Gents Earn Series Split at Southern Utah
Saturday, May 1, 2004

Cedar City, Utah—Southern Utah and Centenary posted a pair of lopsided victories as the two teams came away with a split a four-game weekend series in Cedar City. After losing the series opener on Friday 10-5, Centenary bounced back to take the second game by a similar 10-5 score. On Saturday, the Gents scored eight first-inning runs in pounding the Thunderbirds, 16-1, in the opener while SUU’s Justin Abbott came through with a dominating performance in SUU’s 13-2 win in the seven-inning series finale.

The Gents (19-25/6-8 Mid-Con) registered only three hits in their decisive first inning, but took advantage of two costly T-Bird infield throwing errors along with two walks and two hit batters in the frame, which chased T-Bird starter Chris Mower (L, 1-4) before he could register an out. Centenary tacked on a run in the fifth, two in the sixth and five more in the ninth.

SUU avoided being shut out for the first time this season with a run in the seventh, set up by a three-base error in right field on a ball hit by Burgess with one out. Designated hitter Josh Bolingbroke then grounded out to drive in Burgess to get Southern Utah on the board.

Centenary righthander David Ruffing (W, 7-4) went the distance in the nine-inning game, holding SUU’s offense to just three hits and one unearned run while striking out seven. The Gent offense finished with 12 hits, including a pair of two-run home runs by first baseman Blake Adkison.

In the nightcap, the Thunderbird bats erupted for five first-inning runs on six hits to take a quick 5-1 lead in the finale, thanks in part to consecutive RBI-singles from Charlie Hahl, Burgess and Elliott. Jona Droubay also drove in a run with a sacrifice fly, which was promptly followed by a two-out, run-scoring double off the bat of catcher Mike Martin.

SUU struck again for four more runs in the second thanks to a Hahl two-RBI single and a two-run homer by Elliott. That would be all the runs Abbott would need as he held Centenary to just five hits and one unearned run over the final six innings after giving up a two-out home run to Gent slugger Jesse Newell in the first.

Burgess drilled a solo home run in the fifth and connected on a two-run blast in the sixth for his second two-homer game of the season, while Elliott made it back-to-back in the frame with a towering drive to right field for his first multi-homer game of the season.

Alex Valdivia paced Centenary offensively with two hits while Tony Cardone and Newell drove in the Gents’ lone runs. Starter Josh Hill (L, 2-3) failed to get out of the first inning, allowing all five runs on six hits in 0.2 innings of work.