Rose Powers Billikens to 11-4 Win
Courtesy: Saint Louis Athletics

TULSA, Okla. - The baseball Billikens defeated Oral Roberts, 11-4, to open the 2013 season with a 2-0 record. Senior DH C.J. Rose lead the way, going three-for-four with a grand slam. Junior RHP Clay Smith picks up the win, throwing five innings with three strikeouts and two walks.

"A great game by our offense," head coach Darin Hendrickson said. "We hit the ball hard and kept pressure on them all day. Smith and our freshmen relievers battled on the mound to really limit the damage. Very happy with our effort. To win two games against a team like Oral Roberts is impressive."

There was no score until the third inning. With two outs and the bases loaded, sophomore shortstop Alec Solé drove in Rose to put the Bills up 1-0. Senior right fielder Alex Kelly doubled down the left field line in the next at bat to drive in two more and bring the lead to 3-0. In the bottom of the frame, the Golden Eagles responded with two runs of their own for a score of 3-2 through three innings.

In the fifth, the Billikens piled it on, putting six runs on the board. Freshman third basemen Braxton Martinez and senior left fielder Jordan Hammerman drew bases loaded walks to score the first two runs of the inning. Oral Roberts then made a pitching change with Rose at the plate. He drew the count full, and was rewarded with a pitch he could handle and he put it into the bleachers for a grand slam. ORU added a run of their own in the bottom of the fifth, but SLU carried a 9-3 lead through five.

Oral Roberts scored their final run in the seventh. The Billikens added two more in the ninth: one on a Mike Vigliarolo sacrifice fly, and Kelly scored the other on an ORU error.

The final game of the three-game series will be played tomorrow at noon. Sophomore RHP Nick Bates will take the hill for Saint Louis.