Gents Complete Sweep with 8-1 Win Over Coppin State
Sunday, February 12, 2006

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Box Score

David McElroy

Justin Darr

Nate Santiago

Jimmy Baker

Derek Bross

SHREVEPORT – The Centenary baseball team completed their weekend sweep over visiting Coppin State with a 8-1 victory on Sunday at Shehee Stadium.  The win moves the Gents to 5-1 on the year, the school’s best opening record in 20 years since the Maroon and White started the 1986 campaign 5-0.


After struggling in his season opening outing against Arkansas-Pine Bluff, David McElroy (1-0) found his rhythm as he tossed six scoreless innings of one-hit ball against the Eagles.  McElroy fanned four in the contest including striking out the side in the first.


Centenary (5-1) put three runs on the board in the third inning, sparked by Robbie Knowles reaching base from a leadoff error by the shortstop.  Knowles would advance to second on a wild pitch, and then to third as Tim Ryan grounded out to the right side of the infield.  With two outs, Matt Webb beat out an infield single to the shortstop, driving Knowles home for the Gents first run of the day.  Stealing second, Webb later scored on an RBI single by Jimmy Baker while Baker then scored on back-to-back singles by Justin Darr and Nate Santiago.


Darr continued his hot start to the 2006 season, hitting 3-for-3 on the day to raise his season average to .652 on the year.  Baker, Santiago, and Webb all collected a pair of hits each, with Baker and Webb scoring twice as Santiago drove in a game-best two runs.


The Gents added another three runs in the fifth, starting the inning by putting Darr and Baker on second and third, respectively, with no outs.  Putting on the squeeze, Santiago couldn’t slide his bunt past the Eagles pitcher who made a glove toss home to catch a sliding Baker for the out.  With Darr and Santiago pulling off a double steal, senior A.J. Howes drew a walk to load the bases for Alex Maldonado.  A balk by the Coppin State (0-4-1) pitcher plated one and advanced the runners for Maldonado to lay down a sacrifice bunt to score Santiago.  Howes would score from third before the ensuing at-bat after a careless throw from the first baseman got away from the Eagles pitcher and bounced out of play.


With two down in the sixth, the Gents manufactured their final two runs with timely hitting by the heart of the order.  Three consecutive singles by Webb, Baker, and Darr scored one and put Santiago at the plate with a runner in scoring position.  A hard hit ball to left center looked to be a sure-fire double for Santiago, but the hard blowing wind from left killed it in the air, allowing the Coppin State left fielder to toss him out at second and allowing just Baker to score.


Derek Bross relieved McElroy in the seventh, throwing the final three innings for the save in his first collegiate appearance.  The Eagles scored their lone run against the freshman on a two-out single through the left side with the bases loaded.  Not willing to allow two runs to score on the play, the Gents left fielder Huff came up firing to nail the Coppin State runner trying to score from second to end the inning.


The Gents next travel to Baton Rouge, La., for their first road game of the season as they face #17 LSU on Tuesday at Alex Box Stadium.  Centenary defeated LSU last year when the Tigers were ranked #2 nationally, their first win over the Louisiana powerhouse since 1956.