ST. LOUIS - The Billiken baseball team locked up first place in the Atlantic 10 for the first time in school history with a 6-4 win over Charlotte. The Bills are now 37-15 overall and 17-7 in conference play. The series sweep also advances Saint Louis' win streak to seven games.
With a 17-7 conference record, Saint Louis holds a three-game lead over second-place Dayton (14-7). Even if Dayton wins its last three contests, the Flyers would tie the Bills at 17-7. Since the Billikens topped Dayton twice in the three-game series between the two squads, SLU holds the A-10 tiebreaker over the Flyers, sealing first for Saint Louis.
Saint Louis scored in the second inning on an RBI single from Alec Sole. A wild pitch from the 49ers allowed Marco DiRoma to score from third. Charlotte responded in the bottom of the frame with a sacrifice fly. Through two innings, SLU led 2-1.
Sole hit into a double play in the fourth, but Mike Vigliarolo scored on the play and advanced the score to 3-1. The 49ers answered back with a run of their own in the bottom of the inning to bring the deficit to 3-2.
Charlotte tied the game in the fifth and took the lead for the first time in the sixth, 4-3.
Saint Louis had another offensive explosion in the eighth inning. Sole drove in Jordan Hammerman for the first run of the inning. Jerry Mancuso drove him in with a two-out, two-run double down the left field line, scoring Sole and Connor Gandossy.
The three-run eighth was the second time Saint Louis topped Charlotte in the late innings. In Friday's contest, the Bills scored five in the ninth to beat the 49ers.
Freshman James Norwood picks up the win to move to 3-2 on the year. Travis Parker picks up his 11th save of the season to break his own single-season saves record. He also extended his streak to 37.1 innings pitched without an earned run.
Saint Louis is now done with its conference slate. Next week, the Billikens will take on Southern Illinois in Sauget, Ill. on Tuesday, May 15 before heading to Evanston, Ill. to play a weekend series at Northwestern. After that, the Bills will travel to the Bronx to compete in the A-10 conference tournament, hosted by Fordham.