Baseball wins first A-10 series against St. Bonaventure before falling to Illinois St.


Saint Louis University baseball went 2-2 in their past four games. They initially won their first Atlantic 10 conference series of the season 2-1, against St. Bonaventure, before they fell to Illinois State, in Normal, Ill., in a close 2-1 game.

The first game against St. Bonaventure took place at home, at the Billiken Sports Center here on SLU’s campus. SLU won 4-2 behind strong starting pitching. Sophomore Miller Hogan earned the win to move to 4-0 on the season. He threw seven innings but allowed only one earned run. Sophomore Ryan Lefner earned the save, his sixth of the season.

On the offensive side of the diamond, senior Trent Leimkuehler put in a strong performance. He was 3-for-4 with two RBI’s, and the day proved to be his fourth three-hit performance of the season. Meanwhile, freshman utility man Jake Garella went 2-for-4, with a run scored. In his 14 games played, he has posted a .364 batting average.

Meanwhile, junior outfielder Aaron Case performed his leadoff duties well — by leading off the game with a four-pitch walk, which meant that he has safely reached base in all games this season, for a 20-game streak. Lefner’s save brought him to fourth overall on SLU’s all-time save list.

SLU then narrowly lost what was nearly an improbable comeback in their second game against the Bonnies. Down 5-1 in the bottom of the ninth, SLU rallied to tie the game, at 5. However, the Bonnies scored in the 12th inning, to prevent the Billikens from escaping with the win.

Freshman pitcher Josh Garner had a good performance in relief. He finished the game with seven innings pitched and allowed only two runs, while giving up no walks and striking out six.

The Billikens showed impressive plate discipline, drawing six bases on balls. Four Billikens were also hit by pitches. Meanwhile, Garella continued his strong batting, going 2-for-5 with a run and an RBI. His batting average is now .368, the best at SLU.

SLU then captured the series against the Bonnies, by winning 9-4 on Sunday, March 26. The win moved SLU to 17-5 overall and 2-1 in Atlantic 10 games. Sophomore pitcher Jackson Wark earned the win, to move to 4-1 on the season. Senior pitcher/designated hitter Devin Mahoney hit his first home run of the season in the contest. Wark had six strikeouts in the game and now has 29 in 30 innings pitched.

Case broke out of an 0-for-9 slump with a 2-for-4 performance on the day, scoring twice, drawing a walk and swiping two bases. Mahoney was 2-for-3, including the homer, and he had two runs and three RBI’s.

SLU then lost a nonconference game away against Illinois State. The Billikens were close to going to extra innings, as they advanced the tying run to third base, in the ninth inning. However, they were unable to drive him in, and the Billikens fell to 17-6 overall. Senior Brett Shimaovsky took the loss, dropping to 1-1, and advanced the tying run to third, in the ninth.

Next up for the Billikens will be a three-game series against Rhode Island. The team will travel to Rhode Island to take on the Rams.

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