(New Orleans, La.) Loyola University New Orleans baseball team will travel to Pulaski, Tennessee for a Southern States Athletic Conference matchup with Martin Methodist College. The two teams will attempt to play a doubleheader on Friday, April 4th with first pitch scheduled for 4 p.m. Saturday’s contest is slated for a 1 p.m. start at the East Campus Athletic Facility. The games were originally scheduled for 2 p.m. on Friday but had to be pushed back to 4 p.m. due to inclement weather.
Loyola (20-19, 7-11) will send Kevin Lindsey (4-5), Daniel Posway (3-4), and Joel Buhler (3-5) to the mound for the three game set. Lindsey will bring his 1.29 ERA into the contest, which would set a Loyola school record for ERA in a season if he maintains that rate for the entire year. He currently is 23rd in the nation in ERA. Joel Buhler is coming off a nine inning, seven strikeout performance against William Carey. Buhler picked up the win despite allowing eight hits and one run. For his efforts, Buhler was named the LSWA Co-Pitcher of the Week. Daniel Posway will take the mound on Saturday. He comes into the matchup with a 3.33 ERA in 51.1 innings pitched. He has given up 19 runs and 12 walks this year.
The Loyola lineup is led by Jack Nicholson’s .322 average, eight doubles, and 46 total bases. Karson Cullins leads the team with 19 RBI’s and one home run. Brandon Snow has scored a team best 25 runs while knocking in 15 and stealing eight bases. Phil Cazayoux has a .312 average and an on-base percentage of .454 from the leadoff spot this season.
Martin Methodist (18-12, 10-8) will most likely send Blake Beavers (4-4), Clay Brown (5-3), and Zach Brewer (3-0) to the mound for the three game set. Beavers has a 3.62 ERA in 54.2 innings and five complete games this season. He has a team best 35 strikeouts, but has allowed 53 hits, 22 earned runs, and 20 walks. Brown sports a 3.96 ERA in eight starts this year. He has allowed only four walks in 52.1 frames. Brown has recorded 27 strikeouts and allowed 23 earned runs. Brewer has a 3.16 ERA in 25.2 innings. He has made five starts and struck out 12. He has surrendered nine runs, 11 walks, and 26 hits this year.
Erick Bonifacio leads the team with a .359 average for the season. Clint Gobbell has eight steals and 25 runs to lead the Redhawks in both categories. Seth Staggs tops the team with 21 RBI’s and is tied with Gobbell for team best honors with two home runs. Evan Ferguson and Blake Truett both have averages of .343 for the 2014 campaign.
The last time the Wolf Pack took the field they played two nerve-wracking games against Dallas Christian College. Loyola held onto a seventh inning lead in the first game as Conner Thurman pitched a complete game and got Nathan Maxey to ground out to the shortstop with the game-tying run on second base. Dallas Christian had four runs cross in the final frame to make the final score 7-6. Loyola fell behind 4-1 in game two of the series. However, they rallied in the bottom of the seventh as Harold Toscano scored on a seeing eye single by Brandon Snow. Then with Snow on second and Garrett Lacour on third Karson Cullins roped a single up the middle to tie the game and send it into extra innings. Nevin Brown led off the eighth with a walk, he was sacrificed to second which allowed Alexander Lorenzo to walkoff with a single up the middle to propel the Pack to a 5-4 win.
Martin Methodist was last in action on March 29th and 30th as they played a three game conference series against Bethel. Bethel took game one 6-1, before Martin Methodist responded with 7-6 and 10-6 wins on Saturday. In the final game Brown pitched 8.2 innings and gave up nine hits, six runs, and four walks, while Bonifacio had four RBI’s and two runs to help the Redhawks to the win.
This will be the first ever matchup between the Wolf Pack and Redhawks. This is Martin Methodist’s first season as a member of the SSAC. Martin Methodist sits in a three way tie for sixth place in the conference at 10-8. The Wolf Pack is three games back in the standings in a tie for 11th with Southern Wesleyan.
You can find live stats of the contests at http://wolfpack.loyno.edu/baseball/media.