SLU Baseball Off to a Great Start Ahead of Home Opener


Photo by Billiken Athletics

Billikens baseball kicked off in the middle of February with plenty of promise. The Bills are 6-4 so far overall, with only two slightly worrying defeats against No. 2 Vanderbilt, 2-10, and a 1-16 loss this past Sunday, March 11, against Villanova.

Saint Louis scored first in the matchup against Villanova, only to be left at the station by the Wildcats, who made sure that the first point is the only one SLU scored during the entire game. Senior Jake Garella instigated the scoring for the Bills, driving in freshman Cole Smith. Afterwards, Villanova answered with five in its half of the second inning, added four in the fifth inning, six in the sixth and then just one in the eighth to complete a dominant performance and improve their season record to 5-4.

Prior to the Villanova game, SLU had some good showings, beating Ohio three times, UT Martin twice and putting in a good performance against Vanderbilt, the reigning Division I champs, albeit still posting a 2-10 loss.

The Billikens have their first home game of the season on Friday, March 6, when they take on Bowling Green at 3 p.m. 

The 119th season of SLU baseball also benefits from the returns of seniors Garella and Corrigan Bartlett. The former is closing in on the doubles record at SLU (57), with 54 so far in his career. Bartlett has been key for the Bills in seasons past with his leadership and key performances.

Billikens head coach Darin Hendrickson said prior to the season at the SLU Baseball First Pitch Dinner that this year on the team there’s “a lot of new faces…that’s a little more athletic and talented.” Hendrickson further said it would take the team some time to “get out of the gate and figure some things out.” The team may have found some momentum moving forward after the thrashing against Villanova, beating SIUE by 11-3 on Tuesday. The Billikens tamed the Cougars after falling 3-1 early in the game. They managed to get 10 runs without as much as a single meow from the Cougars. The Bills were led by junior infielder Kyle Fitzgerald who went four for five at bat with four runs.

An impressive team performance against the Cougars means SLU head into their first home game of the season with confidence of continuing the win streak. The Billikens play a weekend series against Bowling Green with the home opener starting off at 3 p.m. Friday, March 6 at The Billiken Sports Complex.