Pilots make NAIA postseason debut at home tonight at 6

(Photo courtesy LSUS Athletics)


The Shreveport Bracket of the Opening Round of the 2023 NAIA Baseball Tournament kicks off at 11 a.m. today with the first of three Monday games, the last one featuring the host team, the No. 2-ranked LSUS Pilots.

The Pilots (44-8) are slated for a 6 o’clock start on campus against the winner of the 11 a.m. contest between No. 4 MidAmerica Nazarene (30-25) and No. 5 Dillard (22-28). The middle game today pits No. 2 McPherson (36-14) and No. 3 Morningside (36-16).

It’s a double-elimination bracket rewarding the winner with a berth in the NAIA World Series.

LSUS posted a 27-3 Red River Athletic Conference regular-season slate to win its second consecutive league title. The Pilots had an astounding 15 players listed on the All-RRAC team, eight on the first team, and picked up three of the top individual honors. It’s the third straight year LSUS has had at least 15 players make all-conference, and the second straight time Pilots won Player of the Year, Pitcher of the Year and Newcomer of the Year honors.

Ryan Major was the league Player of the Year and won the Golden Gove Outfielder award for the second year in a row. The senior’s regular-season stats included a .497 batting average, 22 doubles, 8 triples and 43 stolen bases, all leading the RRAC.

Bobby Vath was the league’s Pitcher of the Year. The Pilots’ ace, a right-handed sophomore, had an 11-1 regular-season record with 71 strikeouts, third in the RRAC, while walking only 11 hitters. He had a 2.45 ERA.

Cameron Prayer, a senior transfer from Houston, won RRAC Newcomer of the Year honors, posting a 7-0 record with a league-best 2.05 ERA and 58 strikeouts in 52.2 innings with only 14 walks.