JACKSON, Miss. - Trailing by a run with two outs in the top of the ninth, freshman Tyler Duplantis delivered a bases loaded two-run single, putting the Loyola University New Orleans baseball team into the GCAC Championship with a 7-6 win over William Carey University at Smith-Wells Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Loyola (19-28) will play for the GCAC title and a bid to the NAIA National Tournament on Monday at 4 P.M. The Wolfpack face the winner of William Carey versus either #10 Belhaven or #12 LSU-Shreveport, who play at 3:30 today.
In the top of the ninth with one out, Loyola got back-to-back singles from Brooks McMinn and David McChesney. Following a strikeout, Caleb Templet drew a walk to load the bases. Down 0-2 in the count, Duplantis lined a base hit over the shortstop, scoring two runs to put Loyola up 7-6.
Facing the top off the order in the ninth, Kevin Fontenot (1-1) picked up two quick outs before Jacob Casey lined out to Duplantis at first, putting Loyola into the championship for the first time since 2002.
Duplantis paced the offense, finishing with three hits and three RBI and extended his hitting streak to nine games. Taylor Domengeaux also had three hits on the day with an RBI. Templet drove in a pair of runs on a bases loaded single in the sixth which gave Loyola a one run advantage.
On the mound, Domengeaux gave up four runs on eight hits in seven innings of work. Fontenot gave up the save in the eighth with two runs on two hits, but bounced back to throw a perfect ninth.
In a game that was back and forth throughout, Duplantis put Loyola up in the first on a single to right, plating McMinn, who scored three runs in the game. Carey answered in the second with a two-run homer by Josh Dannelley.
In the fourth, the ‘Pack tied the game on a sacrifice fly by McChensey. During Carey’s at-bat, Jason Terrell gave the Crusaders back the lead on a RBI double to left.
Templet’s single put Loyola up 4-3 in the sixth, then William Carey tied the game in the seventh on a double by Jordan Prout.
Loyola took the lead in the eighth on an RBI single by Domengeaux. His base hit scored Ryan Scott, who just beat the throw at the plate to make the score 5-4 Wolfpack.
The lead was short lived as William Carey’s Terrell blasted the first pitch in the bottom half of the eighth for a solo shot. After a walk and a stolen base, William Carey (31-26) went up 6-5 on a single by Sean Hodges.
Loyola was down to their last pitch in the ninth before Duplantis came through in the clutch with the game winning hit.
Kody James (2-3) took the loss for William Carey, giving up two runs on four hits in two innings. Terrell and Chantse Edwards led the Crusader offense with two hits each.