartino hit a single up the middle to score a pair of runs and a sac fly from Matt McCormick scored a third run to make it a 3-0 lead after the top of the first.
UConn scored a run in the bottom of the first on a solo home run, but the Musketeers got it back in the next frame. Jack Housinger took another walk, a school record-breaking 189th walk for his career, to get on base. He moved to third on a single from Matthew DePrey and scored on a ground ball from Andrew Walker to extend Xavier's lead back to three, 4-1.
Xavier added two more runs in the fourth, with Grant Stephenson doubling to left field, then moving to third with back-to-back walks for Jack Housinger and Matthew DePrey to load the bases with no outs. Andrew Walker put a ball into play to drive in Stephenson and move Housinger to third. Housinger came home to make it a 6-1 Xavier lead after Matt McCormick reached on a scoring error.
UConn added a run in the fourth to make it 6-2 Xavier, but the Musketeers responded again, extended the lead out to six in the next frame after Carter Hendrickson doubled and Jack Housinger drove him in with a two-run homer.
The Musketeers made it a 9-2 lead with a run in the eighth, with Matthew DePrey reaching on an error, moving to third on a single and then scoring on a double from Matt McCormick. Xavier set the final score at 10-2 with a run in the ninth, with Jared Cushing reaching on a throwing error and eventually scoring on on a single from Jack Housinger.
Xavier advances to play for the BIG EAST Championship on Saturday at 2 p.m., set to face the winner of Friday's elimination game between No. 1 seed UConn and No. 4 seed Georgetown in the double elimination format. A game two will follow on Saturday if necessary.
The Musketeers have advanced to the Championship series in each of Xavier's seven trips to the league tournament since joining the BIG EAST in 2013-14, including the last four tournaments contested.
Courtesy: Xavier University Athletics