Billikens Split Doubleheader and Win Series
Courtesy: Saint Louis Athletics

ST. LOUIS - The Saint Louis baseball team split its doubleheader against Memphis and won the three-game series 2-1. The Bills dropped the early game in extra innings, 9-7 (10 innings), but rallied in game two for a 7-5 win. The Billikens are now 10-8 overall this season.

In game one, Saint Louis jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the third, but  Memphis responded with two runs in the top of the fourth and the tied the game 3-3 in the top of the sixth. The Billikens regained the lead in the bottom of the fourth with two runs, drawing the score to 5-3. Memphis took the lead for the first time in the seventh on the heels of a three-run home run. The Tigers added another run in the seventh to take a 7-5 lead. 

In the bottom of the ninth, SLU entered facing a two-run deficit. Michael Bozarth jump started the offense with a one-out double down the left field line. Alec Solé responded with another double down the left field line, scoring Bozarth. The next batter, Mike Vigliarolo ripped a single to right, Solé rounded third and attempted to score, but was cut short at the plate on a close call. However, Vigliarolo advanced to second on the throw home. Jeremy Phillips replaced Vigliarolo as a pinch runner, representing the tying run. Braxton Martinez hit a sharp grounder to shortstop, and reached on a fielding error by Memphis. Phillips advanced to third on the play. With two outs and the tying run at third, Danny Murphy strode to the plate. Murphy delivered in the clutch, blasting a double off the wall in right field. Phillips scored and tied the game at seven and sent the Billikens to extra innings for only the second time this season. 

A two-run double in the extra frame spelled defeat for the Billikens.

The Bills rebounded in game two, scoring three runs in the bottom of the first. Memphis scored one in the top of the second, but Saint Louis scored a run in both the second and third innings, taking a 5-1 lead through three innings. 

The Billikens ran into some trouble in the seventh. The Tigers scored four runs in the top of the frame, tying the game at five. In the bottom of the inning, Vigliarolo led off. He kept swinging a hot bat, sending a single through the left side. He was followed by Martinez, who ripped a single through the right side. Murphy was up next, lifting a fly ball to deep right center, allowing Vigliarolo to advance to third. Colton Frabasilio took his turn at the plate, hitting a single down the first base line, scoring Vigliarolo and advancing Martinez to third. A wild pitch scored Martinez for the Billikens' seventh run of the game. 

Sam Nafziger got the win in game two, throwing 2.1 scoreless innings in relief without allowing a baserunner and striking out two. It was his first collegiate victory.

Offensively, the duo of Solé and Vigliarolo paced the SLU lineup. Solé was 3-5 with a double, a run and two RBI in game one and 2-5 with a run scored in game two. Vigliarolo was a tough out all weekend. In game one, he was 3-5 with a double, a run and an RBI. In game two, Vigliarolo went 3-4 with a double, an RBI, three runs and a stolen base. On the series, he was 8-14 (.571 average) with five runs scored, three doubles, three RBI and a steal. Vigliarolo slugged .786 with a .571 on-base percentage, leading SLU in both categories. 

The Billikens return to action on Tuesday, March 18 when they travel to Cape Girardeau, Mo. for a game against in-state rival Southeast Missouri State. First pitch is slated for 3 p.m.