Gents Stumble in Ninth, Fall to Indiana 4-3
Friday, March 4, 2005


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SHREVEPORT – In a game of big hits and strong pitching, it was a two out ninth inning error that cost the Centenary baseball team their opening game of the Gent Classic against Indiana, 4-3.  Four triples and a homerun yielded just two runs in eight innings as the Hoosiers, down one run in the top of the ninth, rallied to score two more and eke out a victory over the Gents.

 

With starting pitcher Kris Calhoun throwing eight strong innings and building a 3-2 lead, junior Jonathan Christian (1-2) came in to close the game out for Centenary (4-6).  After giving up a leadoff double, Christian allowed a single through the left side of the infield to put runners on the corners with nobody out.  Striking out the next batter, he gave up another single to tie the game and then walked the bases loaded.  With the next batter popping out into foul territory, shortstop David Kiefer misplayed a grounder that would have gotten the Gents out of the inning tied at 3-3, but instead scored what would be the winning run for Indiana (5-1).

 

The Gents built an early lead, scoring one run in each of the first three innings.  Drawing the leadoff walk, Alex Valdivia stole second before Tim Ryan ripped his second triple of the year down the left field line into the Hoosiers bullpen.

 

Freshman Chris Wilson added to Centenary’s big hit production in the second, lacing a liner over the head of the charging Indiana left fielders head for a triple of his own.  Jared Vincent drove Wilson home with a grounder to the shortstop to middle on the next at-bat.

 

Despite the error, Kiefer was the only Gent to notch multiple hits in the game.  The senior from Albuquerque, New Mexico, led off the third with a double down the left field line, scoring as catcher Justin Darr singled to center three batters later.

 

Indiana put a run on the board in the fourth when first baseman Ryan Parker got around on a Calhoun pitch, sailing it over the left field wall. 

 

The Hoosier fifth provided a rarity; back-to-back triples without a run scored.  Tyler Cox smacked a three-bagger down the left field line, almost mirroring Ryan’s earlier shot to perfection.  Misjudging a ball that got away from Darr, Cox attempted to score before realizing that the Centenary catcher had him in his sights.  Darr quickly tossed the ball down to third where Beaux Waddell awaited and applied the tag.  Reggie Watson got a hold of the next pitch, caroming it off the wall in left center for the second consecutive Indiana triple of the inning.  Calhoun struck out the next batter to end the inning.

 

Chris McCombs (1-0) picked up the win for Indiana after pitching three innings of one-hit ball.  Steve Nielson pitched the ninth to record his first save of the season.  Centenary’s Calhoun struck out seven in the no-decision.

 

The game was the nightcap of the first day of the Gent Classic.  Indiana defeated Arkansas-Little Rock in the opener, 9-4.  Centeary plays two on Saturday as the face UALR at noon followed by a rematch with the Hoosiers at 3 p.m.