Baseball Begins Mid-Con Play at Valparaiso
Thursday, April 19, 2007

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Game Notes

Brandon Fulenchek gets the start
in the conference-opening game Friday


17-18, 0-0 Mid-Con



11-19, 0-0 Mid-Con


April 20-22, 2007

Bauer Field

Valparaiso, Ind.



Friday: Brandon Fulenchek (LHP)

Saturday: Jeremy Sheehan (RHP) and Will Kaage (RHP)

Sunday: Johnny Noland (LHP)



Winners of four of its last five games, Centenary (17-18, 0-0) begins its fourth season of Mid-Continent Conference play when it travels to Valparaiso (11-19) this weekend.


The Gents and the Crusaders square off in a four-game series at Bauer Field with Friday’s series-opening game at 3 p.m.


The two teams have a doubleheader scheduled for Saturday at noon, with a single scheduled for a 1 p.m. start Sunday.



The Gents, who lead the league in batting heading into the weekend, have averaged 7.6 runs per game in their last five games.


In Tuesday’s 18-2 win over Texas College at Shehee Stadium, Centenary racked up a season-high 17 hits, led by a four-RBI performance by junior Jason Blilie.


Blilie, who came in for senior Justin Darr at the designated hitter position in the fifth inning, went 2-for-2 in the game, hitting his first home run of the 2007 season. In his first at-bat after subbing in for Darr, Blilie complied by hitting a bases-loaded single to left, scoring two runs for the Gents. The junior catcher hit a two-run homer in the sixth to bring home two more runs for Centenary.


Leading the Gents from the plate and going 1-for-2 with three walks Tuesday, senior outfielder Matt Webb continues his breakout senior season. Webb leads the Mid-Con with a .374 batting average, registering 18 RBI and a team-leading 36 runs scored. What makes the senior outfielder so important to the Gents is his ability to get on base. In 35 games, Webb leads the team with a .597 on-base percentage.


Standing second on the Gents in batting, junior outfielder Calvin Sanchez has a .351 average and 23 RBI. With an on-base percentage of .457, Sanchez has 30 runs scored and 11 stolen bases.


On the mound, senior Brandon Fulenchek and junior Jeremy Sheehan look for continued success in conference play.


Both standing tied for the league lead in wins this season, Fulenchek leads all Gent starters with a 3.19 ERA and sits with a 5-2 record. In 62 innings pitched, the senior left-hander is holding opponents to a .298 batting average and leads the team with 34 strikeouts.


Sheehan, a junior right-hander, is coming off back-to-back one-hitters against IPFW (3/30) and Chicago State (4/13). Standing with a 5-3 record and a 4.01 ERA, Sheehan has the best strikeout-to-walk ratio of any Centenary starting pitcher (2.18). He looks to win his third consecutive start when he takes the mound Saturday.


In the pen, junior Aaron Bronson leads the Mid-Con with four saves. Getting his first start at Centenary Tuesday against Texas College, Bronson pitched two scoreless innings in a shortened start. He is 1-2 this season in 14 appearances.


Freshman left-hander Dakota Robinson leads the Mid-Con in appearances with 17. Earning one save and sitting with a 2-2 record, the young fireballer has the most strikeouts of any Gent reliever with 18.


As a team, Centenary has a 4.68 team ERA.



Centenary has a 6-6 record all-time in the Mid-Con in conference-opening series.


In their first season in the Mid-Con, 2004, the Gents faced Valparaiso in the conference-opening series, with the Crusaders capturing three of the four games.


In the series, played April 9-10, 2004 in Shreveport, Valparaiso outscored the Gents by a 34-27 margin.

The lone current Centenary player to see extensive action in the series was pitcher Will Kaage.


Kaage, a freshman at the time, started the fourth and series-ending game against the Crusaders. The right-hander pitched 6 1/3 innings, allowing eight hits and striking out seven.



Not only standing as the Mid-Con leader in walks this season, senior outfielder Matt Webb ranks as the national leader in base on balls.


Webb, a senior from Blue Springs, Mo., is averaging 1.35 walks per game to lead the nation. Racking up a total of 49 walks in 35 games, Webb has a team-leading .597 on-base percentage.


Also ranking among national leaders statistically, junior infielder Cameron Penney stands tied for 14th nationally in strikeout average. In 129 at-bats, Penney has struck out only six times for a strikeout average of 21.5. This season, he leads the Gents with 42 hits, going a perfect 2-for-2 Tuesday with two RBI.



Centenary stands atop the Mid-Continent Conference in stolen bases this season with 71 in 35 games. The Gents are led in the steal department by senior outfielder Matt Webb, who has 19 stolen bases in 21 attempts.


Also a threat on the base paths, senior outfielder Justin Huff has recorded 13 stolen bases, while junior outfielder Calvin Sanchez has 11.


As a group, the Gents are tied for 19th nationally in steals, averaging 1.97 stolen bases per contest.



Centenary senior Will Kaage was named Mid-Continent Conference Pitcher of the Week Monday after helping the Gents capture a shutout victory over Chicago State Saturday.


In a complete-game victory, Kaage allowed just one hit over seven innings to earn his second win of the season. Kaage struck out four without walking a batter in the start.


Kaage has a 2-3 record in nine appearances this season with a 6.25 ERA. He marks the second time this season a Centenary pitcher has been named Mid-Con Pitcher of the Week, joining junior pitcher Jeremy Sheehan.



Senior infielder Nate Santiago makes his return in Friday’s game against Valparaiso.


Santiago, who has played through pain throughout the 2007 season, has missed the past two games for the Gents due to an undisclosed leg injury suffered in Saturday’s first game of the doubleheader.


This season, Santiago has started 23 games at shortstop, batting .287 with 15 RBI. He is second on Centenary with 82 assists from short.



In Tuesday’s game against Texas College, Centenary senior outfielder Matt Webb hit his team-leading fifth home run of the season.


Webb, who leads the conference in batting this season, has 18 RBI and 36 runs scored with a .374 average.


In the game against then-No. 9 Arkansas, played March 21 at Shehee Stadium, Webb hit two solo homers, registering two home runs in a game for the first time in his collegiate career.


He has a .667 slugging percentage and a .597 on-base percentage.



In the fifth inning against Texas College Tuesday, junior infielder Tim Kelleher started an eight-run, seven-hit inning for the Gents.


Going 2-for-3 in the game with an RBI and two runs scored, Kelleher hit the first triple of his Centenary career to lead-off the fifth, scoring on a single by fellow-junior Teddy Saenz.


Batting around the order in the fifth, Kelleher followed up his triple with a double to left, bringing home Cameron Penney from third.


Kelleher is .286 this season with nine RBI.



Centenary freshman Garrett DeRooy, a starter in 29 games in the infield, went for a career-high three hits in Tuesday’s win over Texas College.


In the 18-2 win over the Steers, DeRooy went 3-for-4 from the plate with two RBI and two runs scored. The freshman started the scoring off for the Gents in the second, hitting a two-run single to left.


He is batting .255 this season with 22 RBI.



Freshman pitcher Dakota Robinson is hitting his stride entering the start of conference play this weekend.


Robinson, who leads the conference with 17 appearances out of the bullpen this season, has not allowed a run in his last four appearances. In his last four appearances, Robinson has allowed just one hit, striking out four without walking a batter.


This season, Robinson has a 2-2 record with a 5.54 ERA and one save.



Junior infielder Cameron Penney and senior outfielder Justin Huff continue to find gaps for the Gents.


Penney and Huff rank first and second, respectively, in multi-hit games this season, with Penney leading the team with 13 multi-hit games.


Penney, batting .326 this season with a team-high 42 hits, has recorded nine games this season with two hits, racking up a team-high three three-hit games.


Huff leads the team with 11 two-hit games, standing with 12 multiple-hit games this season.



Entering this weekend’s series, Valparaiso has won three of their last four games. Over that span of games, the Crusaders have scored 28 runs for an average of seven runs per contest.


At home this season, Valpo has a 4-1 record, falling to Indiana State in its last home game (4/10).


Amongst the conference leaders in hitting and starting all 30 games this season for the Crusaders, Michael Arensdorff has a team-leading .362 average and a .488 slugging percentage. Arensdorff has 11 doubles this season with 13 RBI.


Zach Rodeghero and Brian Rzepka stand tied for the team lead with 18 RBI. Rodeghero is hitting .316, while Rzepka has a .299 batting average in 27 games.


In the Crusaders last game, a 10-1 win at Northwestern Tuesday, Ryan Manthei led the team with four RBI, going 3-for-4 from the plate with three runs scored. This season, Manthei is hitting .261 with 17 RBI.


Nick Mazzone leads all Valpo starters with a 3.28 ERA. In six starts, Mazzone has a 2-4 record with 25 strikeouts. He is limiting opponents to a .222 batting average.


Harvey Yergin leads the team in starts with nine, standing with a 2-5 record and a 4.23 ERA.


n the pen, Dallas Cawiezell leads the team with two saves in nine appearances. Cawiezell has a 5.73 ERA and a 1-2 record in nine appearances.


As a team, the Crusaders boast a 4.91 team ERA.



Centenary continues to lead the conference in batting average (.292), on-base percentage (.404) and RBI (209) after 35 games.


The Gents have 37 more walks than any other team in the conference, racking up a conference-leading 71 stolen bases. On the mound, Centenary is second in the Mid-Con with a 4.68 team ERA.


Individually, senior outfielder Matt Webb leads the Mid-Con in batting (.374), on-base percentage (.597), walks (49) and stolen bases (19). Webb is second in the conference in slugging percentage (.667) and third with 36 runs scored.


Fellow-senior Justin Huff leads the conference with four triples this season. From his spot at the top of the Gent order, Huff is fourth in the league in runs scored, standing tied for third in the conference in stolen bases (13).


Senior Justin Darr is fourth in the league in RBI (27), followed by juniors Cameron Penney and Teddy Saenz, who stand tied for fifth with 24 RBI each.


Senior pitcher Brandon Fulenchek stands second in the Mid-Con with an earned-run average of 3.19. Fulenchek leads the league with 62 innings pitched, tied for the Mid-Con lead with five wins.


Junior Jeremy Sheehan sits tied with Fulenchek for the conference lead in wins (5), while fellow-junior Aaron Bronson is tied for the Mid-Con lead with four saves.



Almost half of the 224 runs scored by the Gents this season have been in the first three innings of the game.


In the first three innings, Centenary has scored 97 runs, making up 43.3 percent of their total runs this season. The big inning for the Gents this season has been the fourth, in which the team has scored 40 runs, more than any other inning.



Centenary travels to Western Illinois, continuing Mid-Con play April 27-29.