Season Wrap Up: Centenary Gents Baseball
Tuesday, June 1, 2010

SHREVEPORT-It was a season filled with much more than wins. A roster of 26 Gents and four coaches represented the Centenary baseball team through early obstacles to overcome the challenges and wrap up its 2010 season with a bittersweet ending.

SEASON SUCCESS

Centenary finished the season with an overall record of 28-26 and a 17-9 league mark, good for third-best in The Summit League. The Gents wrapped up league play without losing a series. When facing No. 1 South Dakota State and No. 2 Oral Roberts, Centenary walked away from the weekend series with a split (2-2).

The Gents took one series sweep over North Dakota State in the opening weekend of league play, which propelled them to the top of the standings for most of the season.

At home, Centenary was 18-9 and batted a solid .314 as a team. The Gents outscored their opponents, 170-157 at Shehee Stadium.

COMPETITIVE COMPETITION

It all began with the scheduled set a year ago. If you want to be the best, you must beat the best.

Centenary baseball is always known for its strong and competitive non-conference schedule as it no stranger to upsetting big time schools like LSU, Arkansas and Texas A&M.

Again, the Gents would face these three teams this season along with Hawaii, Gonzaga, Binghamton, Austin Peay and Georgia State. They also found themselves meeting in-state rival, Northwestern State, who had nods in the Top 30 earlier this season.

Of those games, Centenary managed to make the most out of the opportunity with two extra inning wins over both Gonzaga and Northwestern State.

RECORD-BREAKING WHITING

Right-handed starter Boone Whiting became the all-time leader in strikeouts at Centenary this season after recording 256 punch outs in just three years, surpassing Kevin Cassidy's record of 208.

He also owns the single season record with 120 strikeouts, a 50-year old record last held by Cecil Upshaw in 1963 with 105.

HIT STREAKS

Hit streaks are hard to come by in the game of baseball when failing 3 out of 10 times is considered pretty great. But two players on the Gents baseball team made the most out of an extended period of time.

Senior Cliff Shepard opened his final year of collegiate baseball, riding a 15-game hitting streak from Feb. 19-March 20. During mid-season play, Shepard would again put together a span of 14-games with at least one base knock from April 16-May 12.

Junior Scott Pasket's bat got hot at the right time during league play as he notched a 17-game hitting streak from April 23-May 21 and was ranked nationally for that effort.

SUMMIT SPOTLIGHT

Five Gents were named to the All-Summit League Post Season Teams:
Boone Whiting, Michael Tompkins, Cliff Shepard, Stephen Tromblee, and Seth Lugo

Whiting led Centenary's post-season honors being named Summit League's Pitcher of the Year and First Team All-Summit League. He recorded a league-leading 112 strikeouts on the year, ranking ninth in the nation. Whiting's 32 walks give him a 3.5 to one strikeout to walk ratio, while his 12.92 strikeouts per nine innings ranks fourth nationally. Of those 112 strikeouts, 62 came against league opponents.

The righty was a perfect 4-0 in the league and 6-1 on the season with a 3.23 ERA, second in the league. He also held batters to a league-low .221 batting average on the season. In 41.1 innings pitched, the Oakdale, Calif., native allowed just 17 earned runs. The junior also had one shutout and one complete game on the year, while also earning a save vs. Western Illinois on May 18.
Tompkins hit .313 during the regular season, was second-best on the team with 35 RBI and had a solid slugging percentage of .438 with five home runs primarily as Centenary's designated hitter. In the last regular season weekend at IPFW, Tompkins belted two home runs.

Shepard paced the Gents in almost every offensive category throughout the season as he hit a consistent .365, had a team-best 72 hits, 20 doubles, 48 RBI and six home runs. The senior outfielder has started and played in all 52 regular season games and was named Summit League Player of the Week earlier this season.

Tromblee was one of three Centenary pitchers to be recognized to this years All-Summit League team as he helped the Gents to a league-low 4.98 ERA in conference play. As a relief pitcher, Tromblee posted a 2-2 mark with a 5.06 ERA and a team-high four saves during league play alone.

Lugo, a right-handed starter came on strong during league play, posting a 2-1 record and a 3.34 ERA. In 29.2 innings pitched against Summit League opponents, Lugo struck out 24 batters. On the season, Lugo notched two saves in six relief appearances.

ACKER AWARDED TO ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM
Junior Keegan Acker was named to The Summit League All-Tournament team at the conference tournament held last week in Tulsa, Okla. He was the only Gent who was recognized for their play in the two games played.

Acker produced two, two-hit games, including a 2-for-4, one run game vs Oral Roberts and a 2-for-4 effort with a double vs Oakland.

THE SENIOR "SIX"
Centenary rostered six seniors on its 2010 team.

Cliff Shepard - OF - Phoenix, Ariz.
Tell Ross - 1B - Troup, Texas
Michael Tompkins - DH - College Place, Wash.
Jeff Ericson - UTL - Manchester, MO
Dakota Robinson - LHP - Bossier City, La. 
James Hoyt - RHP - Boise, Idaho

OFFENSIVE HIGHLIGHTS

Cliff Shepard led the team: average (.359), slugging percentage (.563), hits (74), RBI (48), doubles (20), home runs (6), and total bases (116)

Alex Todd led the team this season with 13 hit-by-pitches and was second in runs scored (43), hits (58), doubles (14), total bases (87) and sac flies (5)

Keegan Acker paced the team consistently all season in on-base percentage (.468), runs scored (45), walks (37) and stolen bases (17)

Scott Pasket produced strong offensive numbers, placing him in the top five on the team in every category. He led the team in triples (3) and sacrifice bunts (13) as the No. 2-hole hitter.

Jeff Ericson hit his first career grand slam on 3/20 vs Georgia State. He was third-best on the team in average (.314) and first in sac flies (5).

Tell Ross had 12 multi-hit games and was tied for first with six home runs and ranked in the top 5 in every offensive category.

Michael Tompkins batted .298 with five home runs, 53 hits and drove in 37 runs.

ON THE BUMP

Boone Whiting tossed 84.0 innings this season and registered 120 strikeouts. He maintained a 3.21 ERA and a 6-2 record with one save. In 7 of his 14 game appearances, Whiting tossed at least 7.0 innings of work and had five games where he fanned at least 11 batters.

Seth Lugo finished the season in the starting rotation and a 2-3 record to accompany his 4.75 ERA. The sophomore also picked up two saves in 41.2 innings tossed.

David Benson was a regular starter all season for the Gents. He wrapped up the year with a 4-3 record and a 4.85 ERA. He was second-best on the team with 65.0 innings pitched and 12 game starts.

Out of the pen, Dakota Robinson excelled as one of Centenary's top relievers. The southpaw had a 3.47 ERA and was first on the team with 31 game appearances. Robinson garnered a 3-1 record as a reliever in 46.2 innings.

Derek Dalzell had a highlighted weekend vs Western Illinois when he picked up two wins in relief on the same day. Dalzell concluded with a 4.58 ERA and a 4-2 record.

Stephen Tromblee earned a team-best five saves in just 39.1 innings of work. He also picked up two wins in 25 game appearances.

MAKING CONTRIBUTIONS

The Gents have been actively involved with the Meadowview children all year and to wrap up the season, the Bossier City elementary school provided its students with an exciting field day with Gents baseball, fun relays, and snacks.

Throughout the year, the Centenary squad has tutored the students for its annual LEAP test, provided a meet-and-greet at Shehee Stadium where the children were lessoned on the game of baseball and were able to "run the bases".

"This is an effort to give back to our local community that supports us. It is a fantastic way to provide for those who may not be as fortunate as us," said head coach Ed McCann.