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Game Preview: Cincinnati Bearcats vs. Xavier Musketeers

Its the Scott Googins Classic!

Kansas State v Cincinnati Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

While the bulk of the rivalry heat is reserved for the basketball court, the Cincinnati Bearcats and Xavier Musketeers are still rivals on the diamond as well. They will take back up the call in the Crosstown Shootout Showdown, as its known in baseball, on Wednesday night at Marge Schott Stadium.

General Info

Matchup: Xavier Musketeers (12-23, 2-4 Big East) at Cincinnati Bearcats (17-17, 7-5 AAC)

Location: Marge Schott Stadium Cincinnati, Ohio

Series History: UC just does baseball better than Xavier, with a 93-54-1 record all-time against the Musketeers. However, Xavier did go 2-1 against the Bearcats last season.

Times/Probable Starters

Game One - Wednesday April 18 6:30 p.m. Tristan Hammans (0-0, 2.19 ERA) vs. Sam Czabala (0-0, 9.45 ERA)

Who are the Xavier Musketeers?

This game should also be known as the Scott Googins Classic, as the current Bearcats head coach was doing the same job for Xavier just last season. Without Googins, the Musketeers have fallen off quite a bit. They are just 12-23 overall, although they have not had a chance to play at home very much, with just three true home games. They have lost six of their last seven and also have a losing record in Big East play (2-4).

Shortstop Chris Givin leads off for Xavier, which is hitting .259/.328/.407 as a team. Givin is slashing .303/.370/.424. He and outfielder Joe Gellenbeck (.303/.396/.530) are the best hitters average wise, but Gellenbeck is the superior threat, having hit 18 extra-base hits, including five home runs. Xavier is pretty good at launching dingers, with 33 home runs as a squad, including nine from first baseman Matt Warkentin.

Xavier’s pitching has been pretty pitiful though. The Musketeers have allowed 34 home runs and they have an inflated 5.77 ERA. No player has an ERA below 3.00 and only five have ERAs below 5.00. Its unlikely that their starter tonight will make big changes. Lefthander Sam Czabala has only pitched in three games, but he hasn’t been overly effective, with a 9.45 ERA. However, he did toss a solid five innings a week ago against Wright State, allowing two earned runs on four hits over five innings.

Prediction Time!

Xavier can hit better than UC, well except for Manny Rodriguez (.313/.380/.626) who is using Kratos’ Leviathan axe from “God of War” instead of a bat, launching 23 extra-base hits. He will be a key part of the offensive push from the Bearcats, who need to hit Czabala and hit him hard. UC will trot out Tristan Hammans as their starter, but we know that the Bearcats will use a bunch of guys in this one. Good thing they’ve got a staff ERA of 3.76, which is quite a bit above Xavier’s work.

Cincinnati 6 Xavier 4