"On the Bump" w/ Cole Thompson
Monday, January 24, 2011
Welcome back to "On the Bump" and Centenary Gents baseball headquarters. We have 26 days left until Opening Day and it can't get here soon enough. I hope to have a good crowd and see familiar faces on February 19th at Shehee Stadium as we take on Louisiana College.

This past week was pretty nice because it was a 4-day week. However, Centenary athletes were hard at work on Monday morning. Being Martin Luther King Jr. day, Centenary joined the Shreveport community to take part in MLK service day. The day started off with Centenary athletes and Centenary students convening in Kilpatrick Auditorium at 7:30 AM. Shreveport mayor Cedric Glover addressed the group and spoke of the importance of MLK service day and how Dr. King would want us to honor his holiday by going out and serving the community.

We split into 3 groups from Kilpatrick auditorium, with the Centenary athletes going over to Querbes Park. Querbes is a golf course, recreational center, and pool area located about a half mile from Shehee Stadium. Once we arrived at Querbes, each sport was assigned to a specific task. The baseball team was in charge of cleaning the parking lot. This included picking up trash, shoveling piles of leaves into trash bags, and clearing fallen tree branches from the area. It always feels good to participate in community service with the team because it teaches us to work together to accomplish a common goal as well as doing it for a greater good than ourselves.

After cleaning up the surrounding area around Querbes, all the athletes met up in the Querbes gym. The gymnastics team, along with some of the baseball players, were sent out in to the neighborhood around Querbes in search of any children that wanted to come partake in sports and activities with us. They were able to round up about 15 kids and we began to shoot the basketball around with them. Shortly after we started a dodge-ball game; the baseball team was split in half and the kids each chose a side to join. We had so much fun playing dodge-ball and interacting with the kids and putting a smile on their faces. I would have to say that freshman Trey Lavespere was the MVP of the dodge-ball game. We didn't have a radar gun out, but I think its pretty fair to say that Trey was throwing some straight cheese towards our side. We played dodge-ball for about an hour with them and then it was time to head back to Centenary.

On the baseball front, it was a pretty slow week. It was cold and rainy most of the week, which makes for miserable baseball weather. For now we are just getting work in on our own and hitting the weight room. It's very encouraging to see guys up at the field working on getting better on their own time whether it be throwing on the field or hitting in the cages.

With 3 weeks until the season, I will be previewing a different set of positions each week. This week I will be previewing the pitching staff. We lost a lot of our staff from last year, but we return several key arms and brought in several nice additions as well. Justin Kraft, Derek Dalzell, and Seth Lugo provide great experience and leadership on the pitching staff. Dan Lazarou and myself are also back to help anchor the staff. Trey Lavespere, Kelby Langston, Laetten Galbraith, Grady Flournoy, Ryan Maldonado, Trey Guccione and Sam Martin will be new right-handed additions to the staff that will play a key role in our team's success. We also welcome freshmen Trey Bishop and Nic Parrott to the pitching crew as left-handed arms that will be needed in key matchups for us throughout the season. Our most improved pitcher of the fall is Sam Martin. He has worked his tail off all fall/winter and we are beginning to see the results now.

For those that wish to follow the team a little closer once the season starts, we have a Twitter page solely dedicated to Centenary Gents baseball. It will be updated throughout the spring to update you on travel, game results, and other key events on our busy schedule. You can follow us on Twitter @CentGents.

Thanks for reading and I will see y'all back here next Monday.

This week I have interviewed two of our returners, Dan Lazarou and Zach Christ. While they may be unfamiliar to the stats sheet, they are very familiar faces to the program. Dan and Zach had to redshirt last year due to NCAA rules and I know they are chomping at the bit to get on the field and compete for Centenary.

Dan Lazarou - Junior/Newmarket, Ontario, Canada
Q: What is your major?
A: New Media Communications

Q: You must always have _________ on road trips?
A: iPhone & Computer

Q: Favorite professional sports team?
A: New York Yankees & Toronto Maple Leafs

Q: Favorite TV show?
A: EastBound and Down or anything on Discovery Channel

Q: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
A: Haven't thought that far, just enjoying the journey in front of me now.

Q: Favorite movie?
A: Step Brothers or any movie with Will Ferrell

Q: What is your dream vacation?
A: Athens, Greece

Q: What is something most people don't know about you?
A: I still feel guilty for when I was 14 I hit this girl on the ice during a hockey game. It was a clean hit, but the ref said I had an unfair advantage and gave me a 2-minute roughing penalty.

Q: Why did you pick your jersey number?
A: I always wore 15 but as I kept growing the larger numbers were the only jerseys that fit, so I chose 33 and it just stuck.

Q: If you could have dinner with any 3 people in history, who would they be?
A: Will Ferrell, Jim Carey, and Snoop Dogg.

Zach Christ - Junior/Haughton, Louisiana
Q: What is your major?
A: Health & Exercise Science

Q: You must always have _________ on road trips?
A: Underwear

Q: Favorite professional sports team?
A: Pittsburgh Penguins

Q: Favorite TV show?
A: America's Funniest Home Videos

Q: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
A: Coaching baseball or football somewhere and maybe married with children

Q: Favorite movie?
A: Cinderella Man

Q: What is your dream vacation?
A: Cruise in the Greek islands

Q: What is something most people don't know about you?
A: that I help teach Youth at my home church

Q: Why did you pick your jersey number?
A: It has been my number for as long as I can remember

Q: If you could have dinner with any 3 people in history, who would they be?
A: Apostle Paul, Joe Montana, my grandpa...... and Zeus