Specialty and All-Conference Teams Full of Gents
Friday, April 28, 2017

GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas – When you win the outright Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference Regular Season Title by three games, a few awards and All-Conference nods are a pretty safe bet.

The #6 Centenary Gents (32-7) did not disappoint, as junior Chris Zapata and sophomore Matthew Devillier were named SCAC Player and Pitcher of the Year, respectively, while head coach Mike Diaz captured his third Conference Coach of the Year honor, in a vote by the SCAC baseball head coaches released at the SCAC Baseball Tournament Friday night, April 28.

Zapata, the 2015 SCAC Freshman of the Year, had an impressive season to capture Player of the Year honors. With his NCAA Division III-leading 64th RBI earlier Friday in the Gents 6-4 win against Southwestern, he tied the single-season Centenary record for RBI’s in the season. Zapata also leads the SCAC in home runs (10, ninth in nation), hits (60, 30th in the nation), doubles (15, 40th in nation), and slugging percentage (712, 38th in nation).

To win SCAC Pitcher of the Year honors, all Devillier did was go out and finish 11-0 in 12 starts (and was one out away from going long enough to be a perfect 12-0) to break the Gents single-season wins record. He was a perfect 7-0 in conference play, and sits fourth in the conference with a 2.39 ERA. He also leads the conference with three complete games. His 11 victories are the most in NCAA Division III this season.

Finally, Diaz captured his third SCAC Coach of the Year honor (2013 and 2015) for guiding the Gents to their third SCAC Regular Season Championship in the past five years. The 32 wins thus far on the season for the Maroon and White are the fifth-most in program history. Centenary achieved its highest national ranking in program history and are currently ranked #6 by PerfectGame.org, eighth by Collegiate Baseball Newspaper, and 11th by D3Baseball.com. The Gents are currently ranked in the top-10 in the nation in runs (second), hits and doubles (fifth), triples (first), batting average (seventh), runs per game (fifth), on-base percentage (fifth), slugging percentage (fourth) and fielding percentage (eighth).

What may be equally as impressive as winning 3-of-4 specialty awards, 12 different Gents won 13 All-Conference distinctions – including the entire starting lineup and pitching staff. Zapata (catcher) and Devillier (starting pitcher) were joined on the first team by seniors Michael Schimpf (outfield) and Aaron Quintanilla (shortstop), junior Kaleb Kirk (starting pitcher) and sophomore Andrew Russell.

Schimpf, last year’s SCAC batting champion, currently leads the SCAC in average (.411) and on-base percentage (.563), while ranking second in both runs (48) and RBI’s (41) to teammates. Quintanilla leads the SCAC and is fifth in the nation with 51 runs. Earlier this season, he broke the career Gents record for triples (10).

As a pitcher, Kirk turned in his second-straight season with nine wins, and with the victory earlier on Friday, sits third all by himself in the Gents career annals in wins (21). He also ranks second in the conference and 19th in the nation with 81 strikeouts this season.

Rounding out the First Team is Russell, sitting fourth on the team with a .357 batting average. He also has a .981 fielding percentage.

Leading the Second Team with two All-Conference nods is junior Cole Lavergne as a first baseman and a relief pitcher. Lavergne leads the conference and is fifth in the nation with eight saves, the second-most for a single season in Gents history. Starting all 39 games for the Gents, 38 at first base, he leads all infielders with a .990 fielding percentage. He toed the rubber in 16 contests this season with one complete-game start, and is 3-0 with a 2.64 ERA.

Accompanying Lavergne on the Second Team is freshman designated hitter Cody Crowder. He ranks fourth in the conference and leads all freshman with a .384 batting average. His 56 hits are also third in the conference and 49th in the nation.

Rounding out the Honorable Mention honorees for the Maroon and White are juniors Jackie Allen (starting pitcher) and Ian Graham (third base), sophomore Cameron Guin (outfielder), and freshman Zane Wilkinson (outfielder).

Centenary returns to action tomorrow in the semifinals of the SCAC Tournament against third-seeded Trinity at noon.