(Westwego, La.) Loyola University New Orleans baseball team extended their winning streak to five games as they took a pair of games against Eureka and Blackburn. Loyola survived a ninth inning rally to defeat Eureka 11-10 and then defeated Blackburn 3-1. Connor Thurman earned saves in each Wolf Pack victory. The five game winning streak is the longest of this season for the Wolf Pack.
Game 1: Loyola 11 Eureka 10
Loyola’s Connor Thurman shut the door on a Eureka rally in the ninth to earn his fifth save of the season as the Wolf Pack held on for the 11-10 win.
Thurman entered in the ninth with the Wolf Pack clinging to an 11-9 lead and runners on second and third. The righthander struck out Josiah Rose and followed by inducing a groundout from Jeff Andrews which scored Cody Litwiler. With the tying run at third, Thurman got Blake Lishka to bounce a ball back to the mound ending a back and forth contest in the Wolf Pack’s favor.
The Wolf Pack took the lead in the first inning as Lacour singled to shortstop and moved to second on Rose’s wild throw. Karson Cullins knocked him in with a single to left field.
Eureka (0-4) took a 2-1 lead in the third inning as Brian Munson reached on a single and Trevor Teal walked. Mason grounded into a fielder’s choice then stole second to put two in scoring position. Litwiler brought both home with a single to left centerfield.
Loyola did not let the Red Devils hold the lead as they responded with three of their own in the bottom half of the inning. Philip Cazayoux walked and Cullins singled. They moved into scoring position on a passed ball. Kevin Lindsey hit a grounder to third and Teal tried to tag out Cazayoux at third which allowed Lindsey to reach first. Chris Bell then collected his first hit of the season when he ripped a two RBI single to centerfield which scored Cazayoux and Cullins. With runners on the corners, Toscano hit a grounder which allowed Lindsey to score the third run of the inning.
The Red Devils added one in the fourth before a five run fifth saw them take a 7-4 lead. The fifth inning rally started when Litwiler singled with two outs and followed by stealing second. Louis walked and Rose singled to score Litwiler. Michael Pfister should have been out of the inning when Andrews chopped a ball back to the mound, but Pfister threw wide of first allowing Louis to score. Brandon Snow relieved Pfister and gave up a single to Lishka which plated Rose and Andrews who was on second after a steal.
The Wolf Pack mounted a rally in the sixth inning when Senner bunted down to lead off the inning. Pinch hitter Jack Nicholson was hit by a pitch, before two straight outs were recorded. Cullins walked to load the bases which prompted Eureka to remove starting pitcher Bryan Meyer from the game. John Kurtz entered and promptly allowed a single to Kevin Lindsey which scored Senner and Nicholson. Bell followed with a single into the left centerfield gap to score Cullins and tie the game at seven.
Loyola took the lead in the seven as Senner again started the rally with a one out walk. The freshman stole second base and went to third when Nicholson reached on Rose’s bobble. With runners on the corners, Garret Lacour executed a squeeze bunt for a single which scored Senner. Cazayoux followed with a single to knock in Nicholson.
The Pack added two more in the next inning as Bell collected his third hit of the day with a double to left field. Toscano walked and Licciardi reached on an error to load the bases. Senner singled to deep left which knocked in Bell and Toscano to give the Pack a pair of insurance runs.
Pfister started and pitched 4.2 innings and collected a no-decision. He gave up six hits, seven runs, four earned runs, three walks and struck out two. Snow (1-0) pitched 2.1 innings and the senior only allowed three hits in the first appearance of his career. Moore gave up four hits, and three runs in 1+ inning. Thurman picked up his fifth save of the season by not allowing a hit and striking out one in his one inning of work.
Meyer lasted 5.2 innings in the start for the Red Devils. He gave up eight hits, seven runs, six earned runs, and two walks. Jason Kurtz (0-1) took the loss by pitching 1.2 innings and allowing five hits, three runs, two earned and one walk. Nick Finney pitched .2 of an inning and gave up one hit, one walk, and one earned run.
Bell was 3 for 5 with three RBI’s and a run. Lindsey was 1 for 5 with two RBI’s and a run. Senner had a 2 for 4 day with two runs scored and two knocked in. Cullins scored twice as he went 2 for 4 at the plate. Eight of the nine spots in the order scored runs and seven of the nine had RBI’s.
Litwiler was 3 for 5 with two runs and three RBI’s. Kamaron Mason was 2 for 5 with two runs. Nate Louis and Brian Munson each had two hits. Andrews had two RBI’s as did Lishka.
Game 2: Loyola 3 Blackburn 1
Stewart Campbell (2-3) pitched seven strong innings while only allowing one unearned run and scattering three hits and two walks to earn the victory. Daniel Posway pitched a shutout eighth inning in his first relief appearance of the season. Connor Thurman came in to shut the door in the ninth. He struck out two and allowed one hit in earning his third save of the last two days and his sixth of the season.
The Wolf Pack took a 1-0 lead in the fourth inning thanks to two errors by the Blackburn defense. Carmelo LoSauro led off with a grounder to third but Cody Flowers’ errant throw allowed LoSauro to get to second. Pappas reached on a wild throw by the second baseman Aaron Moody to put runners on the corners. Brian Reaney collected a RBI as he lofted a ball to right field which allowed LoSauro to tag up on the sacrifice fly.
Blackburn countered in the sixth inning as Vinnie Birk led off with a single to the left side of the infield. Franklin Bush reached after Campbell had a wild throw on a tapper back to the mound. Josh Lowry followed with a walk to load the bases with nobody out. Matt Mokriakow grounded out to third to score Birk. However, Campbell retired Moody and Josh Voigtlander to get out of trouble.
Loyola retook the lead in the seventh inning as Caleb Schupbach came to the mound. Andrew Fournet drilled a double down the left field line with one out. The freshman speedster then stole second and scored the go ahead run on Snow’s sacrifice fly to right field. With the bases empty and two outs, Lacour walked. He moved to second on a wild pitch and was driven in on a Nicholson single to left centerfield.
Schupbach (0-2) took the loss as he pitched two innings and allowed three hits, one walk, and two runs. Jacob Baalman started and pitched four frames only allowing three hits and one unearned run. He had two strikeouts before departing while trailing 1-0. Tim Hillis and Tyler Gosnell each pitched one shutout inning in relief.
The Wolf Pack (15-11) had seven hits as Nicholson led the way by going 2 for 3 with a RBI. Snow and Reaney each tallied one hit and one RBI. Lacour and LoSauro scored despite going hitless, while Fournet scored during his 1 for 3 game. Daniel Pappas and Alexander Lorenzo recorded the other Wolf Pack hits.
Blackburn (0-8) tallied four hits for the game. Mokriakow was 1 for 4 with a RBI double. Birk, Bush, and Flowers recorded hits as well.
Loyola will be back in action for a weekend series against Spring Hill College starting on Friday, March 14th at 6 p.m. The two Jesuit rivals will play a doubleheader on Saturday, March 15th with first pitch slated for 1 p.m.