Offense Comes Alive to Secure Game 2, Gents Fall in League Opener
Saturday, April 10, 2010
CEDAR CITY, Utah-The Centenary baseball team played two competitive games in its Summit League debut, falling in Game 1, 4-3 in 11 innings, before rallying to score five runs to take Game 2, 9-8, over Southern Utah on Friday afternoon.

The Gents (11-14, 1-1) connected on 15 hits over two contests, while battling 25 knocks from the Thunderbirds to open league play with a 1-1 record.

Game 1: Southern Utah 4, Centenary 3 (11 innings)

Despite tying the game at 3-3 in the top of the ninth, Centenary wasn't able to come out on top as Southern Utah plated the winning run in the bottom of the 11th to take Game 1.

The Gents put up only four hits as senior Cliff Shepard led offensively with a 2x4, one RBI performance. Freshman Trey McGee (1x2, R) and senior Jeff Ericson (1x2, RBI) also picked up a hit, while senior Michael Tompkins (0x3, RBI) drove in a run.

Junior Boone Whiting (7.0,8,3,3,3,11) fanned 11 and tossed 7.0 solid innings, allowing three runs on eight hits with three walks, but left with the no-decision.

Classmate Derek Dalzell (3.0,1,1,0,1,2) tossed 3.0 innings of relief, suffering the loss after allowing one run on one hit.

Southern Utah jumped out board with two early runs in the home half of the third on three hits. The Gents were held scoreless until the sixth when they tied the game at 2-2. McGee led off the frame with a single, followed by a walk from junior Keegan Acker. Shepard would pick up an RBI-single, scoring McGee, while Tompkins groundout drove in Acker.

The Thunderbirds would quickly respond with a third run in the latter half of the inning on back-to-back hits.

Ericson's double in the ninth would make it a 3-3 game, after he plated freshman Matt Creamer, who pinch ran for Tompkins who was hit by a pitch.

Centenary's defense was able to shutdown Southern Utah in the ninth and tenth, but the Thunderbirds would rally and score in the 11th inning on two hits and an error.

Senior Dakota Robinson (0.0,1,0,0,0,0) also saw action and allowed one hit.

Game 2: Centenary 9, Southern Utah 8

Centenary junior Stephen Tromblee (3.2,3,1,1,2,2) would earn his first win of the season in relief after tossing 3.2 innings of work. The southpaw gave up just one run on three hits with two strikeouts.

Junior Justin Kraft (5.1,12,7,7,1,2) would get the start but leave with a no-decision, throwing 5.1 innings surrendering seven runs on 12 hits.

The Gents pounded out 11 hits and took advantage of three Southern Utah errors as junior Alex Todd (2x3, 3 R, 2 RBI) had a solid game, picking up two hits, scoring three runs and driving in two, while Ericson (2x3, R) also had a multi-hit game.

McGee (1x3, 2 RBI) and senior Tell Ross (1x4, R, 2 RBI) drove in two, while Acker (1x3, 2 R), Creamer (1x2), sophomore David Perez (1x1), Shepard (1x4), and freshman Ryan Bell (1x4, R) all had a hit.

Centenary plated a run in the top of the first on two hits and two Southern Utah errors, before allowing the Thunderbirds to tie the game with a run of its own in the home half.

The Gents used a leadoff double by Ericson, back-to-back walks, and error to set the table for McGee and hits two-run double to go back up 4-1.

However, the game remained close as Southern Utah would narrow the deficit to one, 4-3 with two runs in the second.

The Thunderbirds challenged the Gents with nine hits and five more runs to take an 8-4 lead through the sixth. But it was the consistency at the plate in the final three frames for Centenary that allowed them to regain the lead for the win.

Todd would open the seventh with a double to center field and later come around to score on three wild pitches.

Tromblee and his defense held Southern Utah without a run as it continued to build on its late lead. A three-run eighth inning tied the game at 8-8 as the Gents picked up four hits including a two-run blast by Ross and a solo shot by Todd.

A sacrifice fly by Todd in the ninth sealed the game as sophomore Jeff Schaffert would come around to score after reaching on a fielder's choice.

Centenary will wrap up the four-game set on Saturday with a double-header beginning at 1:00 pm CT.