Gents Wrap-up Mid-Con Play with Split at Oakland
Sunday, May 14, 2006

Johnny Noland

Alex Maldonado

Nate Santiago

Matt Clark

ROCHESTER, Mich.—The Centenary baseball team concluded the Mid-Continent Conference portion of its schedule on Sunday with a split at Oakland. The Gents fell 11-7 in game one against the Golden Grizzlies then rebounded for a 7-1 victory in the finale to earn the series split. The Maroon and White currently sit at 11-11 in league play and in fourth place. The top four finishers advance to the conference tournament on May 25-27 on the campus of Oral Roberts, but the Gents have a bye and will have to wait and see how things play out in the final weekend of Mid-Con action starting next Friday.


Centenary (23-28, 11-11 Mid-Con) found itself down 3-0 heading into the third inning of game one after Oakland scored two in the first and one in the second off of Gents starter Matt Clark. Centenary cut into the deficit in the third when Nate Santiago walked and Justin Huff and Torey Williams followed with singles to get the visitors on the board.


The Gents erupted for four runs in the fifth to grab the lead at 5-3 while Clark settled into a grove on the hill. Robbie Knowles led off the scoring with a bunt single and advanced to second on a sac bunt by Santiago. Knowles swiped third base and Huff coerced a walk to put runners on the corners. A wild pitch by Oakland pitcher Dan Stinchcombe pushed Knowles across the pay station and allowed Huff to move all the way to third base. Williams walked, which chased Stinchcombe from the game, and Matt Webb promptly doubled down the left field line off of the new OU hurler to score Huff. An RBI groundout by Justin Darr and a single by Jimmy Baker accounted for two more Centenary runs.


Oakland (19-32, 13-7 Mid-Con) finally started to put some offensive momentum together in the seventh inning after the Gents added another run in the sixth to make the score 6-3. Two singles and a costly error on a sacrifice bunt attempt allowed the Golden Grizzlies to score their first run of the rally. Kris Calhoun then relieved Clark but served up a three-run homer to catcher Kevin Carkeek immediately and just like that Centenary trailed 7-6. Three singles, a walk, and a sacrifice fly added two more runs and put the OU lead at three at 9-6.    


The Gents would not be able to answer the call over the final two innings as Calhoun (4-4) was saddled with the loss after allowing three runs in one inning of work.


Game two was all Centenary as lefty Johnny Noland (1-3) kept the Oakland hitters at bay, tossing a five-hit shutout while fanning five Grizzlies on the day.


Santiago drove in the Gents first run on a two-out single after a pair of walks in the second inning. Centenary added two unearned runs in the third when Webb scored on an error that would have ended the inning. Baker, who reached on the miscue, also scored two batters later on a single by Alex Maldonado.


Oakland scored its only run of the contest in the bottom of the fourth. A walk, a single, a wild pitch, and sac fly would provide the only breakthrough all game on Noland for the Golden Grizzlies.


The Gents added a single tally in the sixth and sealed the game with a three-run seventh.