SLU Tops XU In 11-Inning Thriller
March 28, 2013
SAUGET, Ill. - Vinny Nittoli went 3-for-4 at the plate with two RBIs, but Saint Louis scored the winning run in the bottom of the 11th inning to defeat Xavier, 4-3, on Thursday night. The game was held at GCS Ballpark, home of the Gateway Grizzlies minor league club, due to the storms that rolled through St. Louis earlier in the week.
Xavier (9-12, 3-1 A-10) broke a scoreless tie with a three-run fifth inning. Stephen Schoettmer connected on a one-out double before advancing to third on a wild pitch. Selby Chidemo's single scored Schoettmer for the first run of the game. Mark Elwell singled and Derek Hasenbeck walked to load the bases for last week's A-10 Co-Player of the Week Nittoli. The Musketeers' cleanup hitter delivered a two-run single to give XU a 3-0 lead.
Saint Louis (17-9, 4-0 A-10) battled back in the bottom half of the inning. The Billikens got singles from Alec Sole and Steve Fernandez and Alex Kelly drew a walk to load the bases with two outs. Mike Vigliarolo delivered a bases clearing double to left field, tying the game at 3-all.
The Musketeers had a great scoring chance in the fourth inning that was snuffed out by the Billikens. Xavier loaded the bases in the fourth with no out, but a foul out and double play ended the threat.
Starting pitcher Jon Richard was equally effective for the Musketeers. Richard allowed just the three runs in the fifth inning, throwing eight effective innings of baseball. He allowed just seven hits, while issuing only three walks. Richard struck out six batters.
Alex Vice (0-1) took the loss for Xavier. Saint Louis had four hits and drew a pair of walks against Vice, who struck out two batters.
Alex Aleman tossed eight innings for the Bills, allowing three runs on nine hits. SLU's started struck out three batters and walked four. Matt Eckelman picked up the victory, improving to 3-0 on the season. He worked three innings of scoreless relief, striking out four Musketeers.
The two teams will be back at GCS Ballpark for Friday's scheduled 4 p.m. CT start.