Gillean's Two-Run Single in 7th Helps Even Series at WIU
Sunday, May 15, 2011
MACOMB, Ill.-Freshman Mark Gillean drove in two on a single in the final frame to break up a 3-3 tie in Game 2 on Sunday, helping Centenary to a 5-4 win and a series split over Western Illinois after dropping Game 1 of the day, 4-1.

With the day's split, Centenary improved to 11-29 overall and 8-15 in league play.

Game 1: Western Illinois 4, Centenary 1

Despite putting up 10 hits in Game 1 on Sunday, Centenary faced a Western Illinois team who connected on 11 knocks and took advantage of three Gents errors in a 4-1 win.

Freshman Pete Rajkovich, who continued his hitting streak to 10 games, led Centenary's offense with a 3-for-4 performance. Following him with two hits apiece were junior Jeff Schaffert (2x4) and freshman Mark Gillean (2x4).

Junior Kyle Morton (1x4, RBI) drove in Centenary's only run on an infield single, while freshman Tyler Neporadny (1x4) and sophomore Matt Creamer (1x2, R) each added a hit.

Junior Seth Lugo (8.0,11,4,2,0,5) pitched all 8.0 innings, allowing two earned runs on 11 hits, while fanning five and walking none. The right-hander suffered the loss and fell to 3-6 on the year.

Western Illinois posted runs in the first and second innings after tallying four hits and using two Centenary errors to gain the early lead. Centenary would make it a one-run game in the top of the sixth when Morton's infield hit scored Creamer, who led off the inning with a walk.

The Gents were held the rest of the way, while the Fighting Leathernecks built on their 2-1 lead with runs in the sixth and eighth on three hits and one error.

Game 2: Centenary 5, Western Illinois 4

Morton homered for the second time in the series and sixth time this season in the first inning to give the Gents a 2-0 lead. He plated Rajkovich, who reached on a fielder's choice.

Gillean's RBI-single scored freshman Nic Parrott after he reached on an infield single and advanced to second on a throwing error in the second inning to make it a 3-0 game.

Sophomore starter Cole Thompson forced two groundouts to end the first and third innings, keeping Centenary on top. The Fighting Leathernecks broke up the scoreless outing with a run in the fourth after back-to-back hits and a throwing error.

Western Illinois then used a two-run fifth to tie the game after three hits and a walk.

Sophomore Kelby Langston took over for Thompson with bases loaded and two outs in the frame, but a two-run single to left center would even the score heading into the sixth.

Thompson (4.2,6,3,2,3,0) tossed 4.2 innings, allowing two earned runs on six hits and three walks, but left was credited a no-decision.

In the top of the seventh, freshman JoAnthony Cantu reached on an error and freshman RJ Talamantes's pinch-hit single through the right side put runners at first and second. Creamer moved up the runners with a groundout, allowing Gillean's single up the middle to plate two to give Centenary a 5-3 lead in the top half of the final frame.

Western Illinois made it interesting with two doubles in the bottom half to narrow it within one, but a final groundout ended the game.

Langston (2.1,4,1,1,0,0) earned the win in relief, after allowing one run on four hits in 2.1 innings of work. The righty tallied his first career win as a Gent to improve to 1-3 on the year. 

Gillean led with a 2-for-3 effort and three RBI, while Morton (1x4, R, 2 RBI) drove in two with a homer. Parrott (1x2, R) and Talamantes (1x1, R) each contributed with hits.

Centenary will return home to host Oakland in the final regular season Summit League series of the season. Games will begin on Thursday with a single game slated at 6 pm, followed by a double-header on Friday at 1 pm and a single game on Saturday at Noon.

The Gents will honor its two seniors Derek Dalzell and Justin Kraft following Saturday's game. Live stats will be available at www.GoCentenary.com.