Centenary Picks Up 7-2 Win to Start Series
Friday, May 4, 2007


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Brandon Fulenchek pitched all
nine innings to earn the win

SHREVEPORT, La. -- Centenary (21-23, 4-5) drew first blood in the four-game conference series against Southern Utah (10-37, 5-8) at Shehee Stadium. The Gents earned a 7-2 win Friday to keep pace in the tightly-bunched Mid-Continent Conference standings.

On the eve of his college graduation, Centenary senior Brandon Fulenchek (McKinney, Texas) went the full nine innings to pick up his conference-leading eighth win of the season. Continuing his streak of six consecutive starts without taking a loss, Fulenchek notched a career-high seven strikeouts over the nine innings.

Fittingly, Fulenchek struck out the final Southern Utah batter to end the game, moving his record to 8-2 this season.

"The win is huge for us because we need to win 3 out of 4 this weekend," Fulenchek said. "If we win 3 out of 4, we’ll be in good shape (to make the conference tournament)."

Asked if he is raising his game entering his final conference season, Fulenchek says he is just more focused and concentrating more in games.

Centenary never trailed in Friday’s game, taking a 7-0 lead after four innings.

In the second, freshman Garrett DeRooy (Duvall, Wash.) scored on a balk and an error by Southern Utah starting pitcher Derek Job, giving the Gents the early 1-0 lead. On a failed pickoff attempt at first, Job threw the ball to the right of Thunderbird first baseman Bucky Aona, called for a balk on the play to allow DeRooy to not only take third but score.

DeRooy, along with senior designated hitter Justin Darr (The Woodlands, Texas), led Centenary with three hits each. DeRooy and Darr combined for five of the team’s six RBI.

Darr was pivotal in the third and fourth innings for Centenary, picking up RBI in both.

With runners on the corners, Darr sliced a single to right field to score Nate Santiago (Mukilteo, Wash.) from third and extend the lead to two. Santiago led off the inning with a single to short.

Later in the inning, DeRooy reached on a fielding error by Thunderbird third baseman Chester Wilson to score another run for the Gents.

The following inning, Centenary did all of its scoring with two outs on the board, scoring four runs led by DeRooy’s two RBI.

Darr laced a two-out single to right to score Santiago in the fourth, taking a 4-0 lead. Senior Justin Huff (Beaumont, Texas) followed Darr with a hard single up the middle to score junior Cameron Penney (Valley Center, Calif.). With the hit, Huff has registered RBI in four of the past five games, named Louisiana Sportswriters Association Player of the Week on Wednesday for his performance last weekend at Western Illinois.

Still in the fourth, DeRooy lined a single through the left side of the infield to score both Darr and Huff, ending the scoring for Centenary in the game.

Besides a two-run fifth inning for Southern Utah, the Gents paced through the final four innings, not allowing the Thunderbirds to get any runners in scoring position, nor pose any sort of real threat thanks to the pitching of Fulenchek and sound defense.

Centenary retired the final six Southern Utah batters to end Friday’s game.

Picking up the loss, Job went 3 2/3 innings, allowing seven hits and seven runs.

The two teams resume the series Saturday with a doubleheader scheduled for a 3 p.m. start.