Bounce-Back Billikens Make it Five in a Row
ST. LOUIS - Saint Louis baseball won their fifth game in a row in dramatic fashion, scoring five runs in the ninth inning to drop Charlotte, 7-5. Saint Louis is 35-15 overall and 15-7 in Atlantic 10 action. Jim Foster gets the win and is now 2-0 on the year.
The 49ers scored three runs in the second inning. A two-run triple followed by a ground out to second scored the runs in the frame. A sacrifice fly in the fourth led to a 4-0 Saint Louis deficit through four innings of play.
In the fifth, junior Grant Nelson blasted a two-run homer over the left field fence. It was his second home run on the year, and his second in as many games. The long ball extended Nelson's on base streak to 23 games.
Charlotte added another run in the eighth before the ninth-inning theatrics.
Trailing 5-2, the Billikens had senior Jerry Mancuso at the plate. The first pitch he saw, he ripped to center field. The very next pitch, junior Alex Kelly sent down the right field line. The third pitch of the inning was a single through the left side from Steve Fernandez. Three pitches, three singles for Saint Louis. Mike Vigliarolo hit a grounder to the right side that was picked up by the 49ers to get him at first. However, Mancuso scored on the play while Kelly and pinch-runner Danny Brennan moved to second and third, respectively. Nelson walked to load the bases and bring senior Connor Gandossy to the plate with two outs and the go-ahead run at first. Gandossy took the first pitch into left field to score two runs and tie the game at five. Freshman Alec Sole drew a walk to reload the bases. Junior Mike Levine hit a grounder to short in the next at bat. The 49er shortstop misplayed the ball and allowed Jordan Hammerman (pinch-running for Nelson) to score the go-ahead on the error. The Bills kept it going with a bases-loaded walk from Mancuso to score SLU's fifth run of the inning. Entering the bottom of the ninth, the Billikens carried a 7-5 lead.
Senior Travis Parker entered the game in the ninth and set Charlotte down in order for his 10th save of the season. He also extended his streak to 35.1 innings without an earned run.
Game two of the series will begin tomorrow at noon in Charlotte. Junior Alex Alemann will take on senior Joe Yermal.