Saint Louis baseball defeated Eastern Illinois, 11-6, to earn win no. 34 of the season, setting a new program standard. The 2012 Bills surpassed the 2010 squad that won 33 games, the Atlantic 10 conference tournament and advanced to the NCAA Regional in Louisville, Ky.
The Billikens smashed three home runs against the Panthers. The single-game record at Saint Louis is six home runs, set in 2004 against Eastern Illinois. Additionally, EIU was the team that snapped the Billikens 13-game win streak earlier this season.
The game was a high scoring event in the early going. Eastern Illinois opened the contest with a home run in the first inning to take a quick 1-0 lead. The Bills responded in the bottom of the inning with a two-run bomb from junior OF Alex Kelly.
In the second, the Panthers tied the game with another long ball, knotting it up at two apiece. In the bottom half, senior Jerry Mancuso singled to left center and scored junior Mike Levine to take a 3-2 lead. Not to be outdone, Kelly hit his second homer of the contest in the next at bat. Saint Louis had a 5-2 lead through two innings. Kelly now has a team-best seven home runs on the season
In the third, the Panthers drew within a run, scoring two runs in the top half of the frame. With a 5-4 lead in the third, Grant Nelson belted the first home run of his Saint Louis career. The Bills took a two run lead into the fourth and never looked back.
The Billikens continued to score throughout the game, plating two in the fourth, two in the fifth and one in the seventh. The Panthers tried to answer back, but the potent Saint Louis offense was too much to handle.
The two squads combined for six home runs, the most round-trippers in a contest for SLU this season.
Sophomore Derek Mazzio picked up his first win of the season, throwing two innings with three strikeouts.
The Billikens will take on the Charlotte 49ers this weekend to wrap up their A-10 schedule. Charlotte was selected as the preseason favorite to win the A-10, but have stumbled to a 20-26 overall record and an 8-9 mark in conference play. They sit in ninth in the A-10. The Bills are a conference-best 14-7 in A-10 action and look to earn the top seed in the A-10 tournament for the first time in school history.