No. 17 Loyola blanks Middle Georgia State in Southern States Athletic Conference Championship

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HATTIESBURG, Miss. – The 17th-ranked Loyola Wolf Pack baseball team started the

HATTIESBURG, Miss. – The 17th-ranked Loyola Wolf Pack baseball team started the Southern States Athletic Conference Championship Wednesday morning, defeating Middle Georgia State, 4-0, in the first round of action.

Playing as the No. 5 seed, The Pack will now take on the winner of top-seeded William Carey and eighth-seeded Blue Mountain Christian at 7 p.m. on Thursday in a winner’s bracket game.

Needing just one more strikeout for the career strikeouts school record, it didn’t take long for Loyola starter Stephen Still to achieve that honor, sitting down the second batter he saw on Wednesday. After collecting 10 strikeouts on Wednesday, he’s now at 249 for his career. He’d go on to work six strong innings while giving up just three hits throughout his outing. He gave up six walks, so he had to pitch around some baserunners, stranding 10 total base runners.

After leaving runners on base in the first inning, the Wolf Pack made sure to push one across in the top of the second. With Jake Mills on second, Aaron Davis sent one to right field that got by the MGA right fielder to plate the first run of the tournament. In the third inning with Christopher Bohrer and Mills on base, Landon Trosclair blasted a no-doubter over the left-field wall to make the Wolf Pack lead 4-0. Bohrer reached on a one-out single and Mills kept two runners on base after reaching on a fielder’s choice.

After Still’s day was done, Brady Bowen pitched the final three innings to earn his fourth save of the season. The sophomore struck out five of the 11 batters he faced, giving up just two hits while on the bump.

Pack Facts
Wednesday’s win clinched the third consecutive 30-win season for the Wolf Pack.

Stephen Still has broken Loyola’s all-time strikeouts record. After striking out 10 batters on Wednesday, Still is at 249 for his career, a new program best.

This is the second year in a row in which the junior has thrown at least 10 strikeouts in a game at the SSAC Championship.

Still, who also owns the Wolf Pack single-season strikeouts record with 95 in 2022, is up to 92 strikeouts this year.

Relief pitcher Brady Bowen, who recorded his team-high fourth save of the season and fifth of his career, is also into the top 10 in single-season strikeouts with 64, the ninth-most in a season in program history.

Loyola pitchers have combined to throw 402 strikeouts this season, which surpasses the previous program strikeouts record of 387 set in 2021.

Loyola’s 344 runs this season are also a new program record.

Three of Wednesday’s runs were scored courtesy of Landon Trosclair’s three-run home run in the third inning. It was the Wolf Pack catcher’s fifth homer of the season and 10th of his career.

Brandon Mooney is 21-for-21 in his stolen base attempts this season, a team high. His 21 stolen bases are also tied for the 10th-most in a season in Loyola history.

All players who recorded an at-bat on Wednesday also reached base successfully for the Pack for the first time since March 24’s Game 1 in the Mobile series.

SSAC Baseball Championship Schedule
Wednesday, May 3
Game 1: #5 Loyola 4, #4 Middle Georgia 0
Game 2: #3 Mobile vs. #6 Faulkner, 1 p.m.
Game 3: #2 Talladega vs. #7 Brewton-Parker, 4 p.m.
Game 4: #1 William Carey vs. #8 Blue Mountain, 7 p.m.

Thursday, May 4
Game 5: Gm 2 loser v. Gm 3 loser, 10 a.m.
Game 6: Gm 1 loser v. Gm 4 loser, 1 p.m.
Game 7: Gm 2 winner v. Gm 3 winner, 4 p.m.
Game 8: Gm 4 winner v. #5 Loyola, 7 p.m.

Friday, May 5
Game 9: Gm 7 loser v. Gm 5 winner, 10 a.m.
Game 10: Gm 8 loser v. Gm 6 winner, 1 p.m.
Game 11: Gm 7 winner v. Gm 9 winner, 4 p.m.
Game 12: Gm 8 winner v. Gm 10 winner, 7 p.m.

Saturday, May 6
If Necessary: Gm 12 winner v. Gm 12 loser, 10 a.m.
If Necessary: Gm 11 winner v. Gm 11 loser, 10/1:00 p.m.
Championship: TBD

All times CDT

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