Late-game heroics decide both games Saturday
Saturday, March 17, 2012

PINEVILLE, La. – Dan Lazarou provided late-game  heroics in game one and Louisiana College used a three-run ninth to overcome a late deficit to split the American Southwest Conference series doubleheader, 7-5, 10-9.

Centenary ‘s game-one win matched their season-best six-game winning streak before the 10-9 loss in game two. The Gents sit at 16-5 overall while LC moved to 9-8.

The Gents face off with Louisiana Tech March 21 at 6 p.m. in Ruston, La., in a rematch of the Gents 14-8 over the Bulldogs in Shehee Stadium.

Lazarou broke open a 4-4 tie in the top of the ninth in game one with a leadoff solo home run, catapulting the Gents to a three-run frame, scoring six of their seven runs off Cole Prejean in the last three innings. Only two were earned due to two Wildcat errors.

Lazarou went 2-for-3 in Saturday’s debut, driving in two runs. Louisiana College struck first with two in the fourth, but Centenary answered immediately in the fifth as Matt Creamer drove in Jermari James on a fielder’s choice.

Lazarou knotted things at two with a one-out single through the left side, then stole second and scored on a Wildcat fielding error. Jeff Schaffert gave Centenary its first lead with a two-RBI single, driving in Kyle Morton and Tyler Clakley to give the Gents the 4-2 edge, but the Wildcats tacked on two more in the bottom of the eight.

Then Lazarou went to work. His homer put Centenary on top for good, followed by a Clakley RBI single and a Morton sacrifice fly for the big last inning. Louisiana College threatened again, but the late-game rally fell short, scoring just one.

Grady Flournoy (1-0) earned his first win of the season, tossing two innings. He surrendered just one run on two hits. Cole Thompson picked up a no decision after 4 2/3 innings of work. He scattered seven hits and gave up two runs, both earned. Nic Parrott and Taylor Henry combined for 2 1/3 innings of relief work.

Wildcat starter Dustin Fulks tossed six innings and received a no decision after allowing only one run to the Gents offense.

Game two was just as exciting as Centenary overcame a 7-5 deficit heading into the seventh and final frame. Schaffert singled in Clakley to narrow the margin to 7-6 before a fielding error allowed Ryan Gasporra to knot things at seven apiece. James then smacked a two-RBI double scoring Schaffert and Morton to break the tie, 9-7, but Louisiana College responded with three more in the bottom of the seventh to prevent the three-game sweep.

Trey Lavespere (0-1) suffered the loss for Centenary after tossing an inning of relief work. He gave up three runs on three hits. He was the fourth of five Centenary pitchers after Chase Clarke got the start.