ST. LOUIS - The Saint Louis Billikens fell to 26-14 with a 3-1 loss to Southern Illinois Edwardsville. The Bills tallied eight hits, but stranded 11 runners on base. Sophomore Damian Rivera picks up the loss, despite not allowing an earned run. He is now 3-5 on the year.
All of the game's scoring was done in the second inning. The Cougars scored three runs in the top half of the frame. An error by Grant Nelson gave SIUE the opportunity to keep hitting with two outs. The Cougars responded with a single followed by back-to-back doubles, scoring three.
Heading to the bottom of the frame with a 3-0 deficit, freshman Mike Vigliarolo ripped a double down the left field line. Nelson advanced him to third with a hopper over the third basemen's head. Junior C.J. Rose was hit by a pitch to load the bases with one out. Freshman Alec Sole tried to check his swing on the first pitch, but made contact. The ball dribbled to the pitcher, who forced Vigliarolo at home. Sole reached first safely to keep the bases loaded for junior Mike Levine. He took a fastball off the shoulder to drive in the Bills' only run of the contest.
Despite the loss, the Saint Louis pitching staff had a good day on the mound. Eight pitchers threw in today's game without allowing an earned run. As a staff, the Billikens notched seven strikeouts with only one walk. Senior Travis Parker extended his scoreless streak to 29.1 innings.
Vigliarolo and Nelson have now reached base safely in 13 consecutive contests.
The 2012 series between the two squads is now 1-1. The rubber match will be held at GCS Ballpark on May 3 at 6:00 p.m. Saint Louis will serve as the home team at the neutral site.
The Billikens will head to Philadelphia, Pa. this weekend to play a three-game series against La Salle. The Bills have an 8-7 record in conference play, while LaSalle sits at 4-8. Saint Louis is in seventh place in the Atlantic 10. The top six teams in conference action make the conference tournament. Richmond holds the sixth slot with a 7-5 record.