Fall Buzz: Notes On Xavier, Jacksonville, RadfordFall Report
Fall workouts have wrapped up for most of college baseball, but the notes keep on coming. Here are some fall nuggets on three intriguing mid-major contenders: Xavier, Jacksonville and Radford.
LEXINGTON, Ky. — After starting last season 9-19 against a rugged nonconference schedule that included series at North Carolina, Arizona State and Texas, Xavier found its footing in Big East play, going 12-4 with series wins at Creighton and St. John’s to finish second in the conference. With a host of talented returning players back in the fold, Xavier looks like one of the favorites in the Big East heading into coach Billy O’Conner’s third season at the helm.
The Musketeers have plenty of room for improvement on the mound, where they posted a 5.84 ERA last year, 235th in the nation. But in an Oct. 27 scrimmage at Kentucky, Xavier showed the makings of a quality pitching staff, led by junior lefthander Nick Zwack, who struck out the side in order in his perfect first inning. A physically mature 6-foot-3 southpaw with a tough low three-quarters slot, Zwack carved up the zone at 89-92 mph and showed advanced feel for an 80-81 changeup and a quality 77-78 slurve. …