SURPRISE, Ariz. - The Billikens played the #26 Oregon State Beavers tough, but ultimately came up just short in a 5-6 loss in Surprise, Ariz. Senior Steve Jensen picks up the loss as the Bills move to 6-5 on the season.
Saint Louis had a huge second inning that began with a lead-off triple from junior C.J. Rose. The next batter, sophomore Danny Brennan, drew a walk to put runners on the corners with freshman Jon Corbitt at the plate. He ripped a single through the left side, to drive in Rose for the first run of the contest. Next up, freshman Alec Sole dropped down a bunt to advance the runners to second and third. A wild pitch allowed Brennan to score and moved Corbitt to third. He later scored on a sacrifice fly from junior Mike Levine.
The Beavers fought back and tallied one run in the fourth, three in the sixth and an additional two in the seventh. Entering the final frame, the Oregon State led SLU 6-3.
Trailing three, the Billikens grounded out to second and flew out to center. Senior Marco DiRoma hit a two-out double down the left field line to start a rally. Junior Alex Kelly shot a double to left field to score DiRoma. Kelly scored on a single from junior Steve Fernandez. Senior Jerry Mancuso came in to pinch run for Fernandez and represented the tying run. Junior Grant Nelson ripped a grounder to the left side of the infield, where the OSU shortstop managed to glove the ball for the final out.
Sophomore Clay Smith had the start for Saint Louis. He had 5.2 IP, allowing six hits, three walks and one earned run while striking out six.
The Billikens take on Winthrop tomorrow at noon to wrap up the Coca-Cola Classic.