Northern Iowa Earns Series-Opening Win Over Gents
Friday, February 23, 2007


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Fulenchek went seven innings
and struck out five in the loss

SHREVEPORT, La. -- Northern Iowa (2-3) scored four runs over the final three innings to earn a 5-2 win over the Centenary baseball team (5-8) Friday at Shehee Stadium.

The Panthers took the series-opener behind superb pitching by junior lefthander Aaron Jenkins. Notching a career-high 12 strikeouts, Jenkins pitched seven innings and allowed just four Centenary hits.

Tied 2-2 heading into the top of the eighth and junior Curt Bradley on third for the Panthers, sophomore Deric Manrique’s single up the middle brought home the winning run for Northern Iowa, taking a 3-2 lead into the ninth.

In the final inning, junior Travis Hendrix knocked a single to left, scoring two runs to insulate the Panther lead and extending the deficit to three runs for the Gents with just three outs remaining.

In the bottom half of the inning, Centenary couldn’t get a hit off of Panther reliever Jason Barry, ending the game with a flyout by senior outfielder Justin Huff (Beaumont, Texas). Barry pitched two innings, not allowing a hit and striking out two for his first save of the season.

Northern Iowa took an early lead off of a solo homerun by junior Brett Featherston, taking a 1-0 lead with the junior first baseman’s first home run of the season to right.

Centenary tied the score in the bottom half of the inning off of a Garrett DeRooy (Duvall, Wash.) groundout to third, scoring junior Alex Maldonado (Whittier, Calif.) from third. Maldonado led off the inning drawing a walk off of Jenkins.

The score remained tied until the seventh, in which Hendrix hit a two-out single to centerfield to score Featherston.

In the bottom of the seventh, Huff hit a two-out double down the rightfield line, scoring Justin Darr (The Woodlands, Texas) from third and tying the game at 2-2. For the game, Huff was the only Gent to finish with multiple hits, going 2-for-4 with one RBI.

Riding Barry through the final two innings, Centenary couldn’t get a hit to come back against the Panthers.

Starting the game for the Gents and going seven innings, senior Brandon Fulenchek (McKinney, Texas) struck out five, walking just one batter in the loss.

Centenary and Northern Iowa continue the series Saturday, playing at Shehee Stadium at 4 p.m. The game had been scheduled for 2 p.m. but was moved due to potential weather concerns.

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