ST. LOUIS - Saint Louis took game two of a three-game series against the Rhode Island Rams, 3-2. Nick Bates (3-0) earned the win, the 17th of his career. Bates is now fourth all-time at SLU in career pitching victories. Matt Eckelman gets the three-inning save, his sixth save of the season. Eckelman also is rising up the record books and is now tied for second on the all-time saves list with 10. He also ties Marco Mejia for third on the single season saves list.
The Billikens are now 13-8 overall and 2-0 in Atlantic 10 action.
Rhode Island scored the first run of the game in the bottom of the second to put the Bills in an early 1-0 hole.
In the top of the third, Michael Bozarth sparked the offense drawing a one-out hit by pitch. He then stole second to move into scoring position. Bozarth advanced the third on a passed ball. He scored on the next at bat on a fielding error by URI. The following batter, Braxton Martinez, ripped a triple to left center, scoring Mike Vigliarolo from first and giving SLU a 2-1 lead.
Saint Louis added an insurance run in the fifth when Alec Solé scored on an RBI groundout from Martinez.
The Rams fought back in the later innings. Rhode Island scored a run in the eighth to cut the SLU lead to one. In the ninth, URI advanced the tying run to third with one out, but Eckelman drew a popup and struck out the last batter to strand the runner at third.
Bozarth and Solé drove the Billiken offense. Bozarth was 2-3 with two hit-by-pitches and a run scored. Solé was 2-4 with a run scored and a double.
The Billikens and Rams wrap up the series tomorrow, March 23 at 11 a.m. (CT). Sophomore Josh Moore will get the start for SLU.