Nugent dominates in conference debut
Saturday, February 25, 2012
Senior pitcher Lance Nugent fanned 10 batters in a complete-game effort Friday night and five Gents smacked at least two hits apiece leading Centenary College to a 6-3 win over McMurry University in the American Southwest Conference baseball debut at Shehee Field.

Nugent (2-0) allowed three runs, only one earned, in the first two innings, but once the senior hurler settled in, he was nearly untouchable.

"Lance is that prototypical starter where his first inning is a little shaky and once he settles in, he'll be good," head coach Mike Diaz said. "But he lost one of his high school mentors (Thursday) so this was a big outing for him. He had a really heavy heart and we wanted to give him a chance to go out and finish the game. He came up to me and said 'I'm finishing this game' so I said 'alright, let's do it.' So it was a great job by him."

Nugent's seven consecutive shutout innings to close the contest allowed the Gents' bats to chip away at the three-run deficit before plating three runs in the fourth to take the lead for good.

"That's the thing we teach," Diaz said. "We play nine full innings and that's one of our mantras - play nine hard and play it out. We get them to buy into playing an even game, not getting too far up or too far down. That's really key. We've had some games where we were down and came back and ended up winning the game."

Tyler Clakely, 3-for-4, topped the Gents offensively with three hits and an RBI. Ryan Gasporra was the lone player to knock in two runs in a 2-for-5 effort. Matt Creamer, Nic Parrott and Marc Martinez contributed with two hits each.

Dylan DeLeon led McMurry at the plate with a perfect 4-for-4 showing including an RBI.

Spencer Smith (1-2) earned the loss after tossing 5 1/3 innings, giving up 10 hits, five runs and four walks. Jacob Dentoni finished the final 2 2/3 innings, allowing one run on two hits.

The teams will conclude the conference series with a doubleheader starting at 1 p.m. Saturday afternoon.