INDIANAPOLIS, IND. – Late inning heroics from the Saint Louis 1B Mike Vigliarolo gave the Billikens a 7-5 win over Atlantic 10 foe Butler. Vigliarolo celebrated his birthday with a clutch performance in the ninth inning and sealed the three-game sweep of Butler.
The Bills are now 22-10 overall and 8-1 in conference action. Senior LHP Jon Levin picks up the win in relief, throwing 1.1 innings. Levin’s only baserunner reached via error.
Butler opened the scoring with three runs in the third and two runs in the fourth to give SLU a tough 5-0 deficit through the first four innings. It was the first time Butler gained the lead in the series.
In the fifth, the Billikens whittled away at the lead with an RBI double from Michael Bozarth to cut the lead to 5-2 in the fifth.
Saint Louis came to life in the eighth to make a run at the Bulldog lead. Bozarth led off with a five-pitch walk. In the next at bat, Alex Kelly hit a tough ball to short. Butler was unable to make a play and the Billikens had two runners on with no outs. A wild pitch advanced Kelly and Bozarth to scoring position with DH Grant Nelson at the plate. Nelson ripped a shot up the middle that hit the rubber and popped up. Bozarth scored on the play to bring the score to 5-3. Later in the inning, Jordan Hammerman lifted a fly ball to center field, just deep enough to score Kelly and bring the tally to 5-4. With two outs and the tying run at third, senior Mike Levine ripped a single through the left side to tie the game at five with an inning to play.
In the ninth, the Billikens loaded the bases with two outs and Vigliarolo at the dish. The sophomore came through with a line drive just outside of the reach of the Butler second baseman to score two runs. The hit gave Saint Louis its first lead of the day, 7-5.
Levin, who threw a one-pitch out to escape the eighth, returned to the hill in the ninth. He shut down the 2-3-4-5 hitters in the Butler lineup to secure his first win of the season.
Despite a rocky start, RHP Clay Smith turned in a great performance. He went 7.2 innings with five strikeouts, two walks and two earned runs.
The Billikens return to the Billiken Sports Center on Tuesday, April 9 to take on SIUE. The game will be the first of a nine-game home-stand for Saint Louis. Last week, the Bills topped SIUE in Edwardsville, 14-5.