Centenary Faces Oral Roberts to Open Tournament
Wednesday, May 23, 2007


Files associated with this release:
Game Notes

Links associated with this release:
Live Scoring
Watch Games Live
Official Championship Site


Justin Huff and the Gents
open play Thursday at 11:30 a.m.

CENTENARY

26-29, 9-11 Mid-Con

vs.

ORAL ROBERTS

37-15, 19-1 Mid-Con

 

Friday, May 24, 2007

11:30 a.m.

 

Mid-Continent Conference Baseball Championships

May 24-26, 2007

Boyer Stadium

Macomb, Ill.

 

PROBABLE CENTENARY STARTING PITCHER

Brandon Fulenchek, LHP

 

GENTS FACE GOLDEN EAGLES

Centenary (26-29, 9-11) opens the Mid-Continent Conference Tournament against No. 1-seeded Oral Roberts (37-15, 19-1) Thursday at Boyer Stadium, in Macomb, Ill.

 

In program history, the Gents boast a 2-6 record in Mid-Con Tournament play, going 0-2 last season.

 

WINNING THREE OF FOUR

Centenary won three of four games against Oakland to clinch a berth in this week’s conference tournament.

 

Leading the Gents at the plate this past weekend was the senior trio of Justin Darr, Justin Huff and Matt Webb.

 

Webb, a senior outfielder, played a big part in wins Saturday and Sunday.

 

Batting .309 this season in overall games, Webb hit the game-winning home run in Sunday’s 7-5 comeback victory, also scoring the game-tying run in Saturday’s 2-1 win.

 

This season, Webb leads the conference in three offensive categories, leading the nation in walks with 63. Webb is currently hitting .309 with 25 RBI, scoring a team-leading 52 runs. Webb leads the conference with a .523 on-base percentage and 24 stolen bases.

 

Darr leads the Gents with 40 RBI in 55 games this season, batting .259 with a .323 slugging percentage. Darr finished the weekend tied for the team lead in batting.

 

Huff leads the Gents with 20 RBI in conference games, also leading the team with a .338 average in 20 Mid-Con games. Breaking out at the start of conference play, Huff has a team-high 23 hits, standing with a .426 slugging percentage.

 

As a team, Centenary is batting .281 in overall games this season.

 

FULENCHEK GETS NOD

Senior pitcher Brandon Fulenchek gets the Game 1 start for the Gents.

 

The leader in the Mid-Con in wins this season, Fulenchek has been at the head of the Gent staff in 2007. Standing with an 8-4 record, Fulenchek has a 3.29 ERA in a league-leading 98.1 innings pitched. He is holding opponents to a .282 batting average with 55 strikeouts.

 

Fulenchek pitched four innings in his lone start against Oral Roberts this season, allowing six runs.

 

For his career, he has a 1-0 record in the Mid-Con Tournament in two starts. He has been named to the Mid-Con All-Tournament Team the past two seasons.

 

ROBINSON EARNS AWARD

Dakota Robinson leads the Mid-Continent Conference with 28 appearances this season.

 

Making all 28 appearances out of the pen, Robinson made three appearances against Oakland over the weekend. Earning two saves in his three relief appearances, Robinson was named Mid-Con Pitcher of the Week Monday, becoming the third Centenary pitcher to earn such an honor this season.

 

Over the weekend, Robinson did not allow an earned run, allowing just 4-of-28 batters to reach second base.

 

He has a 0.69 ERA in conference this season, making 11 appearances.

 

HISTORY AGAINST ORU IN TOURNEY

Unfortunately for the Gents, Centenary has yet to win when facing Oral Roberts in the Mid-Continent Conference Tournament.

 

In three previous meetings with Oral Roberts in the tournament, Centenary is 0-3.

 

The Gents last faced Oral Roberts in the tournament in 2006, falling 5-4 in 10 innings.

 

Brandon Fulenchek and Jimmy Baker were named to the Mid-Con All-Tournament Team following last season.

 

FACING ORAL ROBERTS

Centenary knows it must face its demons against Oral Roberts when it faces the Golden Eagles Thursday in the tournament.

 

In Thursday’s game, the Gents could potentially face ORU No. 1 and Mid-Con Pitcher of the Year candidate Chance Chapman.

 

Facing the Gents this season, Chapman set a new school record for strikeouts in a single game. In the May 11 game, Chapman fanned 19 Centenary batters to break the school record.

 

He has the low ERA in the conference this season.

 

WEBB: REGULAR SEASON LEADER

Centenary senior outfielder Matt Webb ended the 2007 regular season as the national leader in walks and walks per game.

 

Already breaking both the Centenary and Mid-Con record for walks in a single season, Webb has drawn 63 walks this season, averaging 1.15 walks per game.

 

He is the lone player from the Mid-Con to lead the NCAA in an individual statistics this season.

 

WALKS PER GAME

1. Matt Webb, Centenary - 1.15

2. Danny Payne, Ga. Tech - 1.09

3. Kellen Kulbacki, James Madison - 1.06

4. Corey Brown, Okla. State - 1.06

5. Matt LaPorta, Florida - 1.04

 

SANTIAGO & PENNEY RANK HIGH

Centenary senior Nate Santiago and junior Cameron Penney continue to rank high in individual statistics this season.

 

Santiago, a tri-captain and starting shortstop on the Gents, ranks 34th nationally in sacrifice hits. With 11 sacrifice hits this season, Santiago is averaging 0.25 sac hits per game.

 

Penney has struck out just 14 times in 202 at-bats this season, standing 37th in the nation in strikeout average (14.4). This season, Penney is tied for the team lead with 61 hits in 55 games.

 

MALDONADO LEADS MID-CON

A strong candidate for all-conference honors, Centenary junior catcher Alex Maldonado 53 games behind the dish this season.

 

Starting more games at catcher than any other player in the conference, Maldonado has thrown out 22 runners on the base paths to lead the conference.

 

This season, Maldonado is hitting .316 in Mid-Con games with seven RBI and four runs scored. He has a .990 fielding percentage in conference games.

 

RUNNING & RUNNING

Centenary ranks 32nd nationally in stolen bases per game.

 

Led by senior Matt Webb’s 24 stolen bases, the Gents are averaging 1.71 steals per game to lead the Mid-Con.

 

Behind Webb, who leads the Mid-Con in steals this year, four other players have double-digit stolen bases.

 

Senior Justin Huff has 14 bags, followed by Cameron Penney (12), Calvin Sanchez (12) and Teddy Saenz (10).

 

ON NEUTRAL TURF

The Gents have an 0-1 record this season in games played at a neutral site.

 

In the lone game played on a neutral field, Centenary fell to LSU by a 2-1 margin. In the game, Centenary was led by the outstanding pitching of junior starter Johnny Noland.

 

IRONMEN

Two out of 27 players have played every inning this season for the Gents.

 

One of the team leaders on the Centenary squad, senior outfielder Justin Huff has played all 55 games this season, leading the team with 61 hits.

 

Junior Teddy Saenz has also played all 55 games this year. Making Saenz situation unique, he has started in three different positions in the Centenary infield.

 

Senior Matt Webb and junior Cameron Penney have missed just one game this season for the Gents.

 

PENNEY ONE OFF OF CAREER HIGH

Cameron Penney has recorded a hit in the last six games, one off of his career-high hit streak of seven.

 

This season, Penney has emerged as one of the best contact hitters for the Gents, leading the team with 61 hits.

 

He has struck out just 14 times in 202 at-bats.

 

Penney is second on the team in number of games with multiple-hits, standing with 17 multi-hit games this year. He has the most games with three or more hits on the team, registering seven games of three hits or better.

 

FULENCHEK STARTS

In games where Brandon Fulenchek is the starting pitcher this season, Centenary has a 9-6 record.

 

Going through a streak of six consecutive games without a loss, Fulenchek has lost his last two starts to Oral Roberts and Oakland.

 

LAST TIME AT BOYER

Centenary went 2-2 in its last visit to Boyer Stadium.

 

Splitting its series with Western Illinois, the Gents averaged 8.25 runs per game at Boyer Stadium this season.

 

Centenary scored 14 runs in the series opener April 27 to earn a 14-7 win.

 

TWO MAKE PITCHING DEBUTS

Juniors Jason Blilie and Tim Kelleher both made their pitching debuts for the Gents against Oral Roberts this season.

 

Blilie made two relief appearances in Tulsa, allowing three hits while striking out one.

 

Kelleher pitched 2 1/3 innings in relief, allowing three hits.

 

Previously this season, both have been primarily used in the field and in pinch-hitting roles.

 

ROBINSON REGISTERS NEW HIGH

The four innings of relief registered by freshman pitcher Dakota Robinson against Southern Utah set a new career high for innings pitched by the left-hander.

 

Robinson came into the game with the Gents trailing Southern Utah, 6-2, May 5, helping the Gents tie the game and force extra innings through his shutout relief.

 

The freshman also pitched two shutout innings May 6 against the Thunderbirds, striking out one and not allowing a hit.

 

The leader in strikeout to walk ratio for the Gents (4.57), Robinson has not allowed a run in four of his last five appearances.

 

He leads the Mid-Con with 28 appearances this season.

 

SHEEHAN SHOWS CONTROL

Standing with a 7-5 record, Centenary junior starter Jeremy Sheehan leads all Gent starters in the least amount of walks issued to opponents.

 

In 14 starts -- 15 appearances -- Sheehan has walked just 17 batters, three less than the next closest Gent starting pitcher.

 

Sheehan has a 4.93 ERA in 80 1/3 innings pitched.

 

MULTI-TASKING

Centenary starting second baseman Garrett DeRooy has a 0.00 ERA in two relief appearances this season.

 

DeRooy is the lone Centenary reliever with a 0.00 ERA.

 

A primarily fastball pitcher, DeRooy did not allow a run to Oral Roberts in a relief appearance May 12.

 

FIRST ON THURSDAY

In Thursday’s game against Oral Roberts, Centenary plays its first game on Thursday this season.

 

Previously, the Gents have not played Monday or Thursday this season.

 

FULENCHEK HONORED

Graduating Summa Cum Laude, senior pitcher Brandon Fulenchek earned numerous academic awards at the May 5 commencement.

 

Fulenchek earned a bachelor of science degree in Finance and Business Economics Saturday, honored with the Top Economics Major Award, Top Finance Major Award and the Athletic Achievement Award.

 

He was also named “Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges” for his academic prowess.

 

In addition to his excellence in the classroom, Fulenchek has been the ace of the Centenary staff this season.

 

Joining Fulenchek at the Spring commencement, seniors Justin Darr and Will Kaage both received their degrees.

 

WEBB HITS CAREER HIGH

Outfielder Matt Webb’s seven home runs set a new career high for the senior.

 

Hitting perhaps his biggest home run of the season, Webb won the game against Oakland Sunday with a two-run homer in the seventh.

 

He hit two homers against nationally-ranked Arkansas March 21.