FEATURE: 2010 Gents Team Proves Successful w/ Six Playing Pro Ball
Friday, June 10, 2011

By: Allison McClain

When one usually measures success within an athletic program, you note wins, post-season accomplishments, and the graduation rate of a specific sport. For Centenary baseball, you can measure much more.

Over the past two years, Centenary baseball has had record success following its regular season as head coach Mike Diaz and pitching coach Jason Stephens can recall.

Six players from the 2010 season are continuing their careers in the professional ranks.

"You can attribute this recent success to the strength of our baseball program and what type of players we look for as we continue to improve," said Diaz.

In recent success, it all began with right-handed pitcher Boone Whiting and left-handed pitcher Dakota Robinson inking their names across their contracts to compete for two competitive Major League Baseball organizations. The duo were selected and signed following the 2010 season as Whiting was picked in the 18th round by the St. Louis Cardinals and Robinson in the 26th round by the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

The 2011 season was no different as success continued for the young and bright coaching staff of first-year head coach Mike Diaz, who has been a part of the program for seven years as an assistant and associate head coach. He is accompanied by second-year pitching coach Jason Stephens, who has seen five pitchers reach the professional level.

Following this season, right-handed hurler Seth Lugo joined Whiting and Robinson as he was selected in the 34th round by the New York Mets.

Right-handed power arm of Jimmy Hoyt, a 2010 graduate, battled injuries while at Centenary, but finished his degree and moved west for a shot at professional ball. Hoyt was successful in landing a spot on the Yuma Scorpions, an Independent team out of the North American League, managed by Jose Conseco.

The 2010 team rostered talent in all aspects of the game. Whether the ball players finished their careers at Centenary or not, they played integral roles in that year's success. Two former Gents, who chose different paths for the 2011 season were also taken in this year's 2011 MLB First-Year Player Draft.

Former shortstop Alex Todd, who helped his Sonoma State team to the NCAA DII World Series this year and left-handed pitcher Stephen Tromblee, who showcased himself among the best in the Southland Conference at Lamar gave Centenary a chance and contributed to the recent success of this Centenary program.

Tromblee, who was drafted by Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in the 35th round, played two seasons at Centenary before taking his game to Lamar. He will now join former Gent teammate Dakota Robinson in the Angles organization as they each strive to continue their dream.

Todd, who was taken in the 27th round by the Houston Astros, played his junior year at Centenary before leaving to head back west to Sonoma State.

"You can't say enough about the way the coaching staff has built and maintained this program over the last decade. Jason [Stephens] has done a phenomenal job as our pitching coach in guiding these young arms to future success," said Diaz.

These six-former Gents of the 2010 team played under Diaz and Stephens and provided Centenary with an opportunity to be recognized with future success following their college careers.

"We are ecstatic about these six players from the 2010 team moving on and continuing their careers. They each provided Centenary with something different, but all managed to buy into our mission and with that, we have all been successful."