Hattiesburg, MS – LSUA’s 2017 season came to a close as the upset-minded Generals couldn’t get the late run support, falling to #12 Texas Wesleyan 5-1 in an elimination contest at the Hattiesburg Bracket of the NAIA National Championship Tournament Opening Round at Milton Wheeler Field.
After the first three innings went scoreless, the Generals jumped on top first in the fourth. Logan Constantine led off the inning with a single to center. After stealing second base, Constantine tagged up and took third on a fly out by Zach Hebert., and then Brady Fryou brought him home with a sacrifice fly to make it 1-0 LSUA.
Starting pitcher Fernando Martinez would motor through the Rams line-up, collecting 12 straight outs between the first and fourth innings, and would keep the shutout into the sixth inning; however, that’s where the tide turned against LSUA. After getting the first two batters out, Texas Wesleyan worked a walk, then a single to put two on. Casey Moses tied the game with a single that scored Luis Roman. Julio Ibarra gave the Rams the lead for good with a RBI single to score Kiki Menendez for a 2-1 score.
While LSUA struggled to get the offense going, the Rams started to expand the lead in the late innings. In the seventh, Blake Seaton doubled in CJ Ateek to make it 3-1. Kiki Menendez doubled to lead off the top of the eighth and would later come in on Aidan Laurini’s RBI single to left for a 4-1 Texas Wesleyan lead. The Rams capped it off in the ninth as Alex Gudac scored on Caden Williams’ sacrifice fly, touching the plate just before Chase Sliva was doubled off trying to advance to second base for the third out of the inning.
Fernando Martinez (8-3) threw seven-plus innings, allowing eight hits and four runs, all earned. He walked two and struck out five. Kale Parks and Trey Caswell each threw an inning with Caswell giving up one earned run. Five Generals each had a hit in the game, with Brady Fryou collected the Generals’ lone RBI.
The Generals completed the season with a 33-24 record and RRAC regular season champions for the third straight season.