SAINT LOUIS – [BOX SCORE] Saint Louis University Baseball needed just two big innings to get back in the win column against Chicago State. The Billikens hung seven runs on the Cougars in the second and third innings combined to grab a 7-2 victory in Friday’s home opener.
Saint Louis (2-7) snapped a six-game losing streak with the victory, thanks in large part to a big performance by Miller Hogan and three shutout innings by the Billiken bullpen.
Hogan took the ball in game one of the series and pitched very well through six innings. The junior tossed 103 pitches in his outing on Friday and allowed just two runs on six hits as he struck-out seven and walked one.
The first of the two runs the Billiken righty allowed was in the first inning as the Cougars jumped-out to an early lead. A trio of singles helped the team from Chicago to its first run before a ground out and a strike out ended the threat and mitigated the damage.
Saint Louis was silent on the scoreboard in the first, but made-up for it in the second inning.
Hogan made quick work of the Cougars in the top half as the Billiken starting pitcher struck-out two and set the stage for a big inning in the bottom half. Carter Hanford recorded the first single of the game for Saint Louis with one out and made it to second thanks to a wild pitch by Chicago State starter Edward Kang. Nick Reeser followed with a single before back-to-back walks tied the game and left the bases loaded with two away.
Alex King came to the plate and delivered as he continued to hit the ball well. The Billiken shortstop laced a double down the left field line, which scored both Reeser and Cole Dubet, and put the home team up 3-1.
The Billikens added more insurance runs in the third inning. James Morisano reached after being plunked by a Robert Gutierrez pitch, which allowed Hanford to come-up big again.
The Billiken third baseman doubled down the right field line on an 0-2 pitch to put runners at the corners with just one out. A wild pitch allowed the Billiken backstop to score before freshman Ben Livorsi recorded the first RBI of the inning on a shot up the middle, and extended the lead to 5-1.
Aaron Case picked-up a pair of RBI on a single through the hole at short as the Billikens looked to the pitchers to hold the lead.
Jake Garella continued to be the hottest hitter in the Billiken lineup on Friday. The right fielder went 2-5 in the game and boosted his average to .351. Hanford had his best day of the season at the plate as the third baseman went 2-4 with a walk and two runs scored.
The Billikens will play game two of the series on Saturday at 1:00 p.m. as Jackson Wark will take the ball for Saint Louis.