Lewis and Sanchez set the Table for Kraft
Thursday, May 15, 2008

SHREVEPORT -- Calvin Sanchez and Steele Lewis each hit their second home run of the season, and Justin Kraft pitched his first collegiate complete game shutout to help the Centenary baseball team defeat Western Illinois on Thursday night, 8-0, in Summit League action.


In the third inning, the Gents (29-22, 12-13) got things started with a leadoff triple from Teddy Saenz and he was able to score on Sanchez’s sacrifice fly. It didn’t stay 1-0 for long, as Lewis came up in the fourth to park a moon shot to left and push the lead to 2-0.


With Centenary holding on to a 2-0 lead it was able to open the flood gates with two runs in fifth and sixth frames. The scoring started with an RBI single to right by Cameron Penney, while Ryan Bernsen hit a sharp come backer to plate Ricky Imperiali. The sixth inning runs came from Sanchez, who hit a two-run bomb to right field, which tied his season-high for RBIs with three.


Western (18-29, 11-10) was able to keep the Gents off the board in the seventh, but it didn’t last. Centenary came back in the eighth to score to more two runs on an Imperiali’s gapper to right.


Kraft (9-4), meanwhile, was lightsout on the mound, as he got out of two-on, two-out jam in the third and was able to cruise from there. Between the fourth and sixth innings the Yakima, Wash., native retired nine straight batters, before giving up a lead-off single in the seventh.


For the night, Kraft scattered seven hits, walked none and tied his career-high for strike outs with eight. Western’s starter, Travis Tolsma, who took the loss (4-5) went six innings, allowed 10 hits, six runs and fanned two.


With the win, it now pushes Centenary’s lead over IPFW to a game and half for the fourth seed in the upcoming conference tournament. The victory also marks the most wins in a season during the Ed McCann era.


The same two teams will back at it on Friday in doubleheader starting at 2 p.m. in Shehee Stadium.