Billikens Open Final Homestand of 2012

Courtesy: Saint Louis Athletics
          Release: 05/01/2012
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Connor Gandossy is one of the top defensive catchers in the A-10
Courtesy: Saint Louis Athletics

PREVIEW
This week, Saint Louis has a packed schedule with five games in six days. The Billikens will host Southeast Missouri State on Tuesday, Southern Illinois Edwardsville on Thursday and a three-game weekend series against St. Bonaventure for the conference slate.

LAST WEEK

Saint Louis suffered a tough loss against SIUE in a midweek game, but bounced back to sweep La Salle in conference action. The Billikens leapt from seventh in the Atlantic 10 to fourth and are in strong position to make the conference tournament. The top six teams in the A-10 make the tournament at Fordham.

BILLIKEN RECORD BOOK:

• Senior Travis Parker holds SLU’s all-time mark in career saves with 17.
• Junior Mike Levine is second all-time in career assists with 496. Nick Steiner holds the all-time mark at 562.
• Junior Alex Alemann is third all-time in career wins with 20. John Marcum is second all-time with 21.
• On March 6, 2012 against Southeast Missouri State, the Billikens set a school record for runs scored in a contest with 22. They also set the standard for HBP with 7.
• From March 4 through March 25, Saint Louis recorded 13 straight victories, a program-best win streak.

ACROSS THE DIAMOND

Southeast Missouri State

The last time the Billikens played the Redhawks, SLU scored a school record 22 runs. They also drew a record seven hit-by-pitches. SEMO is lead by Trenton Moses. Moses is on a 65-game on base streak. He leads the nation in on-base percentage, home runs and slugging percentage.

SIU Edwardsville

The Billikens will play the Cougars at GCS Ballpark in Sauget, Ill. for the rubber game of the series. SIUE defeated SLU in the last contest on April 25. The Billikens won in Edwardsville on April 11. The Cougars own the all-time series with a 39-24 record.

St. Bonaventure

The Bonnies sit in 10th place in the A-10 with a 6-9 conference mark. They are led offensively by Billy Urban. He is second in the conference with a .370 batting average. He has also hit 12 doubles this season.

A-10 PLAYOFF PICTURE

The Billikens sit in fifth in the A-10 with an 11-7 conference record. The top six teams will make the conference tournament at Fordham. Saint Louis has two conference series remaining: St. Bonaventure (10th, 6-9) and defending champion Charlotte (ninth, 8-9).

SENIOR NIGHT
The Sunday, May 6 contest against St. Bonaventure will be Senior Night. Saint Louis Athletics and Billiken Baseball will honor the team's senior with a ceremony recognizing the student-athletes and their achievements.

COMMANDING THE ZONE

The Billikens pitching staff leads the Atlantic 10 in walks allowed (100) and is second in strikeouts (301). The only team to have more strikeouts in the A-10 is La Salle. Last weekend the Bills struck out 21 to La Salle’s 19.

SHUTTING THE DOOR

At the end of the game, Travis Parker has thrown 27.2 innings over 20 appearances, notching seven saves. He has also struck out 26 and has not allowed an earned run this season. Parker has now gone 30.1 innings without allowing an earned run, dating back to last season.

JUNIORS LEAD THE WAY

The junior quad of Alex Kelly, Steve Fernandez, and Grant Nelson have started in all 43 games for Saint Louis this season. The trio forms the heart of the SLU lineup and are among the leaders in every category for the Bills. Kelly leads the team in average, slugging percentage, runs scored and home runs. Fernandez is the team leader in RBIs. Nelson has a team-best 11 doubles.

WALK LIKE A BILLIKEN

The Billikens own a .386 on-base percentage this season, best in the A-10. Their 198 walks also leads the A-10. Senior Marco DiRoma leads the team with 24 free passes, seventh in the conference. Junior Mike Levine is second in the A-10 with 15 hit by pitches. The Billikens have finished in the A-10 top three in walks in every season of head coach Darin Hendrickson’s tenure

SEASON OF THE STREAK

Saint Louis has had streaks of all varieties this season. Senior Marco DiRoma has had the longest hitting streak of the year at eight games. He also recorded a 19-game on base streak this year. Earlier this season, the Bills rattled off 13 consecutive wins, a SLU record winning streak. Junior Alex Alemann had a 27.2 inning streak without allowing an earned run. Senior Travis Parker is currently on a similar streak of 30.1 innings. Grant Nelson is in the midst of a 16 game on base streak.

SURPRISE STEAL

Senior Marco DiRoma swiped three bags against North Dakota on March 9, falling one steal short of the Billiken single game record. The former catcher, current DH, had not attempted a single steal in his SLU career prior to 2012. This season, he has a team-leading 10 thefts.

NATIONAL RESPECT

The Billikens were ranked 30th in the Mar. 26 Collegiate Baseball Newspaper to earn the first national ranking in school history. The Bills have made the NCAA postseason tournament three times, but have never earned a spot in any of the national polls.

ALEMANN NAMED A-10 PITCHER OF THE WEEK

Junior RHP Alex Alemann earned Atlantic 10 Pitcher of the Week honors for his efforts in the series opener against Northern Illinois. It is the second time he has been honored. Alemann also received accolades on Mar. 5 for his game against St. Mary’s College.

KELLY EARNS CONFERENCE HONOR

Junior Alex Kelly won Atlantic 10 Player of the Week on Feb. 27 for his series against Mount St. Mary’s. In the four-game series, the Fort Collins, Colo., native ripped his second home run of the season, while maintaining a .583 average. He also crossed the plate eight times, while adding a double and a RBI.

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