Gents take second straight conference series
Sunday, March 4, 2012

ABILENE, TEXAS – Chase Clarke and Taylor Henry combined for a two-hit shutout to spearhead Centenary’s 4-0 game two win over Hardin-Simmons to extend its win streak to six, but the Cowboys responded with a 10-4 upset in the American Southwest Conference baseball series finale Saturday night.

Clarke improved to 2-0 while Centenary sits at 10-4 and 5-1 in ASC play after the three-game set. Clarke hurled 4 2/3, surrendering just one hit with two strikeouts. Henry relieved Clarke for the final 2 1/3 frames, also allowing one hit with two fanned batters.

The Gents offense cooled down a bit, but still pounded eight hits off three Cowboy pitchers. Kyle Morton put Centenary on top 1-0 in the first with an RBI single to centerfield, scoring Ryan Gasporra, who reached on a single to right center.

Jeff Schaffert blasted an RBI double down the right field line, scoring Tyler Clakley, who reached on a one-out single. The Gents poured in four hits in the frame, plating two to take the early lead and would never look back.

Both teams were scoreless until the top of the seventh when Clakley knocked in Gasporra and Matt Creamer with a double down the left field line.

Seven Gents batters tallied at least one hit with Clakley leading the charge with a 2-for-4, two-RBI effort.

Chris Matthews and Joey Dearing were the only Cowboys to register hits in the shutout.

The Cowboys turned the tables in game three, using two Centenary errors, 14 hits and an eight-run seventh inning to prevent the three-game sweep, 10-4.

Clakley drove in Creamer, who reached on the first of his game-high three hits. Creamer then stole second to put himself in scoring position. Hardin-Simmons answered with one in the bottom of the first, but Clakley doubled down the right field line in the Gents third frame to start another rally.

He advanced to third on a Morton fly out and scored on a Schaffert groundout. Hardin-Simmons wouldn’t go away that easily, tacking on another run to square things at two each.

Then the Cowboy bats came alive and sparked an eight-run seventh to go up 10-2. The Gents tried to ignite a ninth-inning rally, but plated only two to cut the margin to the final, 10-4.

Centenary begins a four-game homestand Tuesday at 6 p.m., hosting Louisiana Tech at Shehee Stadium before hosting a three-game set against ASC foe East Texas Baptist March 9.