Gents Rally for Game 1 Win; Late Game Heroics Fall Short in Game 2
Sunday, March 13, 2011
GRAMBLING, La.-The Centenary baseball team used late-game heroics in both contests of Saturday's double-header to come from behind and win Game 1, 9-7 in eight innings, before falling short in Game 2, 10-9 in eight innings against Grambling State in non-conference action.

The Gents (3-6) mustered up 26 total hits over the two contests as freshman Laetten Galbraith swung the hot bat, going 6-for-8 with one run scored and four RBI on the day.

Game 1: Centenary 9, Grambling 7 (8 innings)

Junior Seth Lugo (7.0,6,7,3,5,11) had a solid start in Game 1 to earn the win, tossing 7.0 innings, allowing three earned runs on six hits and five walks, while fanning 11 for the win. The Bossier City native improved to 2-1 on the season.

Galbraith (4x5, 2 RBI) and freshman RJ Talamantes (4x5, 2 R, RBI) led Centenary with four hits apiece. Freshman Marc Martinez (2x3, R, 3 RBI) had two hits and drove in three on a three-run blast, while sophomore Kyle Mauch (2x3) contributed with two hits.

Grambling took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second, but the Gents would even the score in the top half of the fourth when Schaffert doubled down the left field line to lead off the inning. After a groundout, Galbraith plated Schaffert on a double to right center.

The Tigers began to take advantage of several Centenary miscues to pull ahead 5-1 in the bottom half of the fourth. However, the Gents wouldn't back down offensively as they used a three-run fifth to narrow the score 5-4. Talamantes and Lugo each singled, allowing Martinez to belt his first career home run, a three-run shot over the left field wall.

Centenary would take a 6-4 lead in the top of the sixth when Rajkovich doubled down the left field line. Creamer then doubled to plate Rajkovich and Talamantes singled to score Creamer for the Gents' first lead of the afternoon.

A two-run home run gave Grambling the late-lead, but Centenary continued to fight in the batter's box as Galbraith plated pinch-runner Mark Gillean from second after he replaced Martinez' who doubled with one out.

Lugo's dominance began to arise late as he punched out two in the seventh to send the game into extra innings. Centenary played for the win as Creamer opened the eighth with a walk, followed by a Talamantes' single. With runners at first and third, Grambling chose to intentionally walk Lugo, allowing Schaffert to pick up an RBI on a sacrifice fly. Gillean would later drive in one on a fielder's choice groundout to give the Gents a 9-7 lead.

Junior reliever Zach Christ (1.0,1,0,0,0,1) pitched the final frame in relief to earn his first career save. The righty gave up just one hit and fanned one.

Game 2: Grambling 10, Centenary 9 (8 innings)

Despite falling down 9-1 in the early going, Centenary settled down and began to build on its Game 1 offensive momentum, scoring eight runs over the fourth, fifth and sixth frames to make it an interesting game at a 9-9 stand still.

Schaffert (3x5, R) led all hitters with three hits and managed to keep his nine-game hit streak alive, while Galbraith (2x3, R, 2 RBI) and Mauch (2x4, R) each added two. Also picking up a knock were juniors Kyle Morton (1x4, R, 2 RBI) and Lugo (1x4, R, 3 RBI) who each homered. Rajkovich (1x3, 2 R, RBI) also added a hit and drove in a run.

After three pitchers saw the mound for the Gents, Martinez (1.2,1,0,0,1,1) entered the game down 9-1 in the second inning. The righty came back out and tossed the third frame, allowing just one hit in 1.2 innings of work with one strikeout.

An impressive showing by sophomore Kelby Langston (3.0,3,0,0,2,1) followed on the bump as the righty relieved Martinez and pitched 3.0 scoreless innings with one strikeout and only surrendering three hits. In three appearances and 5.0 innings of work, Langston still maintains a perfect 0.00 ERA.

The offensive comeback by Centenary began in the fourth inning when junior Kyle Morton blasted his team-leading second home run of the season over the right field wall, plating Galbraith who had walked earlier in the inning.

Centenary continued to build on that threat with three runs in the fifth. Mauch, who was consistent all day in his first starts of the season, opened with a single to right center. Rajkovich followed with a walk, allowing Lugo to crank his first long ball of the year over left field for a three-run blast, narrowing the score to 9-6.

After a Creamer walk and an RBI-single by Rajkovich in the sixth inning, Galbraith continued to keep the Gents in the game for the second time on the day, plating the tying run on a two-run single through the left side.

Grambling had its chance to take the game in the bottom of the seventh when the first three hitters reached on singles. However, the defensive effort of Creamer at shortstop highlighted the inning as the sophomore gunned down a runner attempting to score with bases loaded and ended the frame on a 6U3 ground out double play to send the game into extra innings.

Galbraith (1.1,0,1,0,1,0) relieved Langston for the final two outs of that frame and worked the eighth. Though, Grambling wouldn't allow Centenary to make another miraculous come back as it plated the game-winner on an error which was scored after a walk and hit-by-pitch.

Galbraith (0-1) unfortunately had to suffer the loss, his first of the season.

Centenary will take a few days off before a four-game set with Hawai'i begins next weekend in Honolulu, Hawaii.