Gents Begin Tough Week Tuesday
Monday, March 31, 2008

SHREVEPORT – Looking to improve on its home and overall winning streaks, the Centenary (16-5) baseball team will host Northwestern State on Tuesday at 7:00 p.m. and travel to LSU on Wednesday, before opening Summit League play on Friday against South Dakota State in Omaha.


Last weekend the Gents won two games against Grambling, defeating the Tigers, 21-3, and, 7-2. Leading the Centenary offense was senior Cameron Penney, who hit .833 and moved his hitting streak to a career-high eight games. Penney was 5-for-6, scored three runs and tied for the team lead with five RBIs.


On the hill, the Gents were anchored by freshman Justin Kraft and senior Jeremy Sheehan, who each pitched five innings and combined to strike out 10. Sheehan also took a no-hitter into the fifth and his six strike outs on Saturday also tied a career-high.


NSU (15-10) has won 7-of-10, which includes a two-game sweep of Stephen F. Austin over the weekend, but lost two games prior to the SFA series. The Demons lost to LSU, 10-3, and were nipped in extra innings for Louisiana-Lafayette, 7-6.


Leading NSU at the dish is Justin O’Neal, who is batting .371 with 33 hits in 89 plate appearances. The power is coming from Mike Jaworski, who has a team-high five home runs, while Dylan Libadisos is second with four homers.


Wednesday’s opponent, LSU (16-10) is a hearty 15-5 at historic Alex Box Stadium, while the Centenary is just 1-4 away from home. The Tigers will play at cross-town rival Southern on Tuesday, which will be just their seventh road game of the season.


LSU’s offense is led by Matt Clark, who is hitting .378 in 25 games with team-high 13 home runs and 27 RBIs. The pitching staff is headed by Ryan Verdugo and Jared Bradford, who are a combined 9-5, with 66 strike outs in 67 innings of work.


With snow still on the ground in Brookings, both SDSU and Centenary have decided to meet at Creighton for the four-game series. However, because the game will be played to far from Brookings, NCAA rules say the contest will be counted as a neutral site game.

The Jackrabbits’ (7-16) offense comes from Korby Mintken, who is hitting .366, with three doubles, four triples, three home runs and 19 RBIs. Tyson Fisher, meanwhile, leads SDSU in homers, as he has parked five and has plated a team-best 26 runs.


The pitching staff for the Jackrabbits has been beaten up just a bit, as they have a 6.51 ERA in a 189.1 innings. Individually, Caleb Thielbar has a high 5.83 ERA, but is tied for the team lead in wins, with two.


After the treacherous week, Centenary will have a week off before they get ready for its big Summit League series with Oral Roberts on April 11.