Gents Closing in on a Tournament Berth
Thursday, May 1, 2008

SHREVEPORT – A sweep of North Dakota State this weekend would go a long way for the fourth place Centenary baseball team, who is still looking to find a spot in The Summit League Tournament. The Gents and Bison will begin their four-game series on Friday starting at 6:00 p.m. in Shehee Stadium.


Though the league tournament is still three weeks away, Centenary (24-18, 7-9) is just four and a half games behind Southern Utah for second and six in back of Oral Roberts for first. If the Gents sweep NDSU, they would put themselves in prime contention to capture the No.1 or 2 seed.


Cameron Penney, who tops Centenary in hitting, is fifth in the league with a .358 average, sixth in hits (54), fifth in triples (2) and 10th in on base percentage (.430).


The Gents also have several other hitters topping league charts, as Jomar Tabor is ninth in runs (34) and fourth in stolen bases (13), while Ricky Imperiali is tied for first in doubles (16) and Ryan Bernsen is ninth (11). Steele Lewis, meanwhile, is third in the conference in stolen bases (14), while Teddy Saenz and Alex Maldonado show eye at the plate with 29 and 21 walks respectively.


The pitching staff is led by freshman All-American candidate Justin Kraft, who is 8-2 with a 3.58 ERA. Kraft is second in the conference in wins, fifth in innings pitched (60.1), sixth in strike outs (46), second in complete games (2) and eighth in opponents batting average (.270).   


After winning six of its first seven games NDSU (9-23, 2-9) has since lost 16-of-19, but have gone 3-3 in its last six games. The Bison hitters are led by Ryan Langlais, who is hitting .314 with three home runs and 28 RBIs.


The staff is led by Shane Bushland, who is has a 1.96 ERA in 13 appearances, with one start, but has collected two saves. Bushland earlier this season threw 11.1 innings of relief against Southern Utah, a game which went 17 innings and took almost five and a half hours to complete.


Following this weekends action, Centenary is scheduled to play at Grambling on Tuesday and then travel to Southern Utah for a four-game series starting on Thursday, May 8.