Gents Power Past IPFW in Win to End Skid; Freshmen Shine
Saturday, April 23, 2011
SHREVEPORT-The Centenary baseball team powered up a season-best 23 hits for a season-high 18 runs as it took control of Game 1 of the Summit League series against IPFW with a convincing 18-8 win on Friday evening in seven innings.

The Gents earned their first league win, improving to 1-8 and 4-21 overall. With the win, Centenary snapped a 16-game losing skid, which dated back to March 12 at Grambling.

Nine Centenary hitters found the hit column as the Gents posted seven extra base hits, including two triples, a home run and four doubles. Centenary has now scored 28 runs and tallied 39 hits in the last two contests.

It was an impressive night at the plate by the Gents' newcomers as RJ Talamantes (4x5, 4 R, 3 RBI, 3 SB) and Mark Gillean (4x5, 3 R, RBI) each led Centenary with a 4-for-5 effort. Freshman teammate Pete Rajkovich (3x4, 2 R, RBI) and sophomore Matt Creamer (3x6, 2 RBI) were equally strong with three hits apiece.

Junior Jeff Schaffert (2x2, R, 3 RBI) belted his third home run of the year and was 2-for-2, while junior Kyle Morton (2x4, 2 R, 2 RBI) connected on his team-leading sixth double and second triple of the season.

Also picking up two knocks were junior Dan Lazarou (2x4, R, RBI) and freshman Derrick Hernandez (2x5, R, 2 RBI), while freshman Marc Martinez (1x2, R, RBI) had a base hit.

Freshman starter Nic Parrott (4.1,7,5,4,2,0) earned his first collegiate win in just his third start of the season and improved to 1-1 on the year. The lefty tossed 4.1 innings, allowing four earned runs on seven scattered hits and two walks.

Centenary jumped all over IPFW in the opening frames as it gained a 3-0 lead after the first inning. The Gents connected on four hits, sparked by a two-run blast to left center by Schaffert.

Parrott and defense held IPFW without a run through the first two frames as the Gents continued to build with two more runs in the second for a quick 5-0 lead. Talamantes and Schaffert each drove in a run.

The Mastodons responded with two runs in the top of the third on three hits and a Centenary error, however, the Gents produced its best inning of the year with eight runs on eight hits in the latter half of the third. Morton doubled and tripled in the same inning, while driving in two. Martinez also drove in two, while Talamantes, Hernandez and Gillean each picked up an RBI.

Playing through a scoreless fourth, IPFW began to make noise with six runs over the next two frames to narrow the score 13-8. Freshman Sam Martin (0.2,2,2,2,2,0) relieved Parrott in the fifth and tossed 0.2 innings, allowing two runs on two hits and two walks.

Part of the BBB, sophomore Kelby Langston (2.0,3,1,1,0,3) relieved Martin, pitching the sixth and seventh frames. The righty allowed one run on three hits, while fanning three to preserve the win out of the pen.

Centenary wouldn't allow the Mastodons to come any closer as it rallied to make up the runs allowed, plating three in the sixth and two in the seventh for the mercy-rule victory.

The Gents put together four hits in the sixth, led by an RBI double by Rajkovich and RBI singles by Talamantes and Creamer. Gillean opened the seventh with a single to first base, while Lazarou's single up the middle plated Gillean. With two outs and bases loaded, Creamer singles to right center for the game-winning RBI, scoring Neporadny who reached after being hit-by-a-pitch.

Centenary showcased a strong effort on the base paths as well, stealing six bases, three of which were done by team-leader Talamantes.

IPFW starter Nick Optiz (2.0,9,9,9,2,0) suffered the loss for the Mastodons.

The Gents will continue the four-game series on Saturday with a double-header beginning at 1 pm CT. Live stats are available at www.GoCentenary.com.