TULSA, Okla. - Senior RHP Alex Alemann tied the Saint Louis all-time win record in the Billikens to a 4-2 win over Oral Roberts in their season opener. Alemann picks up his 22nd win to tie Dave Sever at the top of the career charts. Sophomore RHP James Norwood earned the save. This win marks the first time the Billikens have defeated the Golden Eagles since 1973.
"This is a big win for our program," head baseball coach Darin Hendrickson said. "Oral Roberts was a regional finalist last year and they had won the Summit League 15 years in a row. We can really pitch well and that showed today."
The game opened up poorly for SLU with the Bills going down in order in the top of the first. In the bottom half of the frame, Alemann was dealing, recording two outs in four pitches. However, ORU's All-American Jose Trevino ripped a home run in the first to put Oral Roberts up 1-0.
The bats were quiet until the sixth. Senior second baseman Mike Levine reached on an error to lead off the inning and advanced to second on the throw. Three batters later, sophomore Mike Vigliarolo came to the plate with a runner on second and two away. He took the first pitch he saw and put it over the wall in left center. Through six innings, the Bills carried a 2-1 lead.
Saint Louis added another run in the eighth on an error by ORU, scoring Levine from second. The fourth and final run came in the top of the ninth on a Grant Nelson solo home run to left.
In the bottom of the frame, the Golden Eagles put up a scare. The leadoff hitter hit a double off Norwood. He later advanced to third when the next two hitters reached via errors. However, Norwood responded by striking out Trevino and the ORU cleanup hitter to give him two outs. The next batter drew a walk to score a run and bring the score to 4-2 SLU. The final ORU hitter battled the count full before eventually fouling out to third base.
Aleman earns the win after going six innings with five hits, three walks and three strikeouts. Norwood gets the first save of the season after hurling three innings without allowing an earned run. He had five strikeouts, two walks and two hits.
Saint Louis and Oral Roberts will play game two tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. in Tulsa, Okla.