Gents Sweep Saturday Doubleheader with Southern Utah
Saturday, May 5, 2007

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

Alex Maldonado had four hits
over the two games Saturday

SHREVEPORT, La. -- Centenary (23-23, 6-5) moved into third place in the Mid-Continent Conference standings with its sweep of Southern Utah (10-39, 5-10) in a Saturday doubleheader at Shehee Stadium.

The Gents captured a come-from-behind win in Game 1 Saturday, defeating the Thunderbirds, 7-6, in extra innings. In another close, tightly-contested game between Centenary and Southern Utah, the Gents won Game 2 Saturday by a 4-2 margin to earn the sweep.

Centenary junior pitcher Aaron Bronson (Kent, Wash.) figured in the result in both games Saturday, earning a win and a save over the Thunderbirds. Coming into both games with men in scoring position for Southern Utah, Bronson thrived under pressure, not allowing a run and giving up just one hit over two innings.

Asked if he felt the pressure of coming into the game with a tight score and runners in scoring position, Bronson said he has grown into his role as a reliever.

"Coming in more and more throughout the year, I’ve kind of gotten used to it," Bronson said. "I felt really relaxed today and felt real good."

From an offensive standpoint, Centenary was led by junior catcher Alex Maldonado (Whittier, Calif.), who continues to be one of the most dangerous hitters in the Mid-Con since conference play began in April. Maldonado, hitting a team-leading .469 in conference games, went 4-for-6 Saturday with two RBI and a run scored. He two RBI in Game 1 was vital, as Centenary had to make up four runs over the final three innings.

Senior outfielder Justin Huff (Beaumont, Texas) and junior infielder Teddy Saenz (San Jose, Calif.), both went 3-for-6 Saturday. Saenz led the Gents with three runs scored and a .625 on-base percentage in the two wins.

Centenary looks for the series sweep when the team takes the field for Sunday’s series finale. Sophomore right-hander Derek Bross (St. Joseph, Mich.) gets the start on the bump for Centenary, making his second start of the season. The sophomore was sharp in his last relief appearance against Western Illinois, pitching 3 1/3 no-hit innings. Game time is set for noon Sunday.

GAME 1 - Centenary 7, Southern Utah 6 (10 innings)

In the bottom of the 10th with the score tied at 6-6, Centenary junior Calvin Sanchez (Santa Cruz, Calif.) came through for the Gents, hitting a sacrifice fly to center field to score senior Matt Webb (Blue Springs, Mo.) from third.

Quite fittingly, it was Sanchez who provided the RBI for the Gents in extra innings. This season, Sanchez has excelled when the game is on the line for the Gents in the late innings, scoring game-winnings runs in the final innings against Jackson State (Feb. 10) and Toledo (March 3) and hitting the sac fly Saturday to score Webb.

Webb got on in the 10th on a fielding error by Southern Utah third baseman Chester Wilson, advancing to second on a sac bunt by senior Nate Santiago (Mukilteo, Wash.). Webb was in position to score on the Sanchez fly after he stole third, registering his 22nd stolen base of the season, sliding to the right of the tag by Wilson.

Centenary forged its way into extra innings with a four-run seventh inning.

Trailing 6-2 heading into the seventh, freshman Garrett DeRooy (Duvall, Wash.) singled to left to lead off the inning. DeRooy’s play, both on defense and at the plate, have improved dramatically in the Mid-Con season. The freshman is hitting .368 in the 11 conference games, good for third on the team in batting average.

Three consecutive singles by Saenz, Huff and senior Justin Darr (The Woodlands, Texas) followed DeRooy, scoring two runs and cutting the deficit to just two runs.

After a Maldonado sac fly scored Huff and an RBI-single by Gent junior Cameron Penney (Valley Center, Calif.), the score was tied, as Centenary did not hang its heads after a five-run sixth inning by the Thunderbirds.

The comeback win, culminated by the Sanchez sac fly in the 10th, was only made possible by the strong relief pitching of both freshman Dakota Robinson (Bossier City) and Bronson.

Robinson came in relief of Centenary stater Jeremy Sheehan (Bonner Springs, Kan.) in the sixth, recording the final out of the sixth and pitching the next 3 2/3 innings. Enter the game down 6-2, Robinson did not allow a run over the final four innings of the game, getting the first two outs of the 10th before handing off to Bronson.

Over his four innings, Robinson struck out four without walking a batter, giving the Gents an opportunity to tie.

Bronson (2-2) managed to induce a groundout by Southern Utah outfielder Robert Sandstrom to end the 10th, picking up the win and not allowing the runners at second and third to advance.

Chase Hudson (0-2) picked up the loss for Southern Utah, allowing Webb to get on and intentionally walking DeRooy in the 10th. He pitched just a third of an inning.

In the Game 1 win, Saenz went 3-for-4 with two runs scored.

GAME 2 - Centenary 4, Southern Utah 2

The Gents never trailed in Game 2 of the Saturday doubleheader, taking an early lead with two runs in the first.

After Southern Utah tied the game at 2-2 in the fourth, the Gents answered with a run in the bottom half of the inning, this time holding onto the lead for good.

Maldonado led off the inning with a single to left, brought home by a Santiago RBI-single.

Centenary added an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth when Webb lined a single to right to score Darr from second.

Picking up his first conference win of the season was Centenary junior Johnny Noland (Aliso Viejo, Calif.). Noland pitched 5 1/3 innings Saturday, striking out four and allowing six hits. In the win, the junior left-hander worked his way out of numerous jams, culminating with consecutive pop-ups by Jacob Romney and Sandstrom in the fourth to end the inning. The two-straight pop flies stranded Thunderbird catcher Matt Bezzant at second, with Noland denying Southern Utah an opportunity to take the lead.

Entering the game for Noland in the sixth with one out, Bronson worked his way out of a bases-loaded jam to keep the score 3-2 in favor of Centenary.

Bronson ended the game with a 4-6-3 double play to earn his team-leading fifth save of the year.

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