Baseball approaches A-10 play with 15-4 record

While most SLU students were finishing up midterms and then going away for spring break, Billikens baseball played 11 games, moving to a 15-4 overall record before the start of Atlantic 10 Conference play.

From Friday, March 3 to Sunday, March 5, SLU played three games against Farleigh Dickinson, managing to win all three. Farleigh Dickinson came into the games 0-7, while the Billikens were 8-1 up to that point, so the Billikens were expected to win. However, the Billikens only won the first game by three runs, although SLU did manage to blow their opponents out 8-0 in the second matchup of the three-game series. Farleigh Dickinson put up another good fight in the third and final game, with SLU only winning 7-5 in a high-scoring affair.

SLU then played a single game against SIUE, and again came out on top to extend their winning streak to seven games. While SIUE had a winning record coming into the game, at 8-5, SLU were still favorites thanks to their 12-1 record. SLU easily handled SIUE, winning by a score of 12-3.

The Billikens then had a three-game home series at the Billiken Sports Center against Northern Illinois. The Billikens won the first two games to extend their winning streak to nine. However, Northern Illinois then won the final game of the series by a score of 2-0, blanking the Billiken hitters, to stop SLU’s winning streak.

After a game on Tuesday, March 14, against Missouri State was postponed due to weather, SLU then played a game against Western Illinois, once again at home, which they won in a close contest, 7 runs to 6.

Finally, just this weekend, SLU played a three-game series against Butler in Indianapolis, Ind. SLU lost their first series of the year, by dropping the first two games against the Bulldogs before recovering to win the final game by a score of 4-2. However, SLU lost the first two games only by very close scores of 6-3 and 6-5, which provides solid scope for improvement as the Billikens begin conference play.

The current team has one of the top offenses in the NCAA. They are ranked 23rd in walks, 19th in doubles, 27th in on-base percentage and 39th in slugging percentage.

Junior infielder Nick Reeser leads SLU with a .367 batting average. Junior catcher James Morisano holds first place for the Billikens’ slugging percentage with .636. Junior Aaron Case has the team’s top on-base percentage at .484. Defensively, sophomore pitcher Miller Hogan boasts a 3-0 record with a 1.16 ERA, 27 strikeouts and 11 walks in the 31.0 innings he’s pitched.

Next up for the Billikens will be a three-game home series against St. Bonaventure at the Billiken Sports Center. These games will mark the first Atlantic 10 action of the year for SLU baseball, and SLU will be aiming to win all three games in order to start off their bid to win the conference on a positive note.

Then, after an away game in Bloomington, Ill., SLU will take on the Rhode Island Rams in a three-game series, once again at home. As the conference picture begins to take shape, SLU will play conference games against Fordham and Massachusetts in mid-April.

SLU’s regular season will end with a road trip to the George Mason Patriots in Fairfax, Va., for another three-game series. Afterwards, the Atlantic 10 Championships will take place at the Billiken Sports Center, on Wednesday, May 24 through Saturday, May 27.

SLU baseball also released another interesting piece of news recently. Billiken baseball coaches and student athletes will be hosting a Labor Day Camp for 10 local high-school aged teams. Each team in the camp will play four games, and all participants will receive technical instruction from the participating coaches and student athletes.

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