SHREVEPORT, La. - For the second time in a week, the Centenary baseball team received good news.
Released Wednesday, January 17, the Diamond Gents are ranked 20th in the annual preseason poll by D3Baseball.com/National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association poll.
Last week, D3Baseball.com also named Chris Zapata and Cody Crowder Preseason All-Americans while the Collegiate Baseball Newspaper ranked the Diamond Gents 12th in a preseason poll released last month.
Centenary will play 11 games against ranked teams in the preseason poll: one game at second-ranked Cal Lutheran (March 11), four against 16th-ranked UT Tyler (February 18 and 27, March 27, April 10), and three in Shreveport against #21 Trinity (April 28-29) to wrap up the regular season.
For 2018, the Maroon and White return 6-of-9 starters from a team that won both the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference Regular Season and Tournament Championships to advance to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in program history. The Diamond Gents also return their entire starting rotation - including 11-game winners, senior Kaleb Kirk and junior Matthew Devillier. Devillier garnered SCAC Pitcher of the Year honors.
Offensively, Chris Zapata returns for his senior season after being named First Team All-America as a catcher by both the American Baseball Coaches Association and D3Baseball.com. He also garnered SCAC Player of the Year accolades.
Centenary will kick off the 2018 season in Shreveport with the Gents Classic against Pacific and Whitworth February 2-4.