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SLU rallies in ninth to remain alive in A-10 tourney

SLU baseball

SLU left fielder Trent Leimkuehler is coming off a season in which he hit 10 home runs and drove in 39 runs. (SLU photo)

Aaron Case hit a leadoff home run in the ninth inning to spark a four-run rally, and St. Louis University went on to post a 9-6 win over George Mason in the Atlantic 10 baseball tournament at SLU on Thursday.

The SLU bullpen held George Mason scoreless on two hits over the final six innings as the Billikens (34-21) moved on to play a game Friday at 3:30 against Rhode Island, which beat George Washington 8-4 in an elimination game.

SLU’s season was down to its final three outs when Case homered to tie the game at 6-6. When Cole Dubet followed by reaching safely on a fielding error, the Patriots switched pitchers.

After the first out was recorded, the Billikens’ offense took charge.

James Morisano singled and Carter Hanford followed with a single that scored Dubet. Alex King doubled to score Morisano. And Nick Reeser’s sacrifice fly brought in Hanford.

The rally set up freshman reliever Josh Garner for the win. He entered the game in the third inning after George Mason scored six times. Garner worked 5 1/3 innings, allowing no runs on two hits.

Ryan Lefner was called upon in the ninth and he picked up his 13th save to break the SLU single-season record and record his second of the tournament.

The Billikens also scored four runs in the third inning to take a temporary 4-1 lead. Like the ninth inning rally, SLU manufactured the runs without the help of one big blow. Case doubled in a run, Dubet had a sacrifice fly, Trent Leimkuehler singled in a run and Morisan doubled to drive in one.

Davidson will play No. 1 seed VCU at noon in the first game Friday. If SLU wins its game, it would play again on Friday at 7 p.m.

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