ST. LOUIS - With a 4-0 win over the Northwestern Wildcats, Saint Louis has earned the first 40-win season in school history. The Billikens are now 40-17 overall. It is only the second time an A-10 member has won 40 games. The 2011 Charlotte squad won 43 games.
As a team, the 2012 Billikens have relied on some of the best pitching Saint Louis has ever seen. Freshman Nick Bates picks up the win in today's for his sixth victory of the season. He is now tied with Rick Gazzola for third-most wins by a Billiken freshman in SLU history. Additionally, the staff as a whole is only six strikeouts away from tying the school record. They are also second all-time in opponent batting average (.249) and earned run average (3.10).
In today's game, the Billikens scored first when Steve Fernandez crossed the plate on a Northwestern bobble at shortstop in the second. The Bills have had success when scoring early as Saint Louis is 25-3 when scoring first.
The Billikens added a run in the third inning on an Alex Kelly RBI single to bring the score to 2-0. The Wildcats threatened in the bottom half of the inning with a runner on second. A single up the middle sent the runner to third. He rounded the corner and headed for home. A laser from Jordan Hammerman in center pegged the runner at home to maintain the shutout.
Neither team scored until the ninth. Fernandez scored on a wild pitch and C.J. Rose crossed the plate on a Jerry Mancuso single. The final tally came to 4-0 in favor of SLU.
The shutout was Saint Louis' seventh of the season. The Billiken's have only been shut out once this year.
The Bills will now travel to the Bronx to compete in the A-10 conference tournament, hosted by Fordham. The last time Saint Louis made the conference tournament was 2010, when the Billikens emerged as conference champions. Saint Louis has a first round bye, but will play the winner of Richmond vs. Massachusetts. The Bills' first game will be on Thursday, May 24th at 11:00 a.m.