By Mike Harris
BALTIMORE — The Loyola Club Baseball team entered the fall season looking to repeat the success found during the 2015-2016 season. The Hounds captured their first ever conference championship, finishing the year 13-2. With the departure of four key seniors from last year, the Hounds looked to new faces to repeat as District III North champions.
The Greyhounds led off the season with a 4-3 victory over Georgetown on the road. The win marked the start of a special fall for the club. Led by senior captain Carl Gatzendorfer and junior ace Sam McQuaid, the Hounds charged into the State College Classic. In the first game of the tournament, the team massacred powerhouse SUNY Brockport in a 12-2 beatdown.
When asked about the victory, junior Brian Lule said, “This is a big deal for us. That’s a nationally ranked team over there and we showed we can hang with the best.”
The team dropped hard fought games to D1 powers Rutgers and Ohio University in the final two games of the tournament. However, the strong showing by the club opened eyes across the NCBA, and made the Hounds a force to be reckoned with.
Following a 2-2 start to the season, the Hounds entered conference play. First on the chopping block for the Loyola sat York College. The team crushed York on its way to a three-game sweep. Freshman Matt Sweeney led the brigade totaling a whopping 8 RBIs in the short three-game stint.
Cross-town rival Johns Hopkins was next to fall victim to the powerhouse Hounds offense. The club posted 26 runs on their way to another three-game sweep of a conference rival. On the bump, McQuaid etched his name into the Loyola record books with a no-hitter in game one of the series against the Jays.
When asked about his thoughts on the fall season, senior Charlie Carita said, “It was definitely a strong start for us. We are taking care of business in league play, and we need to look to continue that in the spring heading into playoffs.” Junior Tommy Lyons added, “Kansas. That is the goal. We want to be in Kansas playing for a national title.”
Loyola will look to defend its conference title in the spring, and change the fortune of last season’s regional exit. The Hounds seem to be in the driver’s seat as they set their eyes on the Division II Club Baseball World Series in Kansas this May.