Baseball Takes Two from Xavier

Courtesy: Saint Louis Athletics
          Release: 04/15/2012
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Steve Fernandez (left) and Alex Kelly (right) had a big day for the Billikens
Courtesy: Saint Louis Athletics

ST. LOUIS - The Saint Louis Billikens rebounded from a tough 12-inning loss on Friday with two wins against Xavier today. The Bills won game one 8-2 and game two 1-0. Saint Louis is now 24-11 on the year and 7-5 in the Atlantic 10. Xavier is 15-21 overall and 5-4 in the conference.

Game one was all Billikens from the start. Junior Alex Kelly hit a two-out single to start the rally. Junior Steve Fernandez drove him in with his second round-tripper of the season to give SLU a 2-0 lead in the first.

The Musketeers scored a run of their own in the second, bringing the score to 2-1.

In the fourth, Fernandez opened up the action with a lead off walk. Junior Grant Nelson followed him with a double down the right field line. Junior C.J. Rose drove Fernandez in with an RBI single and advanced to second on the throw home. Senior Connor Gandossy drew a walk to load the bases. Freshman Alec Sole showed discipline at the plate, drawing a bases loaded walk. Through four innings, the Billikens led 4-1.

The Bills added another mark in the sixth, two runs in the seventh and their final run in the ninth. Xavier was able to bring one across in the eighth, but Saint Louis took the first game, 8-2.

The second game was reminiscent of the first game of the series. Both teams were scoreless through eigth innings in a pitchers' duel. Saint Louis' Damian Rivera was in top shape, allowing five hits over six innings with three strikeouts. Xavier's Tyler Koors was a little more wild, throwing 6.2 innings with four hits, five walks and four strikeouts.

The Bills pounced on Xavier reliver Alex Vice in the ninth. Sole led off with a single and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt from junior Mike Levine. DiRoma grounded out to first, allowing Sole to move to third, representing the go-ahead run. Kelly drove Sole in with a two-out infield single to second, scoring the only run of the contest.

Sophomore Clay Smith picked up the win in the first game and is now 4-2 on the year. Freshman James Norwood earned the win in game two to move to 2-2 in his collegiate career.

Saint Louis will return to action on Tue., Apr. 17 when they take on in-state rival Missouri State in Springfield, Mo. First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.

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