Fisher’s 7-run third inning drops XULA into losers bracket of AII

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LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. — Xavier University of Louisiana baseball lost 11-7 Saturday to Fisher in the opening round of the Association of Independent Institutions Championship tournament.

A seven-run third inning put the Falcons (30-18) ahead to stay. XULA (26-10) moved into the losers bracket of the four-team double-elimination event and will play Crowley’s Ridge at 3 p.m. EDT Sunday at Grizzly Baseball Complex.

Crowley’s Ridge, the No. 4 seed, lost 15-0 to top-seeded Georgia Gwinnett, the host. Fisher is seeded second, and XULA is third.

XULA would play a second elimination game at 7 p.m. Sunday if it defeats Crowley’s Ridge. That game at 7 would decide which team receives the second of the A.I.I.’s two automatic bids to NAIA nationals.

XULA led 3-0 in the first inning when Tristan Rodriguez hit a 3-run homer. It was Rodriguez’s team-leading eighth home run of the season.

Fisher answered with seven runs in the third, the most XULA has allowed in any inning this season. A Jordan Gossellin two-run single to right-center put the Falcons ahead to stay at 5-3.

XULA closed to 7-5 in the bottom of the third on Courtland Posey’s RBI double and Michael Sonn’s RBI single, both with two out. But XULA never got closer to the lead thereafter.

XULA failed to score after loading the bases with none out in the seventh inning and putting runners on first and second with none out in the eighth. For the game XULA stranded 12 runners to tie a season high.

Fisher produced 14 hits, three apiece by Gosselin and Victor Torres. The Boston team had 25 baserunners, including nine walks and two hit batters. XULA had plenty of opportunities, too: eight hits, seven walks and six hit batters. Posey and Danny Coleman were plunked two times apiece.

It was the first time this season that XULA lost after scoring seven-or-more runs. Prior to Saturday, XULA was 17-0 in those situations.

Sunday’s schedule (times Eastern):
Game 3 — Georgia Gwinnett (40-9, No. 1 seed) vs. Fisher (30-18, No. 2 seed), 11 a.m.
Game 4 — Crowley’s Ridge (21-26, No. 4 seed) vs. XULA (26-10), 3 p.m. (loser eliminated)
Game 5 — Loser of Game 3 vs. Winner of Game 4, 7 p.m. (loser eliminated)

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