ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y. – The St. Bonaventure University baseball team capped its home schedule by dropping a pair of games to Saint Louis on Senior Day at McGraw-Jennings Field.
Saint Louis scored a 6-1 victory in the opener and held off a rally effort by the Bonnies in game two, 7-4.
St. Bonaventure now stands 24-21-1 overall on the season and 9-12 in Atlantic 10 play while Saint Louis improves to 22-29, 12-9.
Following the completion of the doubleheader, the Bonnies honored their senior class of 2016 – Thad Johnson, Tommy Styn, Connor Grey, Drew Teller, Tyler Walter, Tyler Kirwan, Reid Van Woert and Ted Dilts.
GAME ONE – Saint Louis 6, St. Bonaventure 1 | Box Score
Billikens starter Matt Eckleman kept the Bonnies off balance in the opener and Saint Louis pulled away with a four-run seventh.
After the Billikens took a 1-0 edge in the top of the fourth, the Bonnies responded with a run in the home half of the frame following an RBI single to center from Jared Baldinelli. Baldinelli's was the third of three consecutive hits by the Bonnies, but a fielder's choice and double play back-to-back ended the rally.
Saint Louis scored what turned out to be the game-winning run in the fifth when Cole Dubet delivered a run-scoring single with two outs.
St. Bonaventure finished with 10 hits, led by two apiece from Baldinelli and Dilts.
Grey (2-6) made his final home start, throwing 5.2 innings while allowing two runs on six hits with five strikeouts.
Eckelman (8-4) was charged with just a run on seven hits through his seven innings.
GAME TWO – Saint Louis 7, St. Bonaventure 4 | Box Score
Offensive fireworks highlighted the early innings. Saint Louis scored in the first following a leadoff triple by Michael Bozarth and an RBI groundout by Dubet.
Bona seized the lead in its first trip to the plate when Cole Peterson and Walter smacked back-to-back triples for a run. A sac fly from Johnson scored Walter for the lead.
The Billikens immediately answered, though, with three runs in the second including a solo homer from Trent Leimkeuhler, sac fly by Alex King and RBI single off the bat of Bozarth.
A home run cracked by catcher Tommy LaCongo brought the Bonnies within a run, and LaCongo nearly tied it in the third with a liner to left center. With Ted Dilts already at second base following a double with two outs, LaCongo's frozen rope was snared with a diving grab by Bozarth to end the threat.
Saint Louis added runs in the fifth and seventh to take control.
The Bonnies made late rally efforts, posting a run in the seventh on a Peterson sac fly and then sending the tying run to the plate in the ninth with one out. A line out and a strikeout ended things, however.
Aaron Phillips (2-3) started and tossed 4.1 innings, surrendering three earned runs with two strikeouts. Seniors Johnson (two innings, two strikeouts) and Teller (one inning, one strikeout) combined for three scoreless innings out of the bullpen.
Saint Louis reliever Ryan Lefner (3-1) earned the win with six innings of one-run relief, striking out two.
St. Bonaventure finishes the regular season with a three-game series at Saint Joseph's Thursday-Saturday.