Loyola to travel to Shreveport for NAIA Baseball National Championship Opening Round
NEW ORLEANS – For the second straight season, the Loyola Wolf Pack will play postseason baseball beyond the conference tournament. The NAIA announced the 46-team field of the National Championship on Thursday, and the Wolf Pack received a No. 4 seed in the five-team LSU Shreveport Opening Round.
As the host, LSUS earned the top seed of the tournament, and Science and Arts (Oklahoma) and Lyon College (Arkansas) were slotted second and third. Fisher College (Massachusetts) earned the No. 5 seed as well. The Wolf Pack is familiar with three of the teams in the opening round, too, playing LSUS, Science and Arts and Lyon College this season.
The schedule for the tournament will be announced soon, and the winner of the Shreveport Opening Round advances to the NAIA World Series in Lewiston, Idaho.
The Pack ended the regular season with a 33-22 overall record, earning the No. 2 seed in the Southern States Athletic Conference Championship with a 16-8 mark in league play. Allen Dennis, Luke Clement and Stephen Still were all named to the SSAC All-Conference First Team, while Payton Alexander and Joshua Orr earned second-team honors. Orr, Matthew Weil, Cameron Trosclair and Garrett Beadle were all selected to the All-Freshman Team as well, and Dennis (third base) and Jake Mills (shortstop) were gold glove winners.
Clement leads the team with a .414 batting average, and Dennis (.370), Beadle (.318), Alexander (.314) and Tucker Ganley (.313) make it five on the team with a batting average better than .300. Dennis also leads the team with 15 home runs, which is a school record, 56 RBI and 55 runs, while Clement is close behind with 10 home runs, 40 RBI and a team-high 14 doubles. Still has been the steady arm on the mound for the Pack, totaling a 2.59 earned run average with a 7-2 record in 76.1 innings pitched this season. His 91 strikeouts recorded this season is a school record, too.
Loyola continues to hang around just outside the NAIA Top 25, receiving 13 votes in Wednesday’s coaches’ poll. LSUS and Science and Arts checked in at No. 4 and No. 14, respectively, in the rankings, while Lyon College also found itself outside the Top 25 with 26 votes.
You can keep up with the Pack by following Wolf Pack Athletics on Facebook at Facebook.com/LoyolaWolfPack, Twitter and Instagram @LoyolaWolfPack, and by checking out our website at LoyolaWolfPack.com
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