Ethan Bosacker’s complete game shutout kept Xavier alive in the NCAA Tournament Saturday. (Photo: Nicki Mabry/Xavier University)
By Matthew Tallarini
World Baseball Network
The 2023 Big East conference champion Xavier University Musketeers (38-24) stayed alive in Day 2 of the NCAA Regional in Nashville behind starting pitcher Ethan Bosacker’s complete game shutout eliminating, the 2023 Ohio Valley Conference champions Eastern Illinois University Panthers (38-21) from the tournament 7-0.
Bosacker just allowed four hits, no walks, and struck out six batters throwing 100 pitches in his performance.
The Musketeers got on the board first in the bottom of the second inning when Grant Stephenson hit a ground ball to the shortstop and Jared Cushing came in to score.
In the bottom of the fifth inning, Xavier left fielder Andrew Walker drilled a three-run home run to right field and Jack Housinger and Matthew DePrey came in to score to extend the lead to 4-0.
Eastern Illinois University starting pitcher Tyler Conklin eventually got taken out of the game in the fifth inning after 4.1 innings, allowing eight hits, four earned runs, one walk, and striking out two.
During the bottom of the seventh inning, Xavier added two insurance runs to the board as first baseman Matt McCormick rapped a single to shallow left field, and Walker and Tyler DeMartino came in to score to make it 6-0.
Bosacker cruised to the ninth inning as he got all three batters in order as Xavier University beat Eastern Illinois 7-0, knocking them out of the 2023 NCAA tournament.
Bosacker became the fourth starting pitcher in program history to strike out 100 batters in a season and increased his total to 101 during Saturday’s game. Xavier has two pitchers with 100 or more strikeouts in the same season for the first time in program history. Brant Alazaus recorded the 100th strikeout of his collegiate career on Friday against the University of Oregon during the first game of the 2023 NCAA Regionals.
Xavier University lost to the University of Oregon Ducks on Friday night 5-4, but remains alive in the NCAA Tournament because of the double elimination format in the Regional round
Eastern Illinois’s pitching staff gave up 11 hits and four walks during the loss.
Xavier University will have to win their first game on Sunday in order to play a second game on Sunday at 9 p.m. EDT. If Xavier wins two games on Sunday, they will have a chance to play for the final game of the NCAA Regional round on Monday in a win-or-go-home scenario to play on in the Super Regional Round next weekend.
Xavier University will play on Sunday at 3 p.m. EDT on ESPN+ against Vanderbilt University streaming on ESPN+.