ST. LOUIS - The Billiken baseball team traded wins with the South Dakota State Jackrabbits today at the Billiken Sports Center. Saint Louis won the first game 11-6, but SDSU grabbed the final meeting 3-5. The Bills are now 12-9 on the season.
The first game of the day was owned by the Jacks in the early going. Through four innings of play, SDSU owned a 6-4 lead over Saint Louis. However, the Billiken offense plated five runs in the bottom of the fifth. Mike Levine drew a bases loaded walk to score the first run of the inning. Then sophomore Alec Solé hit a double to score three more runs. Solé scored in the next at bat on a Michael Bozarth single.
After the fifth, the Billikens expanded their lead with two more runs in the sixth. Freshman Jake Henson got an RBI on a bases-loaded walk, and Solé hit a sacrifice fly to bring the final tally to 11-6.
Freshman Matt Eckelman had a great outing in relief. He threw 5.0 IP, with only two hits, two walks and five strikeouts. He picked up the win for his second victory of the season. On the year, Eckelman is 2-0 with a 0.61 ERA in 14.2 innings. He has held batters to a .176 average.
In game two, the two squads battled to a 2-2 tie through seven innings. In the top of the eighth, the Jackrabbits plated two runs to take a 4-2 lead. However, in the bottom of the frame, the Billikens led off with three consecutive singles to load the bases with no outs. Levine managed to score one with a sacrifice fly to left, but that was the extent of the damage and SDSU carried a 4-3 lead to the final inning.
South Dakota scored one more run in the ninth for a 5-3 lead. The Billikens were able to bring the winning run to the plate twice in the bottom of the ninth, but could not capitalize.
Next up for Saint Louis is Southeast Missouri State on Tuesday, March 19. First pitch is slated for 3:00 p.m. at the Billiken Sports Center.