Loyola Marymount’s red-hot baseball team, winner of five straight games and 10 of its last 11, will play host to the University of Nevada-Reno for a four-game West Coast Athletic Conference home stand starting this afternoon at 2:30.
The Lions are 27-18 overall and 10-1 in the WCAC and have moved back into the top 25 in the Collegiate Baseball-ESPN poll. With conference leader Pepperdine (13-3) not playing WCAC games this weekend, the Lions can move into first place with a successful series. The Loyola-Reno series will continue with a noon doubleheader Saturday and a 1 p.m. game Sunday.
Reno enters the weekend one game out of third place in the WCAC at 7-5. The Wolfpack is 24-20 overall.
The Lions, who defeated nationally 12th-ranked Fresno State, 8-7, Wednesday, have a hot quintet in the middle of the lineup in Miah Bradbury (.385), Travis Tarchione (.384), Joe Ciccarella (.371), Rick Allen (.364) and Tim Williams (.324). The Lions are hitting .323, best in the WCAC, and lead in most of the power categories.
Loyola has also been getting good pitching lately. Kalani Bush (9-2) has lowered his earned-run average to 2.74. Brian Clancy (4-3) is down to 3.03 and Steve Surico has leveled his record at 4-4. The Lions’ team ERA is down to 4.28.
Sophomore infielder John DeRicco leads the Wolfpack in most offensive categories, including average (.377) and hits (60) and leads the conference with nine game-winning runs batted in. The Wolfpack is hitting .297 while its ERA is 5.52. Doug Van Tress, 5-1, is the top pitcher.