Western Illinois Captures Series Finale Over Gents
Sunday, April 29, 2007

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Box Score

Johnny Noland allowed just two hits
in a no decision Sunday in Macomb

MACOMB, Ill. -- Centenary (20-23, 3-5) fell in the ninth inning to Western Illinois (27-18, 8-4) Sunday at Boyer Stadium. In the series finale between the two teams, the Gents fell 2-1 Sunday, with the two teams splitting the four-game series.

In the ninth and deciding inning, Western Illinois shortstop Kyle Surprenant singled down the left-field line to bring home Travis Check from third and score the game-winning run for the Leathernecks. Check reached on a fielder’s choice, later stealing third and scoring on the Surprenant single to break the 1-1 deadlock.

In a close, highly-contested game, Centenary took a 1-0 lead in the top of the third, only to relinquish the lead in the bottom half of the inning.

In the top of the third, freshman infielder Garret DeRooy (Duvall, Wash.) scored on a Nate Santiago (Mukilteo, Wash.) groundout to give the Gents the early lead. DeRooy led off the inning with a single up the middle, moved over to third on a Calvin Sanchez (Santa Cruz, Calif.) sacrifice bunt and a Teddy Saenz (San Jose, Calif.) single.

After drawing a walk to lead off the bottom of the third, Leatherneck catcher Cooper Stewart scored on a Matt Newquist single to tie the game.

With the game tied 1-1, Centenary turned towards its pitching, which didn’t allow a hit over the fourth and fifth innings and stranded 14 batters for the game.

After junior Johnny Noland (Aliso Viejo, Calif.) left the game in the fourth, pitching 3 2/3 innings and allowing just two hits while striking out three, fellow-junior Aaron Bronson (Kent, Wash.) took over and pitched three innings of two-hit ball. Bronson struck out two batters in his three innings, handing the game off to freshman Dakota Robinson (Bossier City).

Robinson, who pitched in relief in the final three games of the series, struck out two over the seventh and eighth, allowing just one hit and giving Centenary an opportunity to win late.

Despite the opportunity, the Gent bats were held down over the final two innings through the strong pitching of Western Illinois starter Mark DiBernardo (3-0). Picking up his third win of the season and going all nine innings for the Leathernecks, DiBernardo struck out six and allowed five hits in helping Western Illinois to their eighth conference win. DiBernardo did not allow a hit over the final two innings.

Centenary returns to Shehee Stadium to host Southern Utah next weekend in the Gents’ first home-conference series of the season. At Shehee Stadium this year, the Gents boast a 17-12 record, something the team looks to build upon when facing the Thunderbirds next weekend.