Baseball Sweeps Day, Takes Non-Conference series with Southwestern
Kaleb Kirk improved to 2-1 on the year, tossing a complete game in the series decider against Southwestern.
Baseball Sweeps Day, Takes Non-Conference series with Southwestern
Sunday, February 21, 2016
Centenary (7-2)
Southwestern (2-7)
2/20/2016 | Georgetown, Texas | Attendance: 0
Win: Cole Lavergne (1-0) 2.021000
Loss: Joseph Koch (0-1) 1.032100
Michael Schimpf (CENTBASE) 434310
Ethan Luna (SU) 524301

GEORGETOWN, Texas – After both teams out-slugged each other for a split in the first two games of the series, the Gents were looking for a great pitching performance to save arms.

Little did they know, sophomore right-hander Kaleb Kirk not only provided just the pitching start needed, he would go the full nine innings.

After a 13-12, 10-inning victory in game one, Kirk allowed just two runs while striking out nine in a complete game as Centenary (8-2) scored three runs late to knock off Southwestern (2-8) 5-2 in the nightcap in Georgetown, Texas, Saturday afternoon, February 20.

In the series decider, both teams managed runs in the first inning. Gents’ sophomore Chris Zapata blasted his first home run of the season to left field on the first pitch he saw in the third inning, but the Pirates tied the game with another run in the bottom of the fifth.

However, the Maroon and White put a three-spot up the next half inning. Freshman Cameron Guin began the inning with a single up the middle and advanced to second on a groundout. Classmate Jonathan Motal put runners on the corner with a single, and a wild pitch advanced both runners as Centenary went up 3-2. Senior Dakota Brown doubled in Motal and freshman Colten Maples singled to put men on the corners with one out.

A squeeze play on a sacrifice bunt by sophomore Ian Graham scored Brown as Centenary took the 5-2 advantage.

Motal led the Gents offensively with three hits in four at-bats with a run scored. Centenary took advantage of four Southwestern wild pitches on the day, as the Pirates had 12 for the weekend.

Southwestern had chances to cut into the deficit multiple times over the final four innings, but Kirk (2-1) kept the home team off the scoreboard. In the sixth, the Pirates had a man in scoring position with no outs, but a strikeout, pop up and ground out stranded the runner at second. Southwestern had a man on third with two outs in the eighth, but Kirk recorded the punchout on three-straight pitches to end the threat.

A fielding error loaded the bases for Southwestern with two down in the ninth, but Kirk induced a foul popup to end the game.

Will Preston (0-1) took the loss for the Pirates, allowing 10 hits and five runs in 5.2 innings. Ethan Hallmark added two hits with an RBI to lead Southwestern offensively.

In the opening game, Centenary raced out to an 11-4 advantage after seven, but Southwestern rallied to send the game to extra innings. The Gents scored two in the 10th and held on for the 13-12 win.

Southwestern led 3-2 heading to the fifth, but Centenary exploded for a five-spot. An error, single and sacrifice bunt put a pair of runners in scoring position to begin the inning. Junior Michael Schimpf flipped the score with a single to drive in a pair. With Schimpf advancing to second, junior Scott Dwyer singled in Schimpf and advanced on the throw. A Zapata double and a single by sophomore Cole Lavergne put Centenary up 7-3.

The Maroon and White loaded the bases with no outs in the seventh, and a double by Guin and a single by Lavergne plated four to put Centenary up 11-4.

Everyone in the Centenary starting lineup managed a hit, as the Gents banged out a season-best 17 hits. Schimpf had a hit in all four at-bats with three runs and three RBI’s. Zapata went 3-for-5 with two runs and two RBI’s.

Lavergne, who managed the win in relief in his first decision of the year, added three RBI’s. On the rubber, he allowed an unearned run in two innings of work.

After Southwestern sent the game to extras, Centenary scored a pair in the 10th. A Brown single and a throwing error put the go-ahead runner at third. Maples singled, stole second, and scored on Schimpf’s two-out single.

Southwestern did not go quietly. Two singles and an error put men on the corners with two down in the 10th. The Pirates cut the deficit in half with a throwing error, but Lavergne induced a 3-2 groundout to end the game.

Joseph Koch (0-1) took the loss in relief for Southwestern, allowing two runs (one unearned) and three hits in one inning pitched. The top two in the lineup for the home team, Will Cates and Ben Little, went a combined 6-for-12 with four RBI’s and two runs scored. Ethan Luna went 4-for-5 with three RBI’s and two runs scored.

Centenary returns to action next Friday (February 26) when it hosts Schreiner for a non-conference series. First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m.