Baseball Staff Welcomes Newcomers to Centenary
Monday, September 12, 2005




Ed McCann

Mike Diaz

SHREVEPORT – The Centenary baseball staff has brought in a new class of 10 student-athletes to bolster the program for the 2006 season.  Head coach Ed McCann and recruiting coordinator Mike Diaz believe this is one of the strongest incoming groups in recent history.

 

Five freshman and five junior college transfers highlight a class that McCann and company believe will help set the framework to challenge for a Mid-Continent Conference title.  The Gents made it to the title game of the conference tournament last season for the first time since joining the Mid-Con in the 2003-04 season.

 

Juniors Jimmy Baker (Chelsea, Mich./Kellogg CC), Johnny Noland (Aliso Viejo, Calif./Saddleback College), Nate Santiago (Mukilteo, Wash./Bellevue CC), Matt Webb (Blue Springs, Mo./Cowley County CC), and Torey Williams (Alice Springs, Austrailia/Hutchinson CC) should all contend for a starting position when the Gents open their season in February.

 

Baker comes to Centenary from Kellogg CC where he led the Bruins to a 42-7 record while earning National Junior College Athletic Association second team All-America honors.  He hit .437 with a .796 slugging percentage, 11 homeruns, and 62 RBI.

 

Noland, a pitcher who was initially recruited to college baseball powerhouse Long Beach State out of high school, will add to an already strong a deep Gents pitching rotation that returns three full-time starters.  The southpaw helped the Saddleback Gauchos to a 2004 California State Championship.

 

Santiago will help solidify the left side of an infield that lost 2005 captains J.C. Biagi and David Kiefer to graduation.  A strong hitting middle infielder, Santiago helped the Bellevue CC Bulldogs to a 2003 NWAACC Championship appearance.

 

Webb brings speed and range to an outfield that returns just one starter from a year ago.  While at Cowley County CC, Webb helped the Tigers to back-to-back Jayhawk East Championships and 2004 Region-VI runners-up.

 

Williams will add depth to the catching position as the Australian native transfers from Hutchinson CC.  While with the Blue Dragons, Williams helped the team earn their first ever NJCAA World Series appearance.

“We’re expecting big things from our incoming JUCO transfers,” McCann said. “All of them have played extensively at top-notch programs, and should give an added boost of skill and experience to an already solid core group.”

 

Derek Bross (St. Joseph, Mich./St. Joseph HS), Robbie Knowles (Fountain Valley, Calif./Fountain Valley HS), Matt McGlathery (Lake Charles, La./St. Louis Catholic HS), Seth Salinas (Bellevue, Wash./Eastside Catholic HS), and Ben Wilson (Edinboro, Pa./General McLane HS) represent the incoming freshman to the Gents program.

 

Bross comes to the Gents after a successful career in Michigan prep ranks.  A second team All-State selection, Bross went 9-0 with a 1.20 ERA as a senior to lead the St. Joseph HS Bears to a State Quarterfinals appearance, helping the team set a school record 34 wins.  He finished 20-4 for his career with a 1.50 ERA.

 

Knowles is expected to log quality time as a true freshman in the middle of the infield this season.  An All-District player out of California, Knowles is just as dangerous offensively as he is solid defensively, and is expected to be highly productive early in his collegiate career.

 

McGlathery is a versatile player from Lake Charles, La., where he earned multiple All-District and All-Southwest Louisiana accolades at a multitude of positions.  He should see time at the corner infield positions with an opportunity to add to an already deep Gents rotation.

 

Salinas will help add depth to the middle infield that Centenary lacked season.  A three-year, second team All-Metro athlete out of Bellevue, Wash., he led the Eastside Catholic Crusaders to three consecutive state baseball appearances.

 

Wilson comes to Centenary as an All-District pitcher out of Edinboro, Pa.  He compiled a 6-0 record with a 0.92 ERA as a senior captain for General McLane HS, leading the Lancers to District Finals appearances as a freshman, sophomore, and senior.

 

 “With the quality freshmen we’ve brought in, we now have skill and depth at a majority of the positions we were short on last year,” said McCann.  “I wouldn’t be surprised if these guys played significant innings and cracked the starting lineup.”

 

Centenary went 27-30 (12-12 Mid-Con) last season.  McCann earned Mid-Con Coach of the Year honors as he took the Gents to their second consecutive Mid-Con Tournament in as many years, reaching the championship game as the fourth and final seed.  The Gents lose just a pair of seniors, Kiefer and Biagi, to graduation and return the majority of their starting rotation and five position starters.

 

“Losing quality players and leaders like Kiefer and J.C. is tough,” McCann said, “but when you can bring in the kind of class we put together this year, things are moving forward.  With the guys we have returning, and the guys we’ve brought in, I expect us to make some noise this season.”

 

2006 Incoming Class:

Jimmy Baker, Jr., INF, Chelsea, Mich./Kellogg CC

Derek Bross, Fr., RHP, St. Joseph, Mich./St. Joseph HS

Robbie Knowles, Fr., INF, Fountain Valley, Calif./Fountain Valley HS

Matt McGlathery, Fr., INF, Lake Charles, La./St. Louis Catholic HS

Johnny Noland, Jr., LHP, Aliso Viejo, Calif./Saddleback College

Seth Salinas, Fr., INF, Bellevue, Wash./Eastside Catholic HS

Nate Santiago, Jr., INF, Mukilteo, Wash./Bellevue CC

Matt Webb, Jr., OF, Blue Springs, Mo./Cowley County CC

Torey Williams, Jr., C, Alice Springs, Australia/Hutchinson CC

Ben Wilson, Fr., RHP, Edinboro, Pa./General McLane HS