Baseball bests Dayton in series


SLU baseball got back to winning ways against Dayton, the A-10’s current last-place team. SLU won two games out of three to begin to rectify their A-10 conference record. After the two victories, SLU stands at a 23-14 overall record and a 7-6 A-10 record.

The first game against Dayton showcased some of SLU’s strongest pitching performances of the year, as the Billikens registered 15 strikeouts and won the game 4-2. Sophomore starting pitcher Miller Hogan registered nine strikeouts in his seven innings pitched, while only allowing four hits, two walks and two earned runs. Sophomore pitcher Ryan Lefner then struck out six in his two innings pitched, allowing only one hit. Lefner earned the save, his seventh of the season, to move to fourth on SLU’s list for most saves in a single season. The fifteen SLU strikeouts matched a season high, which was set at SIUE on March 8 earlier this year.

Junior outfielder Parker Sniatynski went 2-for-3 in the contest with a double and triple, making the first game in the Dayton series his eleventh multi-hit performance of the year. Sniatynski’s triple was also his fourth of the year, meaning he moved into a tie for fourteenth on SLU’s single season list. The last Billiken to hit four triples in a season was Danny Murphy in 2014.

Junior shortstop Alex King also went 2-for-3 and scored a run. As a team, SLU recorded four doubles in the game, courtesy of Sniatynski, King, senior pitcher/designated hitter Devin Mahoney and freshman utilityman Jake Garella.

Bad luck hit the Billikens in the second game of the Dayton series, with an apparent SLU home run being called off in the eighth inning due to the batter not touching home plate. SLU went on to lose the game by a single run, making for a game many SLU fans will want to forget.

Junior infielder Carter Hanford went 2-for-3 with three RBI, but Dayton used a four-run fourth inning to defeat the Billikens in a close 6-5 game. The win marked only Dayton’s second win in their A-10 season.

Hanford’s three RBI were a career high, while junior infielder Nick Reeser, Garella, King and Hanford all registered two hits apiece. Garella has managed to earn himself an impressive hitting streak and batting average. He is SLU’s batting average leader at .338, and he has now managed to hit safely in each of his last nine games.

Meanwhile, King had his bat going in the first two games against the Flyers. In the first two games, he was 4-for-7 with a pair of runs scored. Senior pitcher Brett Shimanovsky, meanwhile, contributed some strong pitching in relief, allowing in only one unearned run and scattering three hits through his five innings pitched. He also struck out six while allowing no walks.

Junior catcher James Morisano made a gaffe that could have turned the game. In the fourth inning, Morisano appeared to hit his eighth home run of the season. However, Dayton challenged that Morisano never touched home plate, and upon further review, the umpire called Morisano out.

Mahoney also had some bad luck in the game. In the bottom of the ninth inning with two outs, he appeared to hit a two-run home run. However, the ball skewed foul by a razor-thin margin, and SLU subsequently lost the game.

In the final game of the Dayton series, SLU won 5-3. Mahoney picked up the win to move to 5-0, as he pitched seven innings. He allowed three earned runs and seven hits, while walking two and striking out seven. Lefner once again earned the save, his eighth, allowing two hits in two innings pitched and striking out four.

Redshirt senior Trent Leimkuehler hit his first home run of the season in the seventh inning. The two-run shot put SLU ahead. Garella improved his hitting streak to ten games, and sophomore infielder Cole Dubet was 2-for-3 with a run scored.

SLU’s midweek game saw the Billikens travel to Charleston, Illinois, to take on Eastern Illinois. SLU won 8-5 in a rain-shortened game that only lasted six innings. Junior pitcher Aaron Patton picked up the win with four innings pitched, in which he registered two earned runs on two hits, along with three walks and two strikeouts.

SLU started with a six-run outburst. Morisano had two home runs in the game, the second Billiken with two home runs in a game. He finished with four RBI and three hits out of four attempts. Meanwhile, Garella extended his hitting streak to eleven, a SLU season high.

Next up for the Billikens will be a series against Purdue beginning on Friday, April 28 in West Lafayette, Indiana.

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