(Montgomery, AL) After dropping game one of the doubleheader 17-9, Loyola University New Orleans came back to win the second game 8-7 against Auburn University Montgomery on Saturday afternoon at the AUM Baseball Complex.
Game 1: Loyola 9 AUM 17
AUM scored in all but two innings en route to a 17-9 win over Loyola in the first game of the Saturday double header at the AUM Baseball Complex.
The big blow came in the fourth inning as the Warhawks scored six runs in the bottom half to break a 4-4 tie. AUM utilized Chad Mansmann’s one out single that plated Branden Kelley and Wes Hughes to break the deadlock. The Warhawks added a run on a passed ball and later an unearned run on a throwing error by John Nicholson. Hayden Hillyer hit a sacrifice fly to left field that scored Bearden for the fifth run of the inning. The last run came off a double down the left field line by Bryan Young that scored Shane Turner. AUM extended the lead in the fifth with a pair of runs and again in the sixth with a five run frame.
Will Ruffin (2-0) earned the win in relief. He entered with two out in the second inning and got Nicholson to pop up to end a Wolf Pack threat. Ruffin went 5.1 innings and gave up five runs, all in the sixth inning, on five hits while striking out eight. Starter Daniel Farrar gave up four runs on six hits and walked a batter in 1.2 innings for the no-decision. Chad Mansmann and Branden Kelley led the AUM offense with three hits each.
For Loyola, Tony Asta (0-2) took the loss. The righthander gave up 10 runs, five earned on six hits and walked one in 3.1 innings. Loyola had 11 hits in the game with Brandon Snow, Britt Pellegrin, Evan Turkish, and Philip Cazayoux each collecting two.
Game 2: Loyola 8 AUM 7
The Wolf Pack scored eight runs in the last two innings to emerge victorious in the series finale against Auburn Montgomery.
Loyola entered the eighth inning down 3-0, but was able to tie up the game in the top half of the inning thanks to a RBI groundout by Karson Cullins, and RBI singles by Carmelo LoSauro and Evan Turkish. AUM momentarily retook the lead in the bottom of the inning when Hayden Hillyer singled to right to score Shane Turner.
However, Loyola responded in a big way with a five run ninth inning to take the lead for good. Pinch hitter Bradley Brunet delivered the big hit with a single to left field that scored three Wolf Pack runners and gave Loyola a 8-4 lead.
The lead wasn’t entirely safe as the Warhawks scored three runs in the bottom of the ninth before Bryan Young flied out to right with the winning run on second base. Hiillyer had doubled to right in the previous at bat to score pinch runner Brandon Pooler, which cut the margin to one. Blake Bearden reached third on the play, but was stranded there as the game ended.
Auburn Montgomery jumped out to the lead in the fourth inning after Wolf Pack pitcher Daniel Posway hit two batters and then had a throwing error which allowed Wellman to reach and load the bases. Hillyer singled to score Bearden and Shane Turner before Hughes hit a sacrifice fly to right field. The game remained 3-0 until the eighth inning.
Posway (2-1) picked up the victory for the Wolf Pack as he pitched eight innings while allowing four earned runs on six hits. He struck out four Warhawks. Joel Buhler got in trouble in the ninth inning but Conner Thurman came in and recorded all three outs to earn the Wolf Pack’s first save of the season.
Eran Franks started for the Warhawks, allowing only three hits over five innings of work. Nathan Taylor threw two hitless innings, but allowed one run. However, the bullpen trio of Erik Lawrence, Britt Wilson, and Blake Woo could not stop the Wolf Pack from scoring. Wilson earned the loss as he pitched .2 of an inning and allowed four runs on three hits and two walks.
Brunet was the hitting hero for Loyola as he went 1 for 1 with two RBI’s. Five other Wolf Pack players pitched in with an RBI each. Nine different players had a hit for Loyola as they managed to avoid the series sweep against the #18 team in the country.
Hiller went 3 for 5 in the game with four RBI’s to lead the Warhawk effort. Designated Hitter Bearden went 0 for 4 but managed an RBI and two runs.
The Wolf Pack will return to action with a three game series against William Carey which starts at 6:00 p.m. on Friday February 22nd at Segnette Field.