UAPB Records First Ever Win Over Centenary With 6-5 Victory
Sunday, February 5, 2006


Files associated with this release:
Box Score - Game 3


Justin Darr

Jimmy Baker

Alex Maldonado

SHREVEPORT—The Centenary baseball team extended its all-time record to 15-0 over Arkansas-Pine Bluff with a doubleheader sweep on Saturday by outscoring the Golden Lions by a combined total of 21-0. Sunday, however, was a different story as timely hitting and a power surge by UAPB provided the visitors with their first ever win over the Gents by the score of 6-5.

 

Arkansas-Pine Bluff (1-4) got on the board first in the top of the second inning when Jose Rivera reached and advanced to second on an error by the Centenary defense. Only a few pitches later, Jerome McCollum singled up the middle to push across the game’s opening run.

 

Centenary (2-1) answered with two runs in the bottom of the frame and posted another pair of runs in the third inning on a two-run homer by Jimmy Baker to stake its lead at 4-1. UAPB responded in the top of the fourth with three runs on back-to-back long balls from Aaron Wright and Russell Malcolm and a run-producing single by Marcus Rodgers to knot the game once again.

 

The Gents took the upper hand briefly in their half of the fourth when Alex Maldonado doubled home Justin Darr. Moments later, Centenary would fail to capitalize on another scoring opportunity when two players struck out with runners on second and third with only one out.

 

The Golden Lions re-tied the score in the fifth when what should have been a double play ball was misplayed allowing Reggie Barker to score from second base. Two innings later, UAPB plated the winning run as a result of another Centenary misque.

 

Barker led off the inning with a looping single to right center for Arkansas-Pine Bluff. Expecting a bunt, the Gents ran a deceptive pick-off attempt by crashing the corner infielders in hopes of throwing behind the runner as the second baseman crept in. A miscommunication in the infield led to a balk by pitcher Johnny Noland, advancing the runner to second. Two pitches later, Wright provided what would have been an easy double play chopper, but instead moved the runner to third base with only one out. Malcolm promptly singled to right field to move the visitors ahead for good.

 

Centenary still had a chance in the bottom of the eighth when Torey Williams and Maldonado were both hit by pitches to start the inning. Justin Huff laid down a textbook sacrifice bunt to push the runners up 90 feet each with one out. However, a grounder to the drawn-in infield off the bat of Alex Valdivia resulted in Williams being tagged out in a rundown. Nate Santiago then struck out for the second time on the day to end the Gents threat.

 

David McElroy, Centenary’s staff ace in 2005, did not have his usual stuff on the hill in lasting just 4.1 innings while surrendering seven hits and five runs. Only three of those runs were earned as the righthander did not factor in the decision. The bullpen allowed only four hits and one run over the final 4.2 innings, but the Gents offense went cold, managing just one hit from the sixth inning on.

 

Baker finished the day going 2-for-3 at the plate with two RBI and a run scored, all on his first homerun on the season. Darr continued his impressive start to his senior campaign with a 3-for-5 effort, which included two runs and an RBI.

 

Centenary will continue its current six-game homestand when it welcomes Coppin State to Shehee Stadium next weekend. The two teams will lock up in a doubleheader beginning at noon on Saturday before finishing the series with a single contest on Sunday at noon.