PREVIEW: Gents Host Summit League Showdown with ORU
Thursday, May 13, 2010
SHREVEPORT-Looking to build on its current Summit League first place standing, the Centenary baseball team will host the always competitive Oral Roberts Golden Eagles this weekend in a crucial four-game set at Shehee Stadium.

The series is set to begin Friday at 6 pm, followed by a double-header on Saturday at 1 pm and a single game Sunday at Noon.

Following Sunday's game, Centenary will honor its six seniors: Cliff Shepard, Michael Tompkins, Dakota Robinson, Jeff Ericson, Tell Ross and Jimmy Hoyt for their contributions to the Gents baseball program and the College.

Centenary will look to snap its current two-game skid as it is coming off a 15-3 loss at Texas A&M on Wednesday. The Gents fell to 22-19 on the season, but will host ORU with a home record of 14-6 and 4-0 against league opponents.

As a team, Centenary is hitting .277 behind the impressive stick of senior Cliff Shepard who upped his average to .377 after a three-hit performance against the Aggies. The outfielder leads the team with 60 hits, 18 doubles and 36 RBI and has hit safely in all, but one league game this season. Juniors Keegan Acker and Alex Todd are also hitting well of late, with averages of .339 and .331, respectively.

Pitching for Centenary, junior Boone Whiting will take the mound Friday night with a record of 5-1 and a 3.38 ERA. The right-hander has tossed a team-high 64.0 innings and has fanned 86 batters. Also expected to see action in the rotation is sophomore Seth Lugo with a 2-1 record and 4.33 ERA, junior David Benson with a 4-3 mark and 4.43 ERA.

 Out of the pen this season and stellar of late is senior Dakota Robinson with a 3.38 ERA, a 3-1 record in a team-best 24 appearances. Junior Stephen Tromblee will also see the bump with a 5.40 ERA, a 2-3 record and five saves, four of which have come in league play.

Oral Roberts enters the weekend series with a 27-21 overall record and is 14-6 in Summit League play, closely following the Gents in league standings. The Golden Eagles are 10-17 away from their home field this season.

Leading the way offensively for Oral Roberts is Nick Baligod with a .396 average, while Tyler Saladino is batting .382 with 15 home runs and a team-best 73 hits and 59 RBI.

Mark Guest has a team-low 4.38 ERA but a record of 1-2 over 61.2 innings pitched. Bryce Smolen is 6-3 with a 4.75 ERA and Jeff Burleson has a team-high seven wins to three losses and a 6.12 ERA, while Seth Furmanek holds a 6.97 ERA and is 4-1.

Oral Roberts and Centenary last met in a four-game set last season in Tulsa where the Golden Eagles took all four games from the Gents.

Following the weekend series, Centenary will host Western Illinois on Monday at 7 pm and Tuesday in a double-header slated for Noon as this series was rescheduled.