ST. LOUIS - Juniors Steve Fernandez (3-5, 3 RBI, 2B, R) and Grant Nelson (3-5, RBI, R, 3B) powered the Saint Louis Billikens to a 7-4 victory over the Western Illinois Leathernecks. The win moves the Bills to 16-5 on the year and marks the team's tenth consecutive win. This ties the SLU all-time mark set in 1966.
During the win streak, the Bills are averaging 8.2 runs while holding the opposition to 2.7. The streak was started on Mar. 4, with a 6-2 win over Winthrop. Over that span, the Billikens also broke the school records for runs in a contest and HBP drawn in a contest, while tying the marks for RBIs in a contest and individual at-bats in a single game.
Today's game was give-and-take with both teams trading runs for seven innings. Then, in the eighth, with the Billikens down 4-3, the heart of the order started the game-winning rally. Junior Alex Kelly led off the inning with a walk and later advanced to second on a wild pitch. Fernandez drove him in with an RBI double, tying the ball game. Freshman Mike Vigliarolo was able to drive the ball deep enough to left field to advance Fernandez to third. Nelson drove Fernandez in with a one-out triple and later scored on a wild pitch. Junior C.J. Rose added a two-out RBI double to bring the score to 7-4, where it remained.
Sophomore Damian Rivera got the start, throwing four innings and allowing two runs on two hits, two walks and three strikeouts. Junior Jon Levin picks up his second win after hurling a scoreless inning in relief, striking out one and walking one. Senior Travis Parker picks up his fourth save of the season.
This weekend, Saint Louis will open conference play when Atlantic 10 foe Temple comes to the Billiken Sports Center. Games will be at 6 p.m. on Friday, 1 p.m. on Saturday and Noon on Sunday.