NEW ORLEANS, La. – The Loyola University New Orleans baseball team will take on Tougaloo College at noon on Wednesday, May 5, in the opening round of the GCAC Tournament at Smith-Wills Field in Jackson, Mississippi.
Loyola (15-28) took the sixth-seed for the tournament, trailing fifth-seed Mobile by 1.5 games in the standings. Tougaloo College (2-46) finished in last place and faces the Wolfpack for the second straight season in the opening round. The winner of the play-in game advances to face top-seeded Belhaven on Thursday at 6 P.M. Loyola won the season series against the Bulldogs, taking five of six games including the last two by run-rule.
All the action can be followed on the GCAC Tournament site found at http://blazers.belhaven.edu/sports/2010/4/21/BB_0421100348.aspx?path=baseball.
Loyola will be looking to snap a late season skid, dropping nine of their last ten games since knocking off NCAA Southern University. To the Wolfpack’s credit, six of the losses came against Belhaven and LSU-Shreveport, ranked 11th and 12th in the NAIA.
Heading into post-season play, junior outfielder Ryan Scott leads the Loyola offense, batting .355 with 34 RBI and three home runs on the season. Scott closed out the year with a four-game hitting streak which included a home run and six RBI in the final series against #11 Belhaven. He also drew two walks, raising his total to 43 for the year.
Senior outfielder/pitcher Kevin Fontenot and freshman first baseman Tyler Duplantis come into the tournament with five-game hitting streaks. Fontenot hit .421 during the span while Duplantis scored five runs, had 11 hits with a home run bringing his average to .341 on the year.
Rounding out the leaders on offense are senior right fielder David McChesney, batting .329 with 30 RBI, freshman infielder Caleb Templet, hitting .323 with 28 RBI, and leading the team in home runs with four and hitting .305, sophomore second baseman Brooks McMinn.
On the mound, junior Taylor Domengeaux and senior Mike Kelly head the staff, with closer Fontenot leading the team with four saves and a 3.74 ERA. Domengeaux posted a 5-3 record, a 5.58 ERA, threw three complete games and struck out 33 batters on the year. Kelly, who looks to return after missing the last three series with an injury, has a 3-3 record, 5.48 ERA, and 43 strikeouts.