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Baseball falls under .500 in Atlantic 10 play

Baseball falls under .500 in Atlantic 10 play

SLU baseball’s red-hot form has sputtered, especially in Atlantic 10 conference play. The Billikens lost two games out of two against Rhode Island. However, SLU did manage to rebound against Eastern Illinois University with a blowout victory.

SLU’s first game against the Rhode Island Rams was cancelled due to weather concerns. The second scheduled game, and the first game that was actually played, saw pitcher Ryan Lefner take the loss to move to a 0-2 record on the season. The Billikens lost that game by a score of 6-4. Meanwhile, the second game that was played saw sophomore pitcher Jackson Wark take the loss, to move to a 4-2 record. SLU was shut out completely in that game, and lost 6-0.

Over the two games, junior shortstop Alex King went 3-for-7, good for a stellar .429 batting average. SLU’s team as a whole showed a penchant for extra-base power, managing a total of four doubles over the two games. In game two, freshman catcher Ryan Hernandez entered as a pinch hitter. He wasted no time getting on base, smacking the first pitch he saw for a single. He quickly advanced, stealing second base. The stolen base makes him 2-for-2 in steal attempts on the season.

However, Hernandez wasn’t the only freshman to show some promise despite the tough losses. Freshman pitcher Josh Garner entered in relief in the second game after Wark had a tough outing. Garner went 5.1 innings, allowing only three hits, no walks, and earning six strikeouts. He held opposing batters to a very low .167 batting average. In the first game, sophomore Miller Hogan was the starting pitcher, and had a good outing. He recorded nine strikeouts in six innings of solid pitching.

However, Hernandez wasn’t the only freshman to show some promise despite the tough losses. Freshman pitcher Josh Garner entered in relief in the second game after Wark had a tough outing. Garner went 5.1 innings, allowing only three hits, no walks, and earning six strikeouts. He held opposing batters to a very low .167 batting average. In the first game, sophomore Miller Hogan was the starting pitcher, and had a good outing. He recorded nine strikeouts in six innings of solid pitching.

Saint Louis baseball then turned around a string of three straight losses, stretching back to a loss against Illinois State. The Billikens hammered Eastern Illinois for 12 runs while only allowing in one. The game marked the fifth time this season that SLU has managed to score more than ten runs.

Freshman pitcher Garrett Acton earned his first collegiate win and is now 1-0 on the season after a superb performance on the mound. Acton threw four scoreless innings of four-hit ball. He struck out six batters, scattered throughout his four innings, and showcased good control by allowing no walks.

SLU scored once in the first inning, but the real breakthrough came in the bottom of the third inning, when SLU erupted for four runs on five hits after falling to two outs. Part of that offensive explosion came from junior catcher James Morisano and senior pitcher/designated hitter Devin Mahoney, who went of for back-to-back home runs. Their round-trippers marked the first time this season the Billikens have gone back-to-back and the fourth time SLU has hit multiple home runs in a game.

Meanwhile, many Billikens were efficient at getting on base, as well. Redshirt senior outfielder Trent Leimkuehler went 3-for-5 with a pair of doubles, three runs scored, and a RBI. The performance marked his fifth three-hit game this season and the fourth time this year he has hit multiple doubles in a game.

King was also 3-for-5, with one triple and two singles. He had two runs scored and a RBI. Mahoney was the third Billiken to post the .600 batting average in the game with a 3-for-5 performance, adding a double and a single to the homer. He had two runs scored and a RBI in the game.

While Acton had a strong pitching performance, the Billikens still used several pitchers in relief to finish off the game. The Billikens were strong overall while pitching, with 11 total strikeouts and only one walk issued in the nine innings of the game.

More weather concerns have caused the match on Wednesday, April 5 against Bradley in Peoria, Ill. to be cancelled. However, the Billikens may just come to appreciate the extra rest, as they need to resuscitate their floundering A-10 performances. They will welcome Fordham to the Billiken Sports Center aiming to regain their footing, with the first game of the three-game series set for Friday at 6 p.m. A sweep of Fordham would put SLU back above .500 in the Atlantic 10.

 

 

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