Gents Set to Open Mid-Con Baseball Season, Host Western Illinois
Friday, April 7, 2006

Tim Ryan

Alex Maldonado

Will Kaage

David McElroy

SHREVEPORT – With all but one non-conference games in the books, the Centenary baseball team opens the Mid-Continent Conference season as they host Western Illinois to a four-game series this weekend at Shehee Stadium.  The squads played five times last season with WIU holding a 3-2 advantage, however the Gents got the last laugh as they eliminated the Leathernecks from the conference tournament.


Tim Ryan leads five Gents (12-16) that are batting .300 or better with a .374 average.  Alex Maldonado is hitting .354 and leads the team with 19 RBI.  Justin Darr (.338), Matt Webb (.327), and Justin Huff (.300) round out Centenary’s batting leaders as the Gents are hitting .291 as a team.


Juniors Jimmy Baker and Nate Santiago are also having productive seasons as of late, with Baker tied for second on the team with 18 RBI and Santiago fourth with 17.


 Probable starters for Saturday’s doubleheader are Brandon Fulenchek (2-5) and Will Kaage (3-2).  Fulenchek, a junior southpaw, is second on the team with 20 strikeouts in nine appearances.  Kaage, also a junior, leads the Gents in wins and holds the second best ERA for regular starters at 4.12.


Sunday’s twin-bill should see sophomore lefty Matt Clark (0-3) and 2005 second team All-Mid-Con selection David McElroy (2-0) take the hill.  Clark has 17 strikeouts in 28 2/3 innings this season, while McElroy owns the team’s best ERA at 3.34.  Opponents are hitting just .261 against McElroy.


Western Illinois (8-20) has three players batting over .300 with Travis Check (.330), Steve Knapp (.317), and Ryan Schmidgall (.301).  Knapp leads the Leathernecks with 14 RBI, one of only four players in double-figures.


On the mound for WIU will be Quin Leath (2-1) and John Paul Shore (1-3) on Saturday and Aaron Madill (0-3) and Jon Adams (0-2) on Sunday.  Leath has a team best 1.14 ERA in eight appearances while Shore tops the squad in strikeouts with 22.  Madill and Adams both have ERA’s above 6.00 and are a combined 0-5 on the season.


Saturday’s doubleheader will begin at 12 noon with a nine inning game, followed by a seven inning affair approximately a half and hour after the end of the first.  Sunday’s twin-bill will follow the same format.