Gents Out Hit #2 LSU, Fall 5-4 in Season Opener
Saturday, February 20, 2010
BATON ROUGE, La.-Playing the 2009 National Champion and No. 2-ranked LSU team in its season opener, the Centenary baseball team proved itself despite falling in a heart-breaking 5-4 loss to the Tigers in Game 1 of the three-game set on Friday evening at Alex Box Stadium in front of 10,000 fans.

The Gents (0-1) out hit LSU, 5-4 as five different players tallied a knock. Earning extra base hits for Centenary was senior Cliff Shepard, who homered, while classmate Tell Ross doubled. Sophomore Jeff Schaffert, senior Michael Tompkins and junior Keegan Acker all had hits.

The Gents took the early 1-0 lead after leadoff batter Acker drew a walk. With two outs, Tompkins reached on an error by the LSU left fielder, sending Acker across the plate.

LSU responded in the bottom half of the frame with a run of its own after the first batter reached on a hit by pitch and was later brought home on an infield groundout.

The score remained 1-1 through the second inning. Acker opened the third with the Gents' first hit, a single through the right side, but LSU was able to escape without any further Centenary damage.

After junior Boone Whiting fanned the first two Tiger hitters, LSU's Trey Watkins garnered a walk, before stealing second. Teammate Austin Nole singled through the left side, scoring Watkins for a 2-1 advantage.

Centenary was shut down in the top of the fourth, but the Tigers plated two more runs for a 4-1 lead after a fielding error and back-to-back knocks.

It remained a 4-1 game in favor of LSU through the sixth as senior pitcher Dakota Robinson replaced Whiting in the fifth.

Centenary powered up a strong seventh to plate two runs as Tompkins led off the frame with a single. He was followed by Ross with a double, putting runners at second and third with no outs. Junior Cody Atkinson's SAC fly scored Tompkins. With two outs, Schaffert singled up the middle, scoring Ross to make it a one-run game.

Juniors Derek Dalzell and Stephen Tromblee combined to shut out LSU in the bottom half of the seventh.

Shepard belted the team's first home run of the season, a solo shot to left field that tied the game at 4-4. LSU wouldn't allow the Gents to make a run as they were held with just one run.

The Tigers opened the eighth with a single, though a Centenary error allowed the batter to advance to third. A SAC fly by Nola proved to be the winning run as LSU closed out the Gents in the top of the ninth in order.

Whiting (4.2,3,4,2,1,4) got the start, but earned a no-decision for Centenary after tossing 4.2 innings, allowing three hits and four runs, two of which were earned, while fanning four.

Robinson (1.1,0,0,0,0,1) and Dalzell (0.2,0,0,0,0,1) saw action out of the pen, while Tromblee (0-1) (1.1,1,1,0,0,1) was suffered with the loss after throwing the final 1.1 innings, allowing one run on one hit.

For LSU, Daniel Bradshaw (3.0,4,3,3,0,2) picked up the win after tossing 3.0 innings of relief, allowing three runs on four hits.

Preseason National Player of the Year Anthony Ranaudo (5.0,1,1,0,2,6) started, but received a no-decision after 5.0 complete innings with just one hit and no earned runs, while fanning six.

Matty Ott (1.0,0,0,0,0,1) got the save with 1.0 inning of work with one strikeout.

Nola led LSU at the plate with a 1x3 effort and two RBI.

Centenary and LSU will meet again on Saturday at 5:00 pm at Alex Box Stadium.