Southern falters in late innings, loses 8-7 to Loyola

Advocate staff photo by JOHN OUBRE -- Southern pitcher Ryan Flynn will start Wednesday's game at McNeese State.
Advocate staff photo by JOHN OUBRE -- Southern pitcher Ryan Flynn will start Wednesday's game at McNeese State.

On a cool night at Barrow Stadium, Loyola found a way to warm up.

The Wolf Pack rallied for an 8-7 victory Tuesday night when Carmelo LoSauro lined a two-out single past the outstretched glove of first baseman Brian Rowry in the bottom of the ninth, bringing home Brandon Snow.

“For me, personally, I’ve kind of been struggling all year,” LoSauro said. “I’ve been looking for an opportunity to finally come through for this team. Tonight was the perfect chance for me to do that.”

Southern, on the other hand, had yet another chance to get its disastrous season back on track. Instead, the Jaguars faltered late.

Trailing 7-6 in the top of the ninth, Southern started a rally when pinch hitter Elliott Jones doubled to right field off Loyola reliever Connor Thurman. Pinch runner Robinson Mateo came home when D.J. Wallace doubled to deep left field, tying the score.

Thurman retired Harley Wiltz with runners on second and third to end the threat.

That set up LoSauro’s game-winning single in the bottom of the ninth.

“It’s got to hurt them to be losing as much,” Southern coach Roger Cador said of his team, which took a 6-18 record into Tuesday’s game.

“When it hurts bad, that’s when you make the commitment to change and concentrate a little harder.”

Wallace led the Southern offense, going 3-for-5 with five RBIs — including a three-run homer to left that put the Jaguars ahead 5-1 in the seventh inning.

Southern’s Jacob Polk took the loss. He relieved Ryan Flynn in the sixth.

“Ryan Flynn pitched a really great game for us tonight,” Cador said. “Then we don’t make a couple plays, and the roof caved in (during) the late innings. ... With the pitching staff we have, when we go there, we have to make plays, because they can’t make up for the mistakes.”

The Wolf Pack had a balanced attack, getting 12 hits from seven hitters.

“Everyone came through tonight and I was just fortunate to swing at a good pitch,” LoSauro said.

Loyola coach Doug Faust said the game started to turn in the middle innings, even before Wallace’s homer put the Jaguars ahead by four runs.

“Around the third or fourth inning, we started having better at-bats,” Faust said. “The first three innings, I don’t think we hit one ball.”

In the bottom of the seventh, Loyola’s Nevin Brown stole third and scored on Garrett Lacour’s sacrifice fly, cutting the lead to 5-2. That was the start of a five-run seventh for the Wolf Pack.

Karson Cullins hit a two-RBI single that scored Phillip Cazayoux and Harold Toscano, cutting Southern’s lead to 5-4 in the seventh. Cullins later moved to third on a Southern error.

The Wolf Pack took the lead when LoSauro hit a two-RBI single that scored Cullins and Snow for a 6-5 lead.

“When you start having a little success, it gets a little easier to have good at-bats,” Faust said. “During a rally, it becomes contagious. Hitting is contagious. Getting out is contagious. Being successful is also contagious. We just got on a little roll there where everyone got in the box and kept having good at-bat after good at-bat.”

Southern tied the score at 6 in the eighth when Tyler Kirksey scored on a passed ball.

In the bottom of the eighth, Brown scored on a wild pitch, putting the Wolf Pack ahead 7-6.

The Jaguars rallied to tie the score, but they couldn’t find a way to win.

“This year has just been a disasterm,” Cador said. “I feel bad for everybody, because this is not what they are used to and it’s not what they expect. But we’ll get it right.”