Loyola Baseball Team Opens SSAC Play Friday

Thu, 02/16/2012

NEW ORLEANS, La. - The Loyola University New Orleans (8-3) baseball squad will take on Belhaven (8-3) in Jackson in a three game set at Smith-Wills Stadium.

Game times for this weekend have been changed due to a funeral on Saturday for distinguished Belhaven professor Dr. Wynn Kenyon. Loyola and Belhaven will now square off in a double header on Friday starting at 2:30 p.m., and then a single game on Saturday at 4:00 p.m.

The baseball team continues their best start since the 1991 season despite dropping the first two games at Thomas University. The ‘Pack had a great come from behind victory in game three, scoring five runs in the sixth to gain their first lead of the game, and then six runs in the extra eighth inning frame to clinch the win and avoid the sweep.

Philip Cazayoux, Karson Cullins, and Evan Turkish hope to sustain their presence at the plate this weekend. Cazayoux remains the team’s runs and RBI’s leader with 11 and 10 respectively, tacking on three more runs and one RBI over the weekend.

Cullins has played in all 11 outings this season and has built a sturdy .324 batting average and a .410 on base percentage. Finally, Turkish had a productive Thomas series, going 4-11 with one run scored. Turkish has two extra base hits on the season including one home run.

The weekend series marks the first conference games of the season for the Wolfpack. Loyola competed in the Southern States Athletic Conference for the first time last year and compiled a 5-13 conference record.

Last season, the ‘Pack hosted the Blazers in a three game set at home, winning the first game 9-5 before dropping the next two. Infielder Brandon Snow was instrumental in the victory, going 3-5 with one run scored and two RBI’s.

Loyola head coach Gerald Cassard plans to utilize the same rotation he used this past weekend against Thomas University. Matt Guerry (1-1) and George Smith (1-1) will start on Friday with Matt Ditsworth (1-0) taking the mound in the finale.

The trio of pitchers have started in three games each with Smith and Ditsworth having one complete game under their belts. Guerry has gone 10.1 innings, allowed six earned runs, and struck out eight. Smith has struck out eight as well over 13 innings pitched, holding the opposition to a .234 batting average. Ditsworth leads the team in strikeouts with 19 over 14 innings pitched and posts a 3.21 ERA.

Belhaven is 7-1 at home this season, winning three of their past four games. Bud Britt and Anthony Doss lead the team with a .400 and .395 batting average respectively, while Jaime Bruno leads the squad with 10 RBI’s. Meanwhile, Geoffrey Thomas (1-0) leads the Blazers pitching staff with his 12 strikeouts and zero earned runs over 11.2 innings.

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