PORT CHARLOTTE, FLA. - Saint Louis senior RHP Alex Alemann won the 23rd game of his career in the Billikens' 6-2 win over Western Michigan. That sets a new standard in career victories for pitchers. He tops Billiken great Dave Sever's mark of 22. With the win, Saint Louis rises to 6-2 overall.
Alemann has had a terrific career at SLU. In the Billiken record book, he is fifth in innings pitched, seventh in strikeouts and fourth in career ERA. In 2010, as a freshman, he tied the school's single season wins record with nine victories.
In today's contest, the Billikens scored early and often, never trailing in the contest. Alex Kelly drew a two-out walk in the first and later advanced to third on a single from Braxton Martinez in the next at bat. A throwing error by the shortstop in the following appearance allowed Kelly to score and put the Bills on the board early, 1-0. However, the Broncos tied the game in the bottom of the inning to keep the score at 1-1 through the first.
In the next inning, sloppy defense helped the Billikens build a lead. The Bills had runners at first and second with one away, Alec Solé hit a grounder to second base. The Broncos fielder hurried the throw and the ball sailed into center field. The runner on first, Danny Brennan, went for third on the error. The left fielder's throw also carried and Brennan slid safely into third. Jordan Hammerman scored on the crazy play. Brennan later scored on a popup in foul territory from Mike Levine. Saint Louis led 3-1 with two innings in the books.
Neither team could score until the sixth, when the Billikens added to their lead with Mike Vigliarolo scoring on a wild pitch, bringing the score to 4-1 SLU.
The Broncos' leadoff man singled through the left side to open the seventh and end Alemann's historic day. He finished with six innings pitched and five strikeouts. With Alemann out of the game, the Broncos attempted to mount a comeback. The next two batters reached base to load the bases with no outs. The next WMU hitter hit a sacrifice fly to center to score a run. A tough error for the Billikens reloaded the bases for the Broncos, and put the go-ahead run on first. The next WMU hitter hit a ground ball up the middle that looked to get through, but Solé came from nowhere to not only get the grounder, but to turn a double play and escape the jam.
Saint Louis added a few more insurance runs in the eighth. Martinez and Grant Nelson opened the frame with back-to-back singles. Then, sophomore Vigliarolo ripped a shot to right field, legging out the second triple of his career and scoring two runs. When the dust settled, SLU emerged with a 6-2 victory.
Vigliarolo and Martinez had great days at the plate. Vigliarolo was two-for-four with two RBIs and a run scored. Martinez went three-for-four with a run and a walk.
The Billikens will take the field again tomorrow with a double-header against Big Ten power Michigan. Game one against the Wolverines will begin at 10 a.m.