Gents Revealed #24 In Nation, Hold On for 7-6 Win against La Verne
La Verne (0-1)
2/3/2017 | La Verne, CA | Attendance: 137
LA VERNE, Calif. – It was good news in the morning when Gents baseball found out they would start the 2017 season #24 according to Perfect Game. In the night, while the Maroon and White saw a 6-0 lead vanish in the sixth to the Leopards, a single tally on two costly errors helped Centenary (1-0) knock off La Verne (0-1) 7-6 Friday night, February 3.
The game ended in the top of the ninth due to darkness.
With Centenary leading 6-0 heading to the bottom of the sixth, La Verne put up a six spot to tie the game. However, two critical errors in the top of the eighth scored the winning run. With one out, junior Cole Lavergne ended up at second after a throwing error. A ground out moved Lavergne to third for freshman Zane Wilkinson. He grounded to the shortstop, but a throwing error and the ensuing pickle he ran into before first and second allowed Lavergne to score the winning run.
“Seven-of-eight innings we played were good, but we had the nightmare big inning you just cannot have,” explained head coach Mike Diaz. “But I will give credit to our guys for hanging in there and finding a way to win. Kaleb was outstanding and Cole showed some serious competitiveness to shut the door and get the win.”
Lavergne was on the bump when Centenary took the lead to give him his first win of the season and second of his career. Lavergne surrendered only one hit and struck out three in 2.1 innings of scoreless relief.
Gents starter, junior Kaleb Kirk, also threw five scoreless innings and allowed just three hits while striking out eight.
Junior Chris Zapata got things started for the Gents in the fourth with a leadoff home run to left. Senior Aaron Quintanilla then walked and scored on freshman Cody Crowder’s double. After bunt singles by junior Ian Graham and sophomore Cameron Guin scored a third run, a two-out single by sophomore Andrew Russell on an 0-2 pitch put Centenary up 4-0 after four innings.
In his first collegiate game, Crowder had a hit in all three at-bats with two RBI’s and a run scored. Lavergne and Quintanilla both crossed the plate twice in the game. Lavergne tripled and scored the sixth Centenary run on a Russell sacrifice fly in the sixth.
La Verne threatened to climb right back in the game in the fourth when two walks and an error loaded the bases with no outs. However, Kirk threw 11 pitches to get two strikeouts, and a flyout on the first pitch kept the Leopards off the scoreboard.
However, the home team scored six in the bottom of the sixth to tie the game. They loaded the bases with one out, and Isaiah Cruz was plunked to drive in the first run. A sacrifice fly and a throwing error allowed two more Leopards to score. An RBI single by Brennan Campbell and RBI doubles by Nick Michaels and Jakob Thomas tied the game. However, Lavergne recorded a strikeout to end the inning.
La Verne only managed a hit by pitch in the final two innings.
Thomas led the Leopards with two hits in three at-bats with a run scored.
“At the end of the day, we will take the win, but we have to be better out of the pen and be able to play a clean, complete game,” added Diaz.
Centenary returns to action Saturday, February 4, at 1 p.m. with doubleheader at Redlands.
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