(Montgomery, Ala.) The Loyola University New Orleans baseball team made its way to Paterson Field in Montgomery, Alabama on Wednesday evening for day one of the 2017 Southern States Athletic Conference (SSAC) Baseball Championship.
Entering the championship as the eighth seed, the Wolf Pack drew the top-seeded No. 10 Knights of Middle Georgia State in its opening round matchup. These two teams were no strangers to each other as Wednesday’s game marked the fourth time these two programs have met over the last seven days.
Despite some early production by Loyola to begin the game, the Middle Georgia State used two back-to-back home runs to propel the Knights to the 8-2 victory on Tuesday evening.
The loss will send the Wolf Pack (21-33) to the consolation bracket where the team will meet Bethel University tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. in this double-elimination tournament.
MGS 8 – Loyola 2
Blake Toscano (SR/Metairie, La.) led off the game by reaching base thanks to a misplayed grounder by the Knights’ Alan Mocahbee at third base.
Toscano then stole second before being brought home following an Alexander Lorenzo (SR/Miami, Fla.) groundout to put Loyola on top 1-0.
Down 1-0, MGS used two-run home runs by Logan Smith and Will Golden to grab the 4-1 advantage through one inning.
Following two scoreless innings, the Knights added two more runs in the fourth thanks to RBI from Smith and Mocahbee.
A bases-loaded walk to Golden in the fifth extended the Knights’ lead to 7-1 entering the sixth.
A RBI single by leadoff man Jesus Monserrat in the seventh pushed MGS’s advantage to 9-1.
Loyola managed to score one run in the ninth off a wild throw by Mocahbee before a strikeout ended the inning and the game for the Wolf Pack in the opening round.
Lorenzo led the Loyola offense on Wednesday, going 1-for-4 with one RBI. Nathan Law (FR/Arab, Ala.), John Hernandez (JR/Tampa, Fl.), Charlie Seither and Jimmy Richardson (FR/Pensacola, Fl.) each collected one hit in the game with Hernandez adding a team-high four putouts.
On the mound, Nick Moore (SR/Marrero, La.) (2-5) got saddled with the loss after allowing four runs (three earned) on three hits with two home runs, one walk, and one strikeout in 2.1 innings pitched.