OXFORD, Miss. - [BOX SCORE] Saint Louis University Baseball ran into a big offense and one of the top pitchers in the NCAA on Saturday night in Oxford. The Billikens managed two early runs, but were not able to climb out of a big hole in a 9-2 loss.
Saint Louis (38-19) The Billikens drew first blood in front of over 12,000 Rebels’ fans on Saturday under the lights. With just one out on the board, Alex King drew a walk, which paid dividends moments later. Nick Reeser found a first pitch fastball up in the zone and drove it down the left field line, which scored King, and put the team in blue up 1-0.
Ryan Rolison recovered quickly on Saturday. The lefty starter recorded back-to-back strikeouts to end the threat and limit the damage for the Rebels in the first inning.
Saint Louis extended its lead to 2-0 in the top of the second. Cole Dubet walked and stole second with an out on the board before Aaron Case headed to the plate. The senior center fielder ripped a single up the middle, which scored Dubet from second to put the second run of the game on the board.
The bottom of the second took a turn for the worse for the Billikens as a leadoff error set the tone. Ole Miss made Saint Louis pay as a two-run shot from Cole Zabowski tied the game moments later.
The Rebels batted around in the second inning as they hit for the cycle as a team in the frame. In addition to the round-tripper, a pair of doubles, two singles and a triple added to the struggles as the Billikens quickly found themselves in a 6-2 hole.
The Ole Miss offense put on a show for a capacity crowd at Swayze. Third baseman Tyler Keenan lifted a ball over the wall in straight-away center in the bottom of the third and increased the Rebels’ lead to 8-2.
Rolison put together a big performance for the home team on Saturday. The lefty sophomore made a big lead work in his favor as he went seven innings and allowed just two runs with 13 strikeouts on the night.
Ole Miss tacked-on another in the fourth as the home team rolled to its first win of the 2018 NCAA Regional.
Connor Lehmann helped to calm things down for the Billikens in the game. The redshirt junior did not allow a single hit for five innings as he held the Rebels scoreless in his outing.
Nick Reeser led the Billiken offense on the night. The senior first baseman recorded a pair of hits with a double.
Saint Louis will now turn around and face Missouri State on Sunday in an elimination game. First pitch is scheduled for 12:00 p.m. in Oxford, Miss.