Saint Louis Scores 3 In The 8th, Comes Back To Defeat Bona’s
SAINT LOUIS, Mo. – The Saint Louis baseball team (31-15, 12-7 Atlantic 10 Conference) scored three runs in the bottom of the 8th inning to erase a 4-2 St. Bonaventure lead and hand the Bonnies (18-20, 6-10 A-10) a 5-4 loss in the opening contest of a three-game A-10 series Friday evening.
After the Billikens pulled within one run, 4-3, on a sacrifice fly in the 8th inning, Alex Kelly sent a first-pitch offering from Bona starter Jordan Crane over the left-field wall for a two-run home run which gave SLU the 5-4 win.
Eric Jutca recorded a career-high four hits for the Bonnies in a 4-for-5 effort at the plate, accounting for 40 percent of SBU's 10 hits on the evening. Ryan Skellie was the lone other Bona player with a multiple-hit game as the senior went 2-for-5 and added an RBI. Senior Michael Grieco, classmate Nick Brennen and sophomore Justin Brozick each contributed an RBI.
Crane (4-2) threw all 8 innings and looked poised to add to his team-best win total until the three-run 8th by the Billikens. Only three of the five runs the right-hander allowed were earned. The senior tossed 123 pitches – the second straight start in which he has thrown 120 pitches or more – and the third time in the last four starts.
After Saint Louis built a 2-0 lead in the 1st inning by virtue of a throwing error from third baseman Billy Urban, head coach Larry Sudbrook was ejected for arguing that one of the SLU runners had not touched third base on his way home.
The Billikens carried that lead into the 4th inning before the Bonnies knotted the contest up. Urban led off the frame with a walk and eventually scored on a Brennen double, and Brozick followed with a sacrifice fly to plate Grieco.
The Bonnies took the lead in the 5th with a Grieco single up the middle which scored Jutca, who led off the inning with one of his four hits. SBU then tacked on another run in the 7th with a Skellie single to left field to plate Radwan, who commenced the inning with a four-pitch walk.
SLU entered the game with best staff ERA in the A-10 at 3.25. However, the Bonnies were able to rough up starter Clay Smith, who came into the contest with the second-best ERA in the conference at just 2.24. Smith lasted only 4.2 innings, allowing seven Bona hits and three earned runs.
St. Bonaventure and Saint Louis resume their series on Saturday afternoon with a scheduled 2 p.m. Eastern start.