Seniors Help Gents Win On Senior Day
Sunday, May 20, 2007

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Box Score

The 2007 Gent Senior Class
Front Row (L to R): Nate Santiago, Justin Darr, Justin Huff
Back Row (L to R): Coach Ed McCann, Will Kaage, Matt Webb, Brandon Fulenchek, David McElroy












SHREVEPORT, La. -- On Senior Day at Shehee Stadium, it was a senior who led the Centenary baseball team (26-29, 9-11) to a 7-5 comeback victory over Oakland (20-24, 5-15) in the regular-season finale for the Gents Sunday.

The comeback for Centenary could have been taken out of a storybook or copied from a movie.

With one on and trailing by one in the seventh, Centenary senior outfielder Matt Webb (Blue Springs, Mo.) stepped up to the plate for one last swing, one final at-bat.

As fellow-senior Justin Darr (The Woodlands, Texas) stepped away from first and the count full, Webb belted a two-run shot over the left-field wall at Shehee Stadium, with Oakland leftfielder Drew Jenison reserved to just watching the ball travel into the stadium parking lot.

With Eddie Money’s "Take Me Home Tonight" echoing in the Shehee Stadium air, Webb crossed home plate, arms held high, as he just scored the game-winning run for the Gents.

One of the leaders for Centenary in his senior season, Webb registered his career-high seventh home run of the season and first game-winning homer of his Gent career.

Following Webb’s home run, freshman Dakota Robinson (Bossier City) locked down Oakland in the eighth and ninth innings for his third save of the season. With Centenary head coach Ed McCann not shy about putting the young left-hander in this weekend, Robinson pitched 7 1/3 innings in three appearances against Oakland, not allowing an earned run and striking out four.

The Centenary rally Sunday was started in the bottom of the sixth.

After allowing Oakland to score three runs in the top half of the inning, keyed by a Chad DiFranco two-run single to center field, Centenary scored three runs in the sixth to cut the Oakland lead to 5-4.

Webb, the national leader in walks this season, drew a walk to lead off the sixth, followed by an Alex Maldonado (Whittier, Calif.) gap single to right.

Both making a heady play, Webb and Maldonado executed a double steal, putting runners at second and third for Centenary junior Calvin Sanchez (Santa Cruz, Calif.).

Sanchez delivered at the plate, singling to center to score Webb and cut the lead to 5-2. After singling, Sanchez stole second to again put runners at second and third for senior Nate Santiago (Mukileo, Wash.).

The luck of being a senior on Senior Day paid off for Santiago, as the Gent senior shortstop got on after Oakland shortstop Kyle Crepeau fumbled a grounder, allowing Maldonado to score from third.

Things continued to bounce Centenary’s way in the sixth after Maldonado scored to cut the deficit to two runs.

Two out and Sanchez on third, freshman Garrett DeRooy (Duvall, Wash.) swung through a pitch by Oakland reliever Andrew Estes for a third strike. As things were going the Gents’ way in the home finale, the pitch got away from Golden Grizzly catcher Josh Kozuch, deflecting off of the Shehee Stadium backstop and allowing DeRooy to reach first and Sanchez to score.

The momentum of the sixth was carried over to the following inning as Darr lined a single to right, followed by Webb’s triumphant home run.

Winning three out of four over the weekend, Centenary heads into this week’s Mid-Continent Conference, played in Macomb, Ill. Thursday to Saturday, on a roll.

Called upon to represent the role of "David" in the tournament, the Gents face a "Goliath" in Oral Roberts in Thursday’s tournament-opening game at 11:30 a.m. The Golden Eagles finished the conference season with an 19-1 record in Mid-Con play, sweeping the Gents in last weekend’s series in Tulsa.

Although looking ahead to this week’s tournament play, Sunday belonged to the seniors at Shehee Stadium.

All seven seniors played a part in the win, whether on the field or picking up a fallen teammate.

The seven have closed this chapter of their collegiate careers, but all look to make history for the program in this week’s conference championship.

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