Wolf Pack defense causes midseason slump


Business analytics freshman Patrick Chen See (17) falls after missing a foul ball. Loyola’s baseball team sits in the bottom of the conference standings without a win against Southern States Athletic Conference team. Photo credit: Andres Fuentes

Andres Fuentes

Instead of standing tall among the rest of the pack, midway through the season, Loyola’s baseball team is sitting dead last in the Southern States Athletic Conference standings without a single win versus a conference opponent.

It should be said that Loyola’s conference features three nationally ranked teams, and the Wolf Pack have already been trampled by No. 2 Faulkner University and No. 8 Middle Georgia State and look toward No. 25 Mobile University on the horizon.

This slump is all too familiar for the team when looking back at this time last year. In 2018, Loyola sported a 15-23 overall record and a single conference win and 14 conference losses.

However, despite having the worst record among the conference’s 10 teams this year, Loyola’s runs averages show that the issue lies in the Wolf Pack’s defense and their offense is actually on the rise.

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Through 36 games this year, Loyola is averaging 11.0 runs per game while allowing their opponents 11.6 runs per game. The Wolf Pack run average has soared from its 9.3 runs per game last season but their defense has greatly suffered as compared to last year.

Loyola is allowing nearly four more runs in 2019 as compared to last season, and their averages against conference opponents also show a glaring difference.

Despite Loyola earning more runs on the scoreboard this year, they have also allowed their rivals to score more, leaving the team 0-15 versus Southern States Athletic Conference teams.

Last year, the difference between Loyola’s run average and their conference opponents’ run average was 3.6 runs per game. Whereas the difference for 2019 rests at 4.6 runs per game.

The wider margin this year between the Wolf Pack and their rivals accounts for such losses such as the crushing 16-6 defeat against Middle Georgia State on March 2.

Nevertheless, Loyola still has four more Southern States Athletic Conference opponents left in the season, and in order to avoid a season without a conference win, Loyola needs to continue with their high run average and bring their opponents run average back down to 2018.