Southern Utah Wins Series Finale Over Gents
Sunday, May 6, 2007

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Box Score

Webb went 2-for-3 Sunday with
a run scored to lead the Gents

SHREVEPORT, La. -- Southern Utah (11-39, 6-10) salvaged a 3-2 victory over the Centenary baseball team (23-24, 6-6) in Sunday’s series finale at Shehee Stadium.

A solo home run in the top of the second by Southern Utah first baseman Bucky Aona got the scoring started for the Thunderbirds, as Southern Utah would build as much as a three-run lead in Sunday’s win.

Aona, who went 3-for-4 Sunday to lead the Thunderbirds in hits, took the first pitch by Centenary sophomore Derek Bross (St. Joseph, Mich.) over the wall in left-center to give the visitors a 1-0 lead.

Trailing 3-0 with just six outs remaining, Centenary’s comeback efforts were started by junior infielder Teddy Saenz (San Jose, Calif.) in the eighth. The Gent leader in hitting this season, Saenz hit a double to deep center, advancing to third on a wild pitch by Thunderbird starting pitcher Alec Reichle.

With Saenz on third and not an out on the board, Centenary senior outfielder Justin Huff (Beaumont, Texas) hit a sac fly to center, getting the Gents on the board with Saenz tagging from third.

Unfortunately for Centenary, the Saenz score was the lone run for the Gents in the eighth, as the team was running out of outs for a comeback.

In the ninth and final inning, Matt Webb (Blue Springs, Mo.) and Nate Santiago (Mukilteo, Wash.) started the inning off with back-to-back singles to give Gents hope, as the team had the tying runs aboard.

After freshman Garrett DeRooy (Duvall, Wash.) sacrificed the two runners over with a bunt down the first-base line, sophomore Mike Davis (Ruston, La.) hit a long fly to center, scoring Webb from third with the sac fly.

The final chance for the Gents to tie the game came to Saenz. With Santiago on second, Saenz struck out at the plate, with Centenary falling a run short to the Thunderbirds.

Webb led the team in the loss with two hits. The senior outfielder went 2-for-3 from the plate with a run scored.

As the Gents captured three of the four games this weekend against Southern Utah, Centenary head coach Ed McCann said Sunday’s loss can be blamed on a lack of execution by the Gents.

"We were right on the verge of taking that fourth game if we just come out and execute," McCann said. "I didn’t think we did a good job of executing bunts and moving runners over. But I thought our pitching was pretty good, for the most part."

Bross, making his second start of the year, went six innings in the loss, striking out three and allowing six hits. After giving up the Aona homer in the second, Bross refocused and held the Southern Utah hitters at bay for the next four innings. Thanks to multiple double plays to end innings and sound defense, Centenary had its chances to come back in Sunday’s game.

It should be noted that the relief pitching of the Gents, particularly the efforts of freshman Dakota Robinson (Bossier City, La.) and junior Aaron Bronson (Kent, Wash.), did not allow a run all weekend. Robinson and Bronson both made two appearances over the weekend, combining for eight innings of shutout relief. Robinson pitched two innings Sunday, not allowing a hit and registering one strikeout.

Asked about the relief pitching of the Gents, McCann said the staff has grown more dependable over the season, coming into its own.

Centenary, now third in the Mid-Continent Conference standings, travels to conference-leading Oral Roberts next weekend, facing a tough test in the Golden Eagles. Game 1 of the four-game series is set for Friday at 7 p.m. in Tulsa, Okla.