BRONX, N.Y. – Saint Louis senior right-hander Connor Lehmann set a school and Atlantic 10 Championship game record with 19 strikeouts, but Rhode Island scored twice in the bottom of the 10th for a walk-off, 2-1 victory over Saint Louis in an elimination game at the A-10 Baseball Championship.
Lehmann's 19 Ks bettered the previous school record of 16, set by Mike Ruhman vs. Westminster in 1996.
Lehmann struck out at least one Ram in all but one inning. During a stretch from the sixth through ninth innings, 11 of the 12 URI outs came via a Lehmann strikeout. He struck out the side on four occasions.
Lehmann carried a no-hitter into the sixth, when the Rams' Kevin Heiss stroked a two-out single. But Lehmann got the next batter to strike out to limit any damage.
Meanwhile, Rhode Island hurler Tyler Wilson was impressive also to make up the other half of the pitcher's duel. He finished with 14 strikeouts and went the distance of 10 innings for the win.
The first runs of the game were scored in the 10th. The Billikens went up 1-0 in the top half of the frame. Shane Benes singled to left, then ended up on third following a stolen base and an error. With two outs, Kevin Jordan sent one back up the middle that Wilson kicked. The second baseman pounced on it but his throw was late and off the mark, allowing Benes to score to put SLU on the board.
In the bottom of the 10th, the Rams got a base runner on an infield single, then did their damage with two outs. An intentional walk put runners on the corners for pinch hitter Sonny Ulliana, who poked a base hit down the right field line to score both runners, allowing Rhody to advance in dramatic fashion.
The Billikens conclude their season with a 25-30 record. Rhode Island improves to 24-27 with the win.