Timely Hitting Key in Gents 8-6 Win at WIU
Friday, May 13, 2011
MACOMB, Ill.-After seeing a five-run lead slip away, the Centenary baseball team stayed composed and relied on timely hitting to capture an 8-6 victory over Western Illinois in Game 1 of the four-game Summit League series on Friday afternoon.

The Gents earned their 10th win of the season and improved to 10-26 and 7-13 in Summit League play.

Freshman Nic Parrott picked up his second win of his career, while junior Seth Lugo dominated the late innings for his second save of the season.

Centenary pounded out 11 hits as four Gents recorded two knocks. Freshmen Pete Rajkovich (2x4, R, RBI), RJ Talamantes (2x4, R, RBI), Marc Martinez (2x4, R, RBI) each had two hits, one run scored and an RBI, while junior Jeff Schaffert (2x5, 2 R, RBI) drove in a run on two hits and scored two.

Junior Kyle Morton (1x4, 2 R, RBI) belted his fifth home run of the year in the top of the ninth, while freshmen Mark Gillean (1x5, RBI) and Tyler Neporadny (1x4, R, RBI) each had a base knock.

It was a pitcher's dual through the first 3.0 innings, but Centenary broke the game open in the top of the fourth with six runs on five hits.

Talamantes opened the frame with a leadoff single, stole his 29th bag of the year and was followed by a Morton walk.

Schaffert's single to left field score Talamantes, while Neporadny added a single through the right side to plate Morton for a quick 2-0 lead. With no outs, Rakjovich reached on a throwing error to load the bases for Martinez, who singled, sophomore Matt Creamer, who walked and Gillean, who singled, all of whom picked up an RBI.

Still with one out, Centenary continued to add to its lead as Talamantes' sacrifice fly scored Martinez to give the Gents a 6-0 lead.

Western Illinois was able to escape the inning with a pickoff and final fly out. The Fighting Leathernecks responded with a run in the latter half of the frame after a triple and single were recorded.

But, again, timely hitting was the key for the Gents as Rajkovich's RBI-single plated Schaffert, who doubled to get things rolling in the fifth.

Parrott continued to cruise through the fifth and sixth, retiring the Fighting Leatherneck hitters in order to keep the Gents in control.

Western Illinois managed to pick up another run in the seventh after two walks, but with runners at second and third, Parrott forced a pop up to end the inning, holding the lead at 7-2.

The Fighting Leathernecks began to threaten in the home half of the eighth when the first two hitters reached.

Parrott handed the ball off to sophomore reliever Kelby Langston (0.1,2,2,2,0,0). With a hit-by-pitch, WIU loaded the bases with no outs. A two-run single and a two-run doubled followed making it a 7-6 game.

Junior Seth Lugo took over on the mound with one out a runner at second. After a walk, Lugo retired the final batter on an unassisted groundout to Morton at first base.

Holding a slight 7-6 lead heading into the ninth, Western Illinois starter Dan Russell got two quick outs, before Morton cranked his team-leading fifth home run of the year over the left center wall to give Centenary a two-run lead.

With the ball in the ninth, Lugo (1.2,0,0,0,1,3) made an impression with three straight strikeouts, all looking for the save, his second of the season. The righty tossed 1.2 innings, allowed just one walk, while fanning three to shut down WIU's hitters late in the game.

Parrott (7.0,6,4,4,5,1) earned his second win of his career and improved to 2-2 on the season. The lefty pitched 7.0 complete innings, allowing four runs on six scattered hits and five walks, while fanning one.

Centenary and Western Illinois will continue the four-game Summit League series on Saturday with a double-header slated to begin at Noon. Follow all the action at www.goleathernecks.com.