PREVIEW: Baseball to Play Three-Game Set Against SFA
Wednesday, March 2, 2011

SHREVEPORT-The Centenary baseball will gear up for its second weekend out as the Gents are set to play SFA in a three-game set this weekend. Centenary will host Friday's contest at 6 pm and SFA will host the final two games on Saturday at 2 pm and Sunday at 2 pm in Nacogdoches, Texas.

The Gents (1-1) are coming off a split on Opening Day against future ASC opponent, Louisiana College.

Stephen F. Austin is a DI member of the Southland Conference, located in Nacogdoches, Texas, about 1 ½ hrs southwest of Shreveport. SFA plays Arkansas-Pine Bluff on Wednesday prior to meeting the Gents on Friday. The Lumberjacks are currently 4-4, having defeated UNO, 16-7, on Feb. 27.

Three players are hitting above the .400 clip, led by Bryson Myles' .467 with a team-best 14 hits and nine runs scored. On the bump, SFA is paced by Justin Bradock's 1-1 record and team-low, 2.45 ERA, through 11.0 innings pitched.

GAME 1. WIN 1.
Right-hander Seth Lugo got the call in Game 1 and didn't disappoint as he tossed 5.0 shutout innings, holding Louisiana College to just two hits on the afternoon. Lugo recorded the win after fanning three batters and holding the Wildcats to a mere .133 average.

Sophomore Matt Creamer may not have recorded a hit on Day 1 of the Centenary baseball season, but the starting second basemen laid down three sacrifice bunts over the two contests, which put runners in scoring position for the Gents. Creamer's silent success played a huge part in the one run scored by Centenary in the first game and one run scored in the second inning of Game 2.

Senior Derek Dalzell can do it all. He plays outfield, infield, pitches and hits. The two-way guy had his share of all those on Opening Day against Louisiana College. Dalzell hit .500, for second-best on the team through two games and pitched 1.0 solid inning in relief, allowing no hits and fanning one.

Sophomore Cole Thompson picked up his first career save in Game 1 on Feb. 19 against Louisiana College. The righty threw 2.0 innings behind Seth Lugo and allowed just two hits, while fanning three.

Freshman Marc Martinez made the most out of his college debut when he finished the day with a team-best .600 average. The starting DH tallied three hits in five at-bats, including a double for four total bases. He was 2-for-2 in Game 1 and 1-for-3 with a run scored in Game 2.

Mike Diaz enters his first year as a head coach for the Centenary baseball team. The former assistant begins his seventh year with the Gents, but first as the leader of the squad. While at Centenary, Diaz has helped guide the Gents to a 171-155 record, garnering multiple 30-win seasons. He has also helped coach Centenary to six straight conference tournament appearances, while finishing runner up twice. As the recruiting coordinator, Diaz was fortunate to bring in and work with four All-Americans, 25 All-Conference players, including the 2010 Summit League Pitcher of the Year in Boone Whiting, and several All-Louisiana Sports Writers Association selections. Also under his direction, eight players have signed professional contracts, two of which came last season.

Centenary wrapped up the 2010 season with a third-place regular season finish in The Summit League, posting an overall record of 28-26 and a 17-9 mark in league play. The Gents fell in the conference tournament to Oral Roberts and Oakland, but produced many highlights throughout the season, including a series split against No. 1 Oral Roberts and No. 2 SDSU and a sweep of NDSU. Two players were drafted in the 2010 MLB First-Year Player Draft as RHP Boone Whiting and LHP Dakota Robinson each signed contracts.

Justin Kraft and Derek Dalzell are the only two seniors on Centenary's roster this season. Both have played a huge role in the Gents' success over the last three years. Kraft, a right-hander pitcher is from Yakima, Wash. and Dalzell, a two-way guy is a three-year letterwinner from Bay City, Mich.
• Justin Kraft: 4-5, 6.82 ERA, 12 GS, 2 CG, 60.2 IP, 47 SO (2010)
• Derek Dalzell: 4-2, 4.58 ERA, 24 AP, 35.1 IP, 21 SO
Both have been a part of a very successful Gents program and will be looked upon to lead this very young squad as it heads into their final year of NCAA DI.

Centenary's returners include Kraft, Dalzell, junior catcher Jeff Schaffert and junior RHP Seth Lugo and sophomores Cole Thompson and Matt Creamer. All six made a contribution on the field a year ago. Also returning to the program is pitching coach Jason Stephens, who guided two players into the 2010 MLB First-Year Player Draft.

Of the 27 rostered players, Centenary welcomes 21 newcomers to the squad, including 16 freshmen. Hailing from California, Texas and Louisiana, the 16 young guns will have to play an integral role on this year's squad. Five transfers will see action this season in juniors Dan Lazarou, Zach Christ and Kyle Morton as well as sophomores Kyle Mauch and Kelby Langston. The five will immediately become role players in the outfield, infield and on the mound this season.

Seth Lugo, Centenary's only returning Summit League award winner a year ago is back and at it again. The right-handed thrower hails from Bossier City, La. and was named Second Team All-Summit League after posting a 2-3 record with two saves last season. He compiled a 4.75 ERA, made seven game starts, throwing 41.2 IP and collecting 34 strikeouts. In Summit League play only, he finished with a 2-1 record and a 3.34 ERA. He managed to hold league hitters to an opponent low-.216 average over the year.

LUGO RECOGNIZED BY COLLEGE BASEBALL INSIDER recently published its 2011 Summit League Preview, which highlights top players and coaches from around the league prior to Opening Day. Junior righty Seth Lugo was selected as "The Most Underrated Pitcher" in the League. For full release.

As the only starting returner from last year, junior catcher Jeff Schaffert has a lot to control, including an entire new defense as he will play once again behind the dish. Schaffert will catch a fairly experienced staff, which includes two seniors, a junior All-Leaguer and a sophomore. The Midland, Mich. native played in 51 of the 54 contests behind the plate last season, hitting .202 and driving in 27

Centenary's schedule isn't ideal for a home-field advantage season, as it just sees three games at Shehee Stadium prior to Summit League play in mid-April. The Gents open with Louisiana College (Feb. 19) and host SFA on March 4 (6 pm), but will not see their home field for over a month after the three games. The next time Centenary returns home for a game will be April 15-17 against SDSU. From that point on, 16 games will be played at Shehee Stadium.

Road Warriors...sure, why not? Centenary will play 17 straight games on the road after seeing the first three at home. The Gents will begin at SFA on March 5 and finish at ORU on April 10. 25 games total away from Shehee Stadium, including a four-game set in Hawaii, two-three game sets at Grambling and UT-Pan Am and Summit League play at ORU, NDSU and WIU.

Centenary will takes its game to Hawaii for five days when the Gents are set to play the University of Hawaii, March 17-21 in Honolulu. Centenary hosted Hawaii last season at Shehee Stadium for a single, mid-week game, falling 5-2. Jeff Schaffert recorded a hit, while Derek Dalzell threw one shutout inning.

Centenary will play its final year of NCAA DI and in The Summit League, before transitioning to full DIII status and to the American Southwest Conference next season.

Sophomore right-handed pitcher Cole Thompson will be blogging all season long with "On the Bump." The blogs are released every Monday morning. For full coverage, visit or click on the "On the Bump" banner near the bottom of the homepage for all archived blogs.

All Centenary baseball games will be available through live stats, free of charge on

Following the three-game set, which stretches from Friday-Sunday, the Gents will travel to College Station, Texas to battle Big 12 Texas A&M at 6:35 pm on Tuesday, March 8.