Gents Baseball Ranked 12th by ABCA; Kirk Named to Team of Week
Tuesday, March 14, 2017

SHREVEPORT, La. – Centenary baseball ranks 12th in the first American Baseball Coaches Association/Collegiate Baseball NCAA Division III regular season poll released Tuesday, March 14.

“It’s always better to be ranked than not, but our team understands winning ball games is all that matters,” said Gents head coach Mike Diaz.

The Maroon and White are the highest ranked team from the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference. Trinity checks in at 27th, while Texas Lutheran is receiving votes right outside the top-30.

Also, according to the poll released Tuesday, the Gents received 60 points – the most among teams outside the top-25 – while junior pitcher Kaleb Kirk earned a spot on the Team of the Week for the second time this season.

It is the fifth-time overall a Gent received this distinction in the past two seasons (Junior Kaleb Kirk and Senior Michael Schimpf, week one 2017; Holden Novak, week one and week five 2016).  

“Kaleb was outstanding this weekend,” said Diaz. “He always competes, but he had everything working on Friday night. To have 13 strikeouts in a 7-inning, run-ruled game is hard to do.”

Kirk improved his record to 4-1 on the year with a stellar outing in Centenary's run-ruled, 12-0 win against Austin on Friday night, March 10. He had 13 strikeouts in 6.2 innings, the most by a SCAC pitcher since Taylor Henry registered 14 in a game in March 2015. Kirk allowed two hits and three walks, with only one Austin College player getting as close as 90-feet from home.

Setting the tone early, Kirk struck out the side in the first inning and 6-of-7 to begin the game.

Besides Centenary, only Trinity (one point) received a vote for the poll.

Centenary kicks off a pair of home weekends in Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference play Friday and Saturday when it hosts Schreiner for a three-game series. First pitch March 17 is set for 6:30 p.m.