Hot Billiken Bats Beat Davidson, Lead SLU to Semifinals
ARLINGTON, Va.— A pair of home runs and a five-run seventh inning propelled top-seeded Saint Louis to a 11-5 win over No. 5 Davidson Thursday in the Atlantic 10 Baseball Championship at Tucker Field.
The Billikens (36-18) advance to the A-10 semifinals to face No. 2 George Mason Friday at noon. Davidson (33-20) drops to the consolation bracket and will play No. 4 Richmond Thursday night at 8:30 pm.
Saint Louis and Davidson combined for 25 hits in the game, including four home runs, two by each team. Cole Dubet was 4-of-5 to lead the Billikens, while Parker Sniatynski went 3-for-3. Five different SU players had two RBI. Justin Lebek and Max Bazin each had a pair of hits for Davidson, and Lebek, who hit both of the Wildcats’ homers, had two RBI.
Saint Louis opened the scoring in the second inning, plating a run on a sac fly by Aaron Case, but Davidson responded with a pair of runs in the third on a double by Ward Coleman and a single by Cam Johnson. The Wildcats added to their lead in the fifth on an Alec Acosta single.
SLU started the slugfest with a towering solo home run over the centerfield fence in the bottom of the fifth, which was followed three batters later by a two run shot to left by Sniatynski that gave the Billikens a 4-3 lead. Lebek countered in the top of the sixth with his own solo shot to right field, his first of his two dingers, tying the game at four.
Davidson walked in a Saint Louis run in the sixth, and then the Billikens opened the game up in the seventh, scoring five runs on six hits. Lebek hit another solo homer in the top of the ninth to cut into the SLU lead, but the that was the final run the Wildcats pushed across.
A-10 Pitcher of the Year Miller Hogan (10-3) picked up the win, throwing seven innings with eight hits, four runs (three earned) and a championship-high nine strikeouts. Connor Gordon (7-3) took the loss for the ‘Cats, allowing one run in 1/3 of an inning of work.