Gents Baseball Selected to Finish Second in League's Preseason Poll
Friday, February 12, 2010

ELMHURST, Ill.-After returning a strong mix of key players from last season and welcoming several newcomers who look to take on large roles, the Centenary baseball team was picked to finish second in The Summit League's Preseason Poll according to the league's head coaches.

The Gents collected 39 votes, 10 nods shy of the unanimous favorite, Oral Roberts with 49 and seven first-place votes. Head Coach Ed McCann and company will bring back three of their top four hitters from a year ago in their attempt to dethrone Oral Roberts from the top spot.

Tell Ross had a .350 average last season with a team-leading 49 RBIs. Michael Tompkins (.348) belted a team-leading eight home runs, along with an on-base percentage of .463 for the Gents. Outfielder Cliff Shepard recorded a .571 slugging percentage and 101 total bases, both team-highs, helping the Gents to a 16-10 league record.

On the mound, Justin Kraft collected a 4.08 ERA with four complete games, while Boone Whiting had 86 strikeouts in 80.0 innings pitched. Kraft, Ross and Tompkins were all second team all-league honorees last season for head coach Ed McCann.

Among the standings, the Gents were followed closely by South Dakota State in the third slot with 36 points and the final first-place vote. Southern Utah (30 points) and North Dakota State (27 points) were each separated by three points apiece for the fourth and fifth positions, respectively. Oakland (16 points), IPFW (14 points) and Western Illinois (13 points) rounded out the voting.

2010 Summit League Baseball Preseason Poll
Team Points (1st)

1. Oral Roberts 49 (7)
2. Centenary 39
3. South Dakota State 36 (1)
4. Southern Utah 30
5. North Dakota State 27
6. Oakland 16
7. IPFW 14
8. Western Illinois 13

Centenary will open its season at defending National Champion LSU on February 19 at 7:00 pm in Baton Rouge, La.