(New Orleans, La.) Loyola University New Orleans baseball team will take on #1 ranked Faulkner University in a three game series at Harrison Field in Montgomery, Alabama. The teams will play a single game on Friday, February 28th at 3 p.m. That will be followed with a Saturday doubleheader starting at 1 p.m.
The Wolf Pack (8-7, 4-2) enters the game after dropping a Monday doubleheader to Georgia Gwinnett College earlier in the week. The team fell 10-1 in the opener before the Grizzlies took game two 9-0. The two games came after the Wolf Pack moved to 4-2 in the SSAC play over the weekend with a three game sweep of Blue Mountain College. The Wolf Pack was led by three excellent pitching performances. Daniel Posway pitched a 7 inning complete game in the opener, only allowing five hits and one earned run as Loyola won 10-1. Joel Buhler followed that in Friday’s nightcap with a career best 12 strikeout performance in 7.1 innings of work in the 6-1 win. Kevin Lindsey pitched a three hit complete game on Saturday afternoon, allowing one unearned run as the Wolf Pack swept the series with a 3-1 win in the finale. He has now pitched 24.1 consecutive innings without allowing an earned run.
Faulkner (12-2, 3-0) enters the three game set with an eight game winning streak. They received 18 of 19 first place votes in the preseason NAIA Baseball Coaches’ Preseason Poll. The Eagles are the reigning NAIA national champions after defeating Lewis-Clark State in the NAIA World Series last spring. They swept Thomas University this past weekend 8-7, 10-9, and 3-0 before taking a midweek game from Point University 5-4 on Tuesday.
Philip Cazayoux is leading the Wolf Pack with a .415 average and 17 hits on the season. John Nicholson is batting .400 and has recorded a team best nine RBI’s, five doubles, and 21 total bases. Brandon Snow is pacing the Pack with 13 runs and four steals.
Loyola’s Lindsey (3-1) sports a miniscule 0.36 ERA in 25.1 innings so far this season. He has two complete games in four starts and has nine strikeouts for the season. Posway (2-1) will get the Friday night start, he enters the game with a 1.89 ERA, having only allowed four earned runs in 19 innings. Buhler (2-2) has squad best 20 strikeouts in 23.2 innings of work as he has notched a 2.66 ERA.
Darius Holguin leads the team with a .410 average and 16 hits. Luis Sanchez has 13 RBI’s, 15 runs, and nine steals which are all tops on the Eagles. Michael Cruz has swatted two home runs and leads the team with 24 total bases.
The Eagles pitching staff is led by Jeremy Holcombe (3-1). He has a 1.82 ERA with 21 strikeouts in 24.2 innings pitched. Thomas Doriminy (3-0) leads the team with 33 strikeouts in 25 innings. He has a 2.52 ERA in four starts as he has allowed seven earned runs and 17 hits this season. Julian Esquibel (2-0) has pitched 22.1 innings while allowing an ERA of 4.84 and notching 19 strikeouts. Brad Griffis has three saves and a 1.69 ERA in five appearances out of the Faulkner bullpen.
Last season these two teams faced off for a three game set at Segnette Field which Faulkner swept 4-2, 3-0, and 16-3. Faulkner needed a ninth inning two run home run from David Bishop to take the lead in game one of the series. Faulkner is 21-2 all-time against Loyola in the Wolf Pack’s “new era” of athletics.
You can find live video of the series at: http://atwsportscast.com/Colleges/Players/Faulkner.htm.