Panthers comeback falls short against St. Louis


Jason Howell

Red-shirt senior pitcher Christian Slazinik throws out a pitch in a game on March 30, 2014 at Coaches Stadium. The Panthers lost to the Gamecocks 8-6. Slazinik suffered an injury later in the game which ended his 2013-2014 season.

Bob Reynolds , Sports Editor

St. Louis junior outfielder Jeremy Phillips hit a sacrifice fly to right field scoring senior first baseman Mike Vigliarolo to give the Billikens a 13-12 win in 10 innings over the Eastern baseball team in St. Louis, Mo.

Eastern scored two runs in the top of the first inning, but the Billikens scored 10 runs over the next three innings.

Vigliarolo hit a sacrifice fly-ball to center field in the bottom of the second to score freshman outfielder Parker Sniatynski.

Billiken senior outfielder Colton Frabasilio hit a run-scoring double which scored junior catcher Jake Henson to cap off a four run second inning for St. Louis bringing the lead to 7-2.

Panther senior third baseman Brant Valach doubled down the left field line pushing freshman catcher Joe Duncan into score to cut the lead by a run.

Red-shirt junior outfielder Demetre Taylor hit a sacrifice fly-ball to cut the Billiken lead to 7-4.

St. Louis junior infielder Josh Bunselmeyer hit a 3-run home run in the bottom of the third inning to give the Billikens a 10-4 lead.

Valach would single in a run in the bottom of a fourth to cap of a two-run inning for the Panthers. He would later hit a solo home run in the seventh inning to cut the lead to 11-7.

Billiken outfielder Danny Murphy hit a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the seventh to give St. Louis a 12-7 lead.

Panther freshman Cale Hennemann doubled to right center to score junior shortstop Mitch Gasbarro. Hennemann would then score on a fielder’s choice to cut the lead to 12-9 heading into the ninth inning.

Hennemann singled to right center in the bottom of the ninth inning to tie the game at 12. Gasbarro scored on an error by the Billken center fielder. Junior outfielder Issac Sampen and sophomore infielder Marshawn Taylor scored on the hit by Hennemann.

Eastern coach Jim Schmitz was happy with the way things went in the game despite the loss.

“I’m proud of how the team came back from a huge deficit,” he said. “We scored six runs in the last three innings against their best bullpen guys. Hopefully this gets us some confidence going into spring break.”

Valach continued his hot stretch with going 3-for-5 in the game. He had three runs batted in, a double and hit his third home run in four games.

Howell finished off the day 2-for-5 with two RBIs and three runs scored. The Panthers bottom three in the order, which included Gasbarro, Hennermann and Duncan, went 6-of-12 with three RBIs.

Sampen took the loss on the mound for the Panthers. He went 2-2/3 innings, allowing one run on two hits.

BIllken sophomore pitcher Brett Shimanovsky got the win for St. Louis pitching three innings and allowing two runs on two hits.

Senior second baseman Dane Sauer said being able to come back was a huge confidence booster for his team even though they lost.

“It says a lot,” he said. “That’s what we had been lacking. We will need that in conference play for sure. Regardless of the result, getting that offense going is great and something we had been lacking.”

The Panthers fall to 0-10 on the season and will be back on the field Friday in a weekend series against Memphis.

Bob Reynolds can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].