ST. LOUIS - The Billikens captured the Saint Joseph's series two games to one with an 11-10 win this afternoon. Saint Louis rises to 33-17 overall and 15-6 in the Atlantic 10 Conference. Freshman RHP Matt Eckelman picks up his second win in as many games to rise to 6-0 on the year. He has now tied Nick Bates for the third-most wins in a freshman season at Saint Louis.
The final game of the series was an offensive explosion for both squads. The Hawks jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the first, but SLU took the lead in the second on a Jordan Hammerman single up the middle that brought the score to 3-2 through two innings.
In the third, Saint Joseph's scored three runs in the top of the inning and SLU answered with two runs in the bottom half.
Saint Joseph's tied the game in the top of the seventh, on an RBI single through the left side. However, the Billiken bats put together another three run inning in the bottom of the seventh. Michael Bozarth hit a sacrifice fly and Kelly ripped a two-run double to bring the SLU lead to 11-8.
The Hawks added runs in both the eighth and ninth, but Eckelman closed the door in the ninth to seal the win. It is the first time the Billikens have won a series against Saint Joseph's under Darin Hendrickson.
Kelly, C.J. Rose and Braxton Martinez each had three hits in the contest. Kelly was three-for-four with three RBIs, a walk and a double. Rose went three-for-five with two runs scored and two RBIs. Martinez was three-for-five with two runs scored. As a team, the Billikens collected 18 hits, the most for SLU this season.
Saint Louis will take on Southern Illinois - Carbondale on Tuesday, May 14 for its next contest. First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. at GCS Ballpark in Sauget, Ill.