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Damian Rivera
Courtesy: Saint Louis Athletics

Billikens Stay Alive Behind Rivera, Balanced Offense

Courtesy: Saint Louis Athletics
          Release: 05/22/2014
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ST. LOUIS – Left-hander Damian Rivera registered his first collegiate complete game, and six different Saint Louis players had two hits in the Billikens’ 12-2 victory over Fordham in an Atlantic 10 Conference Championship elimination game Thursday evening at the Billiken Sports Center.

Top-seeded Saint Louis (33-20-1) stays alive in the double-elimination tournament and awaits the winner of Thursday night’s elimination contest between No. 2 Saint Joseph’s and No. 5 Richmond. The Bills will meet either the Hawks or the Spiders Friday at 3:30 p.m. (CT).

Fordham, the No. 7 seed, concludes its season with a 24-30 record.

After allowing the Rams a first-inning run, Rivera (6-4) tossed seven consecutive scoreless frames before yielding a ninth-inning solo home run to Rob McCunney. The redshirt junior struck out seven, scattered nine hits and walked only two.

The Billikens belted 15 hits, including two apiece from Danny Brennan, Mike Vigliarolo, Danny Murphy, Braxton Martinez, Michael Bozarth and Danny Mannion.

SLU – designated as the visitor – made it a 1-1 game in the top of the second inning when Bozarth doubled in Martinez, who had reached on an error.

The Bills went on top for good by plating two runs in the third. Murphy singled with two outs and scored on a double by Martinez, and Bozarth followed with an RBI single.

SLU tacked on a run in the fifth on an RBI single by Martinez. The Billikens increased their lead to 6-1 in the sixth as Vigliarolo followed Brennan’s double with a two-bagger of his own, and Murphy produced an RBI single.

Saint Louis made it a rout with four tallies in the seventh, highlighted by Brennan’s three-run blast, his fifth home run of the season. A.J. VanderVorste’s RBI single accounted for the other run.

The Billikens added more insurance in the ninth on Drew Curtis’ third homer of the year, a two-run shot.
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