PREVIEW: Baseball Travels to SDSU
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
SHREVEPORT-The Centenary baseball team will make its way to South Dakota State for a pivotal, four-game set with the Jackrabbits beginning Friday at 3:00 pm in Summit League action.

The Gents will meet SDSU on Saturday at Noon for a double-header and a final game on Sunday at 1:00 pm.

Centenary enters the weekend series with a 20-16 overall record, having edged in-state rival, Northwestern State, 2-1 in 10 innings on Tuesday in non-conference play. The Gents are 9-2 in Summit League and are right behind league leader, Oral Roberts with a 10-2 mark, while South Dakota State is in third at 8-4.

On the season, senior Cliff Shepard continues to maintain his team-best .358 average, 49 hits and 29 RBI. Junior Keegan Acker is hitting .327 with 25 walks, while teammate Alex Todd is third-best with a .320 clip and a team-leading 28 runs scored.

Expected to see the mound as starters this weekend are juniors Boone Whiting, David Benson, Justin Kraft and sophomore Seth Lugo.

Whiting was recently honored as Louisiana Sports Writers Association's Pitcher of the Week and will see the bump in Game 1. The righty owns a team-best 2.61 ERA and 4-1 record. In 58.2 innings of work, Whiting has fanned 80 batters.

Benson will likely start Game 2 with a 3.83 ERA and 4-2 record. The right-hander is second on the team with 54.0 innings pitched and 38 strikeouts. Kraft, a righty will throw Game 3, owning a 5.51 ERA and a 3-4 overall record. Through 49.0 innings, he has fanned 39 hitters. Lugo is 1-1 with a 4.71 ERA and has garnered two saves this season out of the pen.

Out of the pen, Centenary has relied heavily on the arms of junior Derek Dalzell (3.55 ERA, 1-2), senior Dakota Robinson (3.73 ERA, 3-1) and junior Stephen Tromblee (5.40 ERA, 2-2, 5 SV) who has notched a win and save in both road league series this season.

South Dakota State meets North Dakota for a non-conference double-header on Wednesday before facing Centenary on Friday. Prior to the mid-week contest, the Jackrabbits are 23-13 overall and 8-4 in league play.

As a team, SDSU is hitting an impressive .339 as John Lee paces the offense with a .422 average. Eric Cain is batting .391 with a team-best 10 home runs and 49 runs driven in.

Trevor Vermeulen owns a 1.02 ERA and a 4-1 record, while Blake Treinen is 4-0 with a 5.04 ERA for the Jackrabbits pitching staff.

Centenary took three out of four from South Dakota State at home last season as Robinson, Tromblee and Kraft all picked up wins.

Following the weekend series, the Gents will return home to host Western Illinois in a four-game series.