Baseball 2-for-3 in URI series

The Billikens began A-10 play against Rhode Island on Friday, March 20, at the Billiken Sports Center. Rhode Island came out strong, scoring three runs off a home run in the first inning. SLU made a comeback in the third, scoring once off a throwing error and again on an RBI double by senior first baseman Mike Vigliarolo.

Junior outfielder Michael Bozarth gave the Billikens the lead in the fifth with his first two-run round-tripper of the year.

SLU took a 5-3 lead in the sixth after junior infielder Josh Bunselmeyer hit one into deep left field. In the eighth, Bozarth drove in a run on an RBI double and later scored on a groundout that sealed the 8-3 victory.

Redshirt senior Clay Smith had a solid game on the mound, pitching eight innings, allowing seven hits and three runs, all of which were earned. He also struck out a career-high 10 batters, four of which were back-to-back after his 100th pitch, and allowed three walks.

Bozarth went 3-for-4 with three runs scored, three RBIs, a double and a home run. He is also now tied for 15th all-time in steals at SLU after stealing his eighth base of the season (the 32nd of his career).

SLU played Rhode Island again on Saturday, March 21. The game started off much like the first, with Rhode Island scoring three runs in the top of the first. The Billikens responded by tying the game with an RBI single from Vigliarolo and a two-run home run from junior infielder Braxton Martinez.

Rhode Island regained the lead, 4-3, in the second, a lead that quickly came to an end in the bottom of the inning, as Martinez hit a ball into center field and brought in three runs for the Billikens.

Bunselmeyer extended the lead to 7-4 in the third with a solo shot to right field. He hit his second home run of the day in the fifth, bringing in two runs on a hit to right center field. An RBI double and a two-run home run from senior catcher Colton Frabasilio and junior catcher Jake Henson in the sixth would top off the 12-4 win for the Billikens.

Baseball: Bozarth named A-10 Player of the Week

The Billikens finished their series against Rhode Island on Sunday. Rhode Island struck first with four runs in the third inning. SLU was able to cut the deficit to 4-1 with a Fabasilio home run. The Rams scored a run in the fifth, three runs in the sixth and one run in the seventh to take a 9-1 lead heading into the eighth.

SLU put together a comeback in the bottom of the eighth. Bozarth got it started with a single to second. Frabasilio got on base after being walked, and both runners moved into scoring positions after a wild pitch. Vigliarolo brought both runners home after slamming one into the wall in left center.

SLU was still down 9-3 heading into the ninth, but Bozarth sent one into left center and scored a pair that cut the Rhode Island lead to four. Frabasilio brought Bozarth in with an RBI double that cut the lead to 9-6. Vigliarolo tried to advance Frabasilio from second base, but a Rhode Island outfielder made the final out.

The Billikens continued their season on the road, facing Southeast Missouri State on Tuesday. The Redhawks racked up an eight-run lead in the second inning before the Billikens responded with an RBI single from Vigliarolo.

SEMO tacked on another four runs in the bottom of third to take a 12-1 lead. The Redhawks added one more run to their score in the fourth and finished with a 13-1 victory.

The game was the end of Martinez’s 14-game hitting streak, as well as Bunselmeyer’s 17-game on-base streak.

In one notable event, Vigliarolo hit his 51st career double, putting him in a four-way tie for the second-most all-time at SLU.

The Billikens’ losses  drop them to 15-9 overall and 2-1 in Atlantic 10 play.

Bozarth was named the Atlantic-10 Conference Baseball Player of the Week. It is his first weekly accolade of the season and the fourth for the team. Bozarth had two clutch performances in the win over UT Martin and took two of the three games against Rhode Island. As a leadoff hitter, Bozarth had a .500 batting average, as well as a .550 on-base percentage and .833 slugging percentage.

SLU will travel to Davidson, North Carolina, to play conference newcomer Davidson in a three-game series. Their final game before the Easter break will be against Bradley in Peoria, Illinois.

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