Gents Split Mid-Con Opener With Valpo
Friday, April 9, 2004

Shreveport—The Centenary Gents committed three errors and fell in their Mid-Con debut to Valpo, 7-5, in the first game of a twinbill at Shehee Stadium on Friday. However, the Gents bounced back behind a complete game by pitcher Kevin Willborn to earn a split after day one of the four-game series with a 9-6 victory.

Centenary (14-18, 1-1 Mid-Con) jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in game one, but starter David Ruffing fell out of rhythm in the second inning and allowed three runs on only two hits thanks to a walk, a hit batter, and two wild pitches. The runs snapped an 18-inning scoreless streak posted by the hurler over his previous three outings.

Valparaiso (5-19, 1-1 Mid-Con) added three more runs over the next three innings to extend its lead to 6-2. The Gents battled back to pull within one at 6-5, but could not overcome the decficit.

Game two was a different story as Centenary jumped on top with three runs in the first inning and never looked back. The victory was sealed in the fifth inning when A.J. Howes doubled in a pair of runs and a back-to-back singles plated two more to give the Gents a 9-2 advantage.

Willborn improved his record to 4-3 on the year while striking out six and surrendering five earned runs. Howes finished the day with a 4-for-4 effort to go with three RBI and a run. Jesse Newell knocked in two, scored three times, and went 4-for-7 at the dish while Blake Adkison was 5-for-9 with three RBI and a run.

The two teams will meet again on Saturday for the final two games of the series beginning at 12 p.m. at Shehee Stadium.