Loyola suffered its worst loss of the season Saturday, but head coach Nick Bridich said he wasn’t at all worried about his team going forward.

Instead, Bridich was optimistic about the future after losing to Brother Rice 16-1 in five innings in the Catholic Blue opener in Glenview.

“It’s the beautiful, wonderful and unbelievable challenge of baseball at the highest level and at every level,” he said. “We are a very good ball club, and we have the phenomenal opportunity to play very good ball clubs. We are mentally and emotionally prepared to go through that. The score doesn’t bother me, but our job as coaches is to make sure we learn from this.”

Loyola (15-3, 7-1) and Brother Rice play the second game of the series Monday in Chicago. The Ramblers then play two against Mount Carmel on Wednesday and Thursday. They play Glenbrook South at home Friday before another league game against St. Laurence at home Saturday.

The Crusaders led 2-1 after the first, but they scored 11 in the second to separate themselves. Six of the runs came with two outs.

Facing one of the top pitchers in the state, the Ramblers (15-3, 7-1) managed five hits against senior right-hander and Illinois-bound Ryan Kutt. Loyola loaded the bases with one out in the fourth, but Kutt struck out the next two batters to get out of the inning.

Kurt struck out seven and allowed one run and four hits in four innings.

Senior catcher Brian Vance led Loyola at the plate with two hits, including a double to start the fifth. Senior right-hander Rich Campbell took his first loss of the season, and junior right-hander Chris Heywood (pictured above) pitched 3 1/3 innings of relief.

“The team that wins the last game doesn’t win them all during the season,” Bridich said. “To have this done to us right now is a great learning opportunity for us. We are going to be ready to compete again.”

Photo credit: Melissa Krein/Loyola