Rhode Island Lineup
White (CF), Heiss (SS), Vargas (1B), Coutts (RF), Cristino (C), Brodeur (2B), Laske (DH), Cherry (3B), Cavaliere (LF), Twitchell (P)
Saint Louis Lineup
Bartlett (CF), Redding (C), Garella (RF), Livorsi (DH), Dubet (2B), Benes (3B), Stowe (1B), Jordan (SS), Youngbrandt (LF), Lehmann (P)
How it Happened
Saint Louis eased its way past Rhode Island in Friday's Atlantic 10 series opener, downing the Rams 18-6 at The Billiken Sports Center.
The Billikens (20-24, 8-8 A-10) took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second, but blew things open with a 12-run third. There, Rhody committed three errors while SLU drew three walks and strung together eight hits - including three homers and two doubles. The offensive outburst led to 12 runs and pushed Saint Louis' lead to 13-0 after just three innings of play.
Rhody then cut it to 13-5 in the top of the seventh inning. Kevin Heiss first scored on an RBI single by Sam Ilario and John Cristino followed with his first career homer - a three-run shot that also plated Heiss and Brett McManus.
The Billikens got two runs back in the bottom of the frame however, and added three more in the eighth to push their lead to 18-5.
The Rams tacked on one more in the top of the ninth, as Mark Coley drew a leadoff walk wand later crossed the plate on a groundout tby McManus. That was as close as Rhode Island would get however, eventually falling by a score of 18-6.
Inside the Box Score
- Freshman John Cristino hit his first career home run in the loss sending a three-run shot over the right field wall in the top of the seventh.
- Sophomores Xavier Vargas and Austin White both went 2-for-3 on the night. Vargas also drove in his team-leading 29th run of the season.
- Freshman Mark Coley singled, walked and scored a run.
- Junior Greg Cavaliere singled and scored a run.
- Junior Sonny Ulliana hit a pinch-hit double in the top of the ninth.
- Redshirt senior Sam Ilario was 1-for-2 with an RBI and a run scored.
- Redshirt sophomore Josh Brodeur recorded his eighth double of the season. He is now tied with Cristino for the team lead.
- Sophomore Ryan Twitchell was charged with the loss, allowing one run on three hits over a 2.0-inning start.
- Junior Jake Walker replaced Twitchell to start the third inning and was unable to record an out. He gave up nine runs (six earned) on five hits - including two home runs - and a pair of walks.
- Sophomore Brendan Mignone tossed three shutout innings - the fourth, fifth and sixth.
Rhody and SLU will return to The Billiken Sports Center for the second game of the series Saturday at 3 p.m. (Eastern).