ST. LOUIS - Junior first baseman Mike Vigliarolo blasted a three-run home run in the sixth inning to lead Saint Louis over Duke, 3-2. The homer was the second of the season for SLU, both hit by Vigliarolo.With the win, the Billikens are 2-3 overall. James Norwood (1-0) gets the win and Matt Eckelman gets his second save of the season.
The win is also the 200th win for head coach Darin Hendrickson at Saint Louis. He is second all-time in Billiken victories, behind Bob Hughes (361 wins at Saint Louis). In his seven seasons at SLU, Hendrickson owns a record of 200-151 (.570 win percentage).
The Blue Devils scored in the first and fifth innings to gain a 2-0 lead over SLU.
In the sixth, freshman Michael Cusenza led off for the Bills and reached on a Duke error. In the next at bat, Michael Bozarth ripped a single to left field to put runners at first and second with no outs. Danny Brennan hit a ball to deep center to advance the runners to second and third with one out. Braxton Martinez lifted a ball to right field, but not deep enough to score Cusenza from third. With two outs and the tying run at second, Vigliarolo strode to the plate. He worked the count up to 3-1 and was rewarded with a pitch he placed over the fence in left center.
Duke threatened in the bottom of the eighth, putting runners at the corners with two outs. Eckelman entered and ended the inning with a flyout to right.
The Blue Devils did not go quietly in the ninth, advancing the tying run all the way to third. Eckelman delivered in the clutch again, inducing a fly to center.
In addition to Vigliarolo's heroics, other Billikens had strong offensive days. Danny Murphy and Danny Mannion had good days at the plate, with Murphy going 2-4 with a steal and Mannion going 2-3 with a double.
The Bills wrap up the Blue Devil Classic tomorrow at 10 a.m. (CT) against La Salle. Saint Louis has defeated La Salle in each of the last five meetings between the two teams. Southpaw Josh Moore will get the start for SLU against the Explorers.