(Montgomery, Ala.) Riding the high of yesterday’s historic victory over Bethel University, the No. 8 seed Loyola University New Orleans baseball team headed back to Paterson Field in Montgomery, Alabama on Friday night to square off against the No. 5 seed University of Mobile one day three of the Southern States Athletic Conference (SSAC) Baseball Championship.
Today’s contest would be the fourth time these two teams have met this season, with the Rams holding the 2-1 edge entering Friday night’s game.
After winning its first SSAC Championship game in program history and defeating Bethel University for the first time ever yesterday, the Wolf Pack would be rewarded on Friday by having to face one of the toughest pitchers in the NAIA in Mobile senior Garrett Waters. One of the most consistent pitchers in the league, Waters entered today’s game ranking second in the NAIA in innings pitched per game (7.2) while his 0.96 walks per nine innings landed him at No. 4 in the country. Backed by a complete game, 10-strikeout performance by the senior on Friday, Mobile would end Loyola’s season with an 11-3 victory in the elimination game.
With the loss, the Wolf Pack was eliminated from the SSAC Championship and end the season with a 22-34 overall record.
Mobile 11 – Loyola 3
It was all Rams through the first handful of innings as the higher seed put up 10 runs through six to take the 10-0 advantage entering the seventh.
Down 10-0, Alexander Lorenzo (SR/Miami, Fla.) led off the seventh with a single before being forced out on a fielder’s choice that landed Brandon Wilson Jr. (FR/Chalmette, La.) on first. Wilson Jr. advanced to second on a Norberto Torres wild throw before moving to third thanks to a single by Ben Condara (JR/Houston, Tx.). With two outs, Rawlings Elam (JR/Houston, Tx.) stepped to the plate and sent a shot out to deep right to score both Wilson Jr. and Condara to bring the score to 10-2. Catcher John Hernandez (JR/Tampa, Fl.) then connected on a single to right to score Elam from second and cut the deficit to 10-3.
Mobile put up one more run in the eighth to make the score 11-3.
Loyola was unable to manufacture any runs in the ninth to take the 11-3 loss on Friday night.
Elam went 2-for-3 with two RBI to lead Loyola on Friday. Condara added two hits in the game while Lorenzo finished 2-for-4 in his final game wearing the maroon and gold. In the field, Blake Toscano (SR/Metairie, La.) ended his career with a team-high six assists while adding five putouts.
Making his first collegiate start, Alexander Acevedo (FR/Miami, Fl.) got the loss after allowing six runs (five earned) on six hits in 3.0 innings pitched.