Gents Baseball Begins Six-Game Homestand to Start 2006 Season
Thursday, February 2, 2006

Brandon Fulenchek

Will Kaage

Alex Maldonado

Tim Ryan

SHREVEPORT – Coming off an appearance in the Mid-Continent Conference championship game in 2005, the Centenary baseball team looks to again challenge for the league title, beginning with a six-game homestand at Shehee Stadium.   The Gents finished last season 27-30, 12-12 in league play, their best finish since the 1996 season and most wins since 1993.


Centenary opens with a three-game series against Arkansas-Pine Bluff starting on Friday at 4 p.m.  Saturday’s contest has been moved from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. to coincide with the school’s Homecoming festivities, while Sunday’s match-up is scheduled for 12 p.m.


Leading the way for the Maroon and White will be an experienced pitching rotation led by juniors Brandon Fulenchek, Will Kaage, and David McElroy.  Fulenchek, an All-Tournament selection a year ago, gets the nod in Friday’s opener while Kaage and McElroy will finish out the series.


Returning starters are catcher Alex Maldonado, first baseman A.J. Howes, second baseman Alex Valdivia, centerfielder Tim Ryan, and designated hitter Justin Darr.  Maldonado is the only non-senior of the group, leaving Darr, Howes, Ryan, and Valdivia to provide solid leadership through experience and on-field production.


Newcomers to the Gents starting lineup are third baseman Jimmy Baker, shortstop Nate Santiago, and outfielders Justin Huff and Matt Webb.


Friday’s action marks the first of the season for Centenary, but Arkansas-Pine Bluff is coming off a doubleheader sweep by Arkansas-Monticello.  The Golden Lions fell 3-1 and 9-7, managing just one extra base hit between the two contests.


Next weekends the Gents host Coppin State to a three-game series before traveling to Baton Rouge, La., to face national powerhouse LSU at Alex Box Stadium on Tuesday, Feb. 14.