(Montgomery, Ala.) With day one of the SSAC Championship set to start tomorrow morning, 14 members of the Loyola University New Orleans baseball team were honored at this evening’s Southern States Athletic Conference (SSAC) baseball banquet at the Multiplex at Cramton Bowl.
Captaining this group of talented Wolf Pack student-athletes was senior standout Alexander Lorenzo (SR/Miami, Fla.). The Miami native left the banquet on Tuesday night with a team-high three awards including SSAC First Team All-Conference, SSAC Musco Lighting Champions of Character and SSAC Gold Glove Team accolades.
Lorenzo had a banner year in 2017, leading the Wolf Pack in 14 major statistical categories while being the only member of Loyola to play in all 53 games this season. His 66 hits and 57 RBI were second-most in the SSAC this season while his .375 batting average and 10 home runs landed the senior at No. 3 and No. 4 in the league, respectively. Nationally, Lorenzo ranks amongst the countries leaders in total RBI and doubles (18) while tying for the NAIA lead with a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage (103 C-PO/103 A) in right field.
Entering his final SSAC Championship on Tuesday, Lorenzo will leave Loyola as one of the best players ever to don the maroon and gold. His 124 career RBI are second all-time and his 17 homers in four years are currently No. 3 in Wolf Pack history. He ranks sixth in total doubles (40), seventh in at-bats (596), eighth in hits (180) and ninth in both total runs (107) and career stolen bases (31). Earning the second SSAC Gold Glove of his career this season, Lorenzo enters Tuesday’s game against Middle Georgia State touting an eye-popping .989 career fielding percentage with only four total errors throughout his four seasons with the Wolf Pack.
Aside from Lorenzo, two Loyola freshman also left the Cramton Bowl with some conference plaques as both Brandon Wilson Jr. (FR/Chalmette, La.) and Alexander Acevedo (FR/Miami, Fl.) were named to the 2017 SSAC All-Freshman Team. Stepping in as the everyday shortstop in just his first collegiate season, Wilson Jr. started in 43 games (No. 4 on the team) while making 49 total appearances during the 2017 season. Wilson Jr.’s .254 batting average was fifth-highest on the team while his 35 hits landed the freshman tied with Jesse Jordan (SO/New Iberia, La.) for third-most on the squad. He collected 21 runs with four doubles and 21 RBI in 138 at-bats to along with a .346 on-base percentage and four stolen bases. In 169 chances, Wilson Jr. logged 52 putouts with a team-high 101 assists against just 16 errors to end the regular season with a .905 fielding percentage. Coming out of Christopher Columbus High School in Miami, Florida, Acevedo ended his freshman campaign ranking secon!
d on the team with 17 appearances and tied for the second on the squad with three victories. The young right-hander heads into the SSAC Championship with 33.2 innings pitched and a 5.08 ERA with 21 strikeouts while allowing 45 hits and eight walks.
Off the field, the Wolf Pack once again led the conference with 11 total student-athletes selected to the SSAC All-Academic Team. Caleb Bohan (SR/Marietta, Ga.) (Political Science), Mick Dubic (JR/Aurora, Colo.) (Biology), Rawlings Elam (JR/Houston, Tx.) (Business), Jordan Green (SR/Shreveport, La.) (Business Management & Marketing), Joseph Kuchler (JR/Metairie, La.) (Marketing), Nick Moore (SR/Marrero, La.) (History/Pre-Law), Spencer Rosenbohm (JR/Daphne, Ala.) (Physics), Jason Roussel (JR/Baton Rouge, La.) (Finance), Cody Rutscher (SO/Overland Park, Kansas) (Economics), Charlie Seiter (SO/Mobile, Ala.) (Business Management), AJ Smith (Political Science) each earned the prestigious academic award on Tuesday night for their exceptional work in the classroom.
Ending the regular season at 21-32 overall, the Wolf Pack enters tomorrow’s championship as the No. 8 seed and will face off against the top-seeded Knights of Middle Georgia State. First pitch from Paterson Field is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. live from Montgomery, Alabama.
Player of the Year: James Land, William Carey (Miss.)
Coach of the Year: Paul Knight, Middle Georgia State
Pitcher of the Year: Mason Klotz, Middle Georgia State
Newcomer of the Year: Mason Klotz, Middle Georgia State
Freshman of the Year: Logan Carter, Middle Georgia State
Sportsmanship Award: Blue Mountain (Miss.)