Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Opening Day is right around the corner. A new year and a new conference with four seniors lead the way. It's time for Centenary baseball.

The Gents open the 2012 season at home on Saturday, February 4, in a double-header against Hendrix College at 12 p.m. at Shehee Stadium.

Coming off a 12-31 season a year ago, the Centenary squad is eager to return to its winning ways under second-year head coach Mike Diaz.


Of the 37 rostered players, Centenary welcomes 22 freshmen. Hailing from California to Tennessee and the Virgin Islands, as well as Texas and Louisiana, the young guns will have to play an integral role on this year's squad.


Also new this season is the addition of a Junior Varsity squad.  The JV team will compete in a 10-game schedule to help prepare the younger players for the rigors of collegiate varsity baseball.


According to Coach Diaz, “…the [American Southwest Conference] is one of the toughest conferences in the nation…”  With strong teams such as Concordia and Hardin Simmons in the West and UT-Tyler and UT-Dallas in the East, the Gents Conference play will be spirited and competitive.


The Gents have three experienced arms returning to the mound this year.  Right-handers Cole Thompson (2-6, 6.35 ERA, 1 CG, 1 SV in 2011) and Lance Nugent, along with the left-handed Nic Parrott (2-2, 6.11 ERA, 12 SO), will be asked by Coach Diaz “to be workhorses….and [to] get us deep into games.”


The defense will be stabilized by the return of two players in key positions.  Senior Jeff Schaffert (.286 batting average and .947 fielding percentage) will once again be found behind the plate for the Gents, while junior Matt Creamer (.240 batting &  .930 fielding) will solidify the infield at shortstop.  Coach Diaz is looking forward to his new starters capitalizing on the progress they made during the Fall. 


"We are very excited to see what type of team we have and to begin competing this season" said Diaz.

All Centenary home games will be available via live stats on GoCentenary.com.