Fairfield Prep rallied from a four-run deficit but came up short in the eighth innings as it lost to Xavier 8-4 in a matchup of two of the SCC's top baseball teams Wednesday afternoon.

Xavier's Mike Purcell three-RBI double in the top of the eighth inning made it 8-4.

"I went down 0-2 and he struck me out earlier looking, so I said I'm not going to let him do that again. I saw a ball I could take the other way and took it," Purcell said of the game-clinching at-bat.

The Jesuits trailed 4-0 entering the fifth inning but managed to score two in the fifth and two in the sixth to send the game into extras.

Mike Carter and Chris Sutay singled to begin the inning and Joe Ganim walked to load the bases for Chris Collins at the top of the Jesuit order. With the bases loaded and no outs, Collins laced a hit into right field, scoring Carter and Sutay.

"Things snowballed a little bit," Xavier coach Richard Magner said of the shift in momentum after Fairfield Prep scored their first two runs. "It's high school, it will happen. Stuff hits the fan,

and you've just got to hold on."

Kevin Stone reached on an error to open the sixth, and David Gerics' double scoring drove him in, making it 4-3. Jake Berry's bunt moved Gerics to third and Mike Carter drove him home one batter later to tie the game at four.

"The one thing you can say about us, and what we've shown all year long, is that we don't quit," Fairfield Prep coach Rudy Mauritz said. "We look to play the game hard all the way. We could have done a better job of being more consistent throughout the entire game today, but we compete."

The Jesuits trailed in the second inning after back-to-back, two-out hits for Xavier's Purcell and Matt Albanese scored three runs.

Prep's inability to close innings plagued it all day. The Falcons had four hits and scored seven runs with two outs.

"You're not going to win if you're doing that," Mauritz said. "You can't expect to win if you're doing that. But they're a very good team. They showed a lot of confidence hitting with two strikes."

Ben Criscuolo kept Prep's bats quiet through the first four innings, not allowing a hit.

XAVIER 030 100 04--8 9 3

FAIRFIELD PREP 000 022 00--4 5 2

Records: Xavier 13-1; Fairfield Prep 10-4; Batteries: X--Ben Criscuolo, Sean Carroll (5, W, 3-1) and Chris Cardi; FP--Kyle Mollo, Dave Gerics (7, L, 3-2) and Jake Berry.