Late-Inning Heroics Propel Billikens over Bonnies
ST. LOUIS - Junior OF Alex Kelly ripped a two-run home run in the bottom of the eighth inning to defeat the St. Bonaventure Bonnies, 5-4. The Billikens are now 31-15 overall and two wins away from matching the all-time wins standard. In A-10 play, the Bills are 12-7 and are fighting for a spot in the postseason tournament.
Saint Louis scored first in an eventful first inning. In the bottom of the frame, the Bills loaded the bases with one out and Mike Vigliarolo at the plate. Vigliarolo ripped a ball down the third base line, however Bonnie third basemen Billy Urban gloved it and stepped on third for the force. His throw over to first was off-line and ended up rolling into left field. Two runs scored and Vigliarolo ended up on third. St. Bonaventure head coach Larry Sudbrook thought that senior Jerry Mancuso never touched third base on his way home. He argued the call and was ejected from the contest.
After the first inning of play, SLU scored two unearned runs and SBU was down a head coach. More activity was forthcoming.
The Bonnies tied the game in the fourth with two runs of their own. They grabbed the lead in the fifth on an RBI single up the middle. Then, in the seventh, scored an insurance run to bring the score to 4-2 into the eighth inning.
In the eighth, freshman Alec Sole poked a one-out single through the right side to get the offense started. Junior Mike Levine moved him over to third with his third single of the game. Mancuso scored Sole with a sacrifice fly to center. Then, with the tying run at first and two away, Kelly strode to the plate, representing the winning run. The first pitch of the at bat was swung at and uncorked over the left field wall for the game-winning two-run blast. The long ball was Kelly's fifth on the year. He has now hit a homer in consecutive Friday contests.
The Billikens tallied 12 hits in the contest, but were hitting the ball hard all day. Bonnie starter Jordan Crane threw the entire game, but did not record a strikeout. Senior Zack Smith (2-0) picks up the win for the Billikens and Travis Parker got the save, his ninth of the year.
Game two will be tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. at the Billiken Sports Center. Junior Alex Alemann will start for Saint Louis. St. Bonaventure will go with LHP Eddie Gray.