A six-run sixth inning and strong work out of the bullpen propelled the St. Bonaventure baseball team to an 8-5 win to open an Atlantic 10 series at Saint Louis Friday night.
With the win, the Bonnies improve to 8-17 overall and 4-6 in the Atlantic 10 while the defending A-10 champion and preseason conference favorite Billikens drop to 13-19 overall and 2-5 in conference play.
For the Bonnies, senior Jake Foden came through with a game-changing, bases clearing double during the sixth inning while junior Donovan Moffat locked things down with a four-inning save on the hill.
The Billikens grabbed an early lead, 2-0, with a run each in the first and second innings and that edge would last until the fourth.
Bona tied the score in its fourth trip to the plate with some two-out work.
Jeff Palczewski drew a two-out walk, then moved to second on a single up the middle from Kevin Higgins. After another walk to Branden Myers, Kevin Koziol punched a single through the hole on the left side to even things at 2-2.
A two-run blast from the Billikens put the hosts back ahead, 4-2, in the fifth, but the Bonnies would soon answer.
St. Bonaventure batted around in the sixth and plated six runs to surge ahead.
Palczewski started the rally by cracking his first home run as a Bonnie with a blast to left, leading off the frame. Later in the inning, Matthew Williams and Brandon Henshaw both worked bases loaded walks to first tie and then take the lead. Then, Foden pushed the Bonnies ahead with a bases-clearing double to right center for a four-run advantage.
That would be enough for the Bonnies pitching staff.
Sophomore right-hander Braydon Nelson got the start and picked up the win to move to 2-2 on the year with seven strikeouts in five innings of work. Moffat worked the final four innings for his second save, allowing just one run on four hits with two strikeouts.
Due to rain in the forecast later in the weekend, the teams are set to finish the series Saturday with a doubleheader scheduled for 1 p.m. central time.