Seven Diamond Gents Named All-Region by both ABCA and D3Baseball; Diaz Named Coach of Year
Junior Chris Zapata was the only Gent to be named First Team All-Region by both the ABCA/Rawlings and D3baseball.com
Seven Diamond Gents Named All-Region by both ABCA and D3Baseball; Diaz Named Coach of Year
Tuesday, May 23, 2017
Cody Crowder was the only freshmen named All-Region in both lists
Cody Crowder was the only freshmen named All-Region in both lists

SHREVEPORT, La. – The 2017 Centenary baseball team (35-10) placed seven individuals on both the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA)/Rawlings and D3baseball.com All-Region Teams for the West Region, released Tuesday, May 23.

Also announced by D3baseball.com, Gents head coach Mike Diaz was named the West Region Coach of the Year.

Junior catcher Chris Zapata was the lone Gent representative on the First Team on both lists, while senior outfielder Michael Schimpf and junior utility player Cole Lavergne received a First Team nod by D3baseball.com. Senior shortstop Aaron Quintanilla and junior pitcher Kaleb Kirk received Second Team honors by both publications, while sophomore pitcher Matthew Devillier (D3baseball) and Schimpf (ABCA/Rawlings) each received one Second Team All-Region nod.

Rounding out the honorees includes two Third Team All-Region selections for designated hitter Cody Crowder and one apiece for Devillier and Lavergne by ABCA/Rawlings.

Diaz won Coach of the Year for the West Region after leading the Gents to the best winning percentage (.778) and the second-most wins in program history. Centenary also won the SCAC Regular Season and Tournament Championships and appeared in an NCAA Regional for the first time in school history. The Gents currently sit in the top-5 in eight statistical categories, including second in both triples and triples per game (31 and 0.69), third in slugging percentage (.517), fourth in runs (401), and fifth in batting average (.347), scoring (8.9 runs per game), doubles (107), and on-base percentage (0.429).

The Gents rose as high as sixth in the country in the polls, the best ranking in school history.

Zapata, the 2017 SCAC Player of the Year, leads the nation with 71 RBI’s and sits second in RBI’s per game (1.58). He also led the conference and sits third in the nation with 131 total bases. He easily leads the conference in both home runs (12) and slugging percentage (.732), and finished second on the team and third in the conference with a .391 batting average.

Zapata broke the single-season Centenary record for RBI’s while finishing fourth in slugging percentage and fifth in total bases in the season annals.

Joining Zapata on the First Team All-Region list by D3baseball.com was Schimpf and Lavergne. Schimpf led the SCAC and is 68th in the nation with a .405 batting average, only the second player in conference history to win the batting title in two different seasons, and was the only player in the SCAC with an on-base percentage above .500 (.547). Schimpf finished second in the SCAC in runs scored (54), RBI’s (47), and slugging percentage (.622) – to teammates Quintanilla in runs scored and Zapata in RBI’s and slugging.

Schimpf finished his four years ranking in numerous categories in the Centenary career annals, including first with 53 hit-by-pitches, second with 166 runs and eight triples, third with 223 hits and 300 total bases, sixth with a .366 batting average and with 34 doubles, and 10th with 37 stolen bases.

Lavergne saw time both on the mound and as a first baseman, finishing with a 4-2 record and eight saves, the second-most saves in a single season in school history. His 3.58 ERA ranked ninth in the SCAC this season. Offensively, he finished the 2017 .301 from the plate with 47 hits, 37 runs scored, 29 RBI’s, nine doubles, two triples, and four home runs.

Quintanilla and Kirk both grabbed Second Team All-Region recognition for stellar seasons. Kirk, along with D3baseball.com Second Team honoree Devillier, both registered 11 wins in the 2017 campaign – the most by a Gents pitcher for a season in program history. Kirk was the winning pitcher in Centenary’s 12-1 triumph over Linfield in the first game of the NCAA Tournament, which gave him the career record for career wins (23). His five strikeouts in his final appearance bumped his season total up to 90, the most in the SCAC this season and the fifth-most for a single season in Gents history. Kirk’s 90 strikeouts also currently ranks 21st in the nation.

Devillier, who was Third Team All-Region by ABCA/Rawlings, recorded all 11 wins in the regular season – the most regular-season victories in the nation this season. He won all but his first start of the season.

Quintanilla received a pair of Second Team honors in his final season in a Gent uniform. He led the conference and sits ninth in the nation with 56 runs scored – the second-most for a single season in Gents history. He also added five triples to break the Maroon and White career triples mark with 10. Starting all 45 game this season for the Gents at shortstop, he finished the season with a .320 average with 55 hits, 12 doubles, five home runs, and 38 RBI’s.

Besides setting the program standard in triples, Quintanilla ranks fourth in runs scored (130), fifth in stolen bases (45), sixth in doubles (34) and RBI’s (116), and 10th in total bases (265).

Finally, Crowder received two Third Team All-Region honors after finishing third on the team and fourth in the conference with a .382 average. He also finished second in the conference (to Zapata) and is currently first among freshmen in the country with 65 hits.  He finished the season with 45 runs, 14 doubles, five triples, and 41 RBI’s.

Crowder was the only freshmen in the West Region to make both All-Region squads.