Baseball Splits Saturday Doubleheader with Chicago State
Saturday, April 14, 2007

Files associated with this release:
Box Score - Game 1
Box Score - Game 2

Will Kaage had a one-hitter
to pick up the win Saturday

SHREVEPORT, La. -- Centenary (16-18) split its Saturday doubleheader with Chicago State (2-30) at Shehee Stadium, winning Game 2 by a score of 9-0.

Riding the strong pitching of senior right-hander Will Kaage (Burlington, Wash.), the Gents shutout Chicago State in the second game of the doubleheader.

Needing to bounce back from a disappointing loss in the Saturday’s first game, Kaage had one of his best outings of the season, one-hitting the Cougars with four strikeouts and no walks.

"It was really big to come out and show how we’re supposed to do it," Kaage said. "The first game, things just didn’t go our way, but to come out and win that second game was really big."

Struggling in his last two starts prior to Saturday, Kaage carried a no-hitter through the first four innings. The senior stated that his confidence level is very high entering next weekend’s conference-opening series at Valparaiso.

Over the weekend, Centenary allowed a combined two hits in both the seven-inning games. Junior right-hander Jeremy Sheehan (Bonner Springs, Kan.) picked up the other win in the seven-inning game Friday.

For the series, senior outfielder Matt Webb (Blue Springs, Mo.) led the team with a .500 average from the plate, going 4-for-8 with four runs scored and drawing eight walks in four games.

Fellow-senior Nate Santiago (Mukilteo, Wash.) hit .375 (3-of-8) for the series, while junior infielder Cameron Penney (Valley Center, Calif.) had four RBI and a .333 average against Chicago State.

Centenary looks to get on roll heading into next weekend’s start of Mid-Continent Conference action. The Gents host Texas College Tuesday at Shehee Stadium, with first pitch scheduled for 7 p.m.

GAME 1 - Chicago State 7, Centenary 0

Earning just its second win of the season, Chicago State got to the Gents early, scoring five runs over the first two innings of the contest.

In a five-hit, four-run first inning, Cougar leadoff hitter Thomas Creal got on after getting hit by a pitch, advancing to third after stealing second and an unlucky bounce on the tag by Santiago. On third, Creal scored on a single by Chicago State shortstop Alex Hall, giving the Cougars their first lead of the series at 1-0.

After first baseman Sean Murphy singled to right, giving Chicago State runners on the corners with one out, DH Preston Pires hit a single off of Centenary starting pitcher Johnny Noland’s (Aliso Viejo, Calif) glove to score Hall and extend the lead to two runs.

Catcher Kyle Kupiec and third baseman Trenton Sanders both had RBI-singles in the first to closeout the scoring for the Cougars in the first inning.

Already trailing 5-0 following the first two innings, the lack of hitting by Centenary hurt the Gents in their comeback effort. Over the final four innings of the game, Centenary could only muster up two hits, finishing with six in the game compared to 15 allowed to Chicago State.

Noland (1-5) went just one inning in Saturday’s loss, allowing six hits and five runs. Relieving Noland on the mound in the second, freshman Peter Stark (Dallas) pitched a career-high five innings, striking out two batters and allowing five hits.

On the mound for the Cougars, Chris Freshour (1-5) allowed just four hits over six innings to pick up his first win of the season.

GAME 2 - Centenary 9, Chicago State 0

A different Centenary team took the field in the second game of the doubleheader. The Gents, from the outset, looked more determined and focused, receiving a stern talking-to by Centenary head coach Ed McCann in between the two games.

"We just talked about how focused you have to be at this level," McCann said. "They’re an (NCAA) Division I team. Although they haven’t played very well, but you’ve got to respect your opponent from the get-go."

Centenary went ahead early, scoring three runs in the first inning keyed by back-to-back hits by senior Justin Huff (Beaumont, Texas) and junior Calvin Sanchez (Santa Cruz, Calif.).

After Webb drew a walk to load the bases, senior Justin Darr (The Woodlands, Texas) lined a double down the third-base line to clear the bases and give the home team an early 3-0 lead.

The lead was extended in the third when the Gents put up six runs to extend the lead to nine runs.

Aided by control problems by Chicago State starting pitcher Robert Vargas, who walked five batters in the third inning alone, Centenary was able to score six runs on just three hits in the third.

With Sanchez and Webb on second and third, Penney drove a single up the middle to score two more runs for the Gents. Sanchez and Webb both drew walks to lead off the inning for Centenary.

Still in the third with two outs on the board, freshman Garrett DeRooy (Duvall, Wash.) hit a bases-loaded single up the middle to score junior Alex Maldonado (Whittier, Calif.) and sophomore Mike Davis (Ruston, La.), giving the Gents a 7-0 lead.

Huff brought home another run with a bunt-single down the third-base line, scoring junior Teddy Saenz (San Jose, Calif.) from third.

Leading 9-0 after three innings, Kaage was lights out on the mound for the Gents. Not walking a batter in the game, the lone hit was recorded by Pires of Chicago State in the fifth inning.

Kaage (2-3) needed just 70 pitches to pick up his second win of the season.

Asked about what the difference was in Kaage in Saturday’s start, McCann pointed to a change in mindset by the senior pitcher.

"We made some changes with him and he has recommitted himself and I thought that was the difference," McCann said.

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