Gents Clinch Mid-Con Tourney Berth With Win Over Oakland
Sunday, May 23, 2004

Rochester, Mich.—The Centenary Gents clinched a spot in the Mid-Continent Conference Tournament and will serve as the #3 seed as a result of a 5-3 win against Oakland on Sunday afternoon. The two teams were originally scheduled to meet in a doubleheader, but rain forced the cancellation of the series finale and cost Oakland its chance at a tournament berth.

Centenary (23-29) scored first in the top of the second inning when Bobby Gilliam singled up the middle to drive in Jared Vincent, but the Golden Grizzlies responded in the bottom of the frame. A lead off single by John Sullivan and a single by Chad Winkler put runners on first and third with one out. Sullivan then scored on a ground ball to shortstop Tony Cardone to knot the game at 1-1.

The Gents would use a two out rally in the fourth inning to get four runs and put the game out of reach for Oakland. Gilliam singled and stole second after Alex Valdivia and Jordan Standefer each failed to reach base. David Kiefer was hit by a pitch and Blake Adkison walked to load the bases. A wild pitch from starter Dominic Carmosino scored Gilliam and advanced the runners just ahead of a three-run homer by A.J. Howes.

Oakland (20-34) answered with two runs in the bottom of the inning on a homerun by Sullivan that brought Ty Herriott around. However, the host Golden Grizzlies would not score again.

Freshman pitcher Will Kaage came up big for the Gents for the second consecutive weekend. The right-hander tossed 6 2/3 innings to improve to 3-1 on the season. He struck out five batters while scattering six hits and walked only two on the afternoon. Last weekend Kaage notched a win over Western Illinois on the final day of the series to keep Centenary’s hopes at a spot in the Mid-Con Tournament alive.

Josh Hill and Kevin Cassidy combined for 2 1/3 innings of hitless relief in the win. Cassidy closed out the game with a perfect ninth inning to garner his third save of the year.

With the win, Centenary finished league play with a 10-11 record and a winning percentage that is higher than that of both Oakland (10-13) and Valparaiso (11-13). The Gents played only 21 of the 24 scheduled Mid-Con games due to three rainouts. Oral Roberts will serve as the top seed in the tournament that begins on Thursday at Shehee Stadium in Shreveport while Western Illinois (#2 seed) and Southern Utah (#4 seed) will round out the field.