Braves suffer first postseason loss to Keiser

By The Herald Staff

The Ottawa University baseball team is facing elimination after suffering its first loss of the NAIA Opening Round Tuesday at Segnette Field in New Orleans.

Ottawa lost 19-5 to No. 17 Keiser University. It was Ottawa’s first loss in postseason play after winning six straight.

Ottawa (37-19) plays Wednesday against the winner of the Oklahoma City University/Loyola University game.

Earlier Tuesday, Ottawa defeated No. 8 Loyola University, 4-1. The Braves are 4-1 against NAIA Top 10 teams this season and have won three straight games against those teams.

Ottawa could not slow down Keiser, especially late in the game. The Seahawks scored a combined 12 runs in the sixth through eighth inning to break away from Ottawa. The Braves had climbed to within 7-5 when the Seahawks put the offense in another gear.

Kyle Banister went 3-for-4 at the plate, scoring one run. Rylan Cratsenberg smashed his 23rd home run of the season.

Ottawa used top pitching and timely hitting to knock off Loyola. Austin Skelhorn, Jeremy Husband, Eric Reece, and Austin Warfel allowed two hits in their 3.2 innings in relief of startier Hector Sepulveda, who tossed 5.1 innings and had seven strikeouts.

Ottawa scored two runs each in the fourth and sixth innings. Elliot Antonetty connected on his 11th home run of the season to give the Braves a 2-1 lead in the fourth.

Zachary Spradlin led Ottawa with three hits.