SHREVEPORT, La. - Senior Kaleb Kirk finished 2017 with four wins in four starts and led the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference in strikeouts last year.
Make it five in a row after another double-digits strikeout gem to begin 2018.
Kirk allowed just three infield hits and struck out 10 against no walks as Centenary (1-0) beat Pacific (0-1) 7-2 in the first game of the season for both teams at Shehee Stadium Friday afternoon, February 2.
After the Gents scored a run in the third on freshman Gage Garber's RBI groundout, Centenary blew the game open with four runs in the third. Junior Andrew Russell doubled to leadoff the frame before two walks loaded the bases. Sophomore Cody Crowder singled in a run and a wild pitch plated another. Junior Cameron Guin hit a bases-clearing double and later scored after a stolen base and a throwing error by Pacific.
Senior Ian Graham added a sacrifice fly in the seventh.
Russell led Centenary with two hits and two runs with a walk in three at-bats while both Guin and Crowder added a pair of hits.
Meanwhile, Kirk managed a strikeout in all but one inning he appeared on the mound, including three frames with a pair of strikeouts in 6.2 innings.
Centenary pitching finished with 13 strikeouts in the game.
Pacific scored both its runs in the top of the ninth. After loading the bases with one out, freshman Connor Poche came in the game in relief. He allowed a two-RBI single to Joey Galeno, but a strikeout and a groundout ended the game.
Dylan Wright led the Boxers with a pair of hits and a run scored.
Centenary returns to action tomorrow for a pair of games. The Gents take on Whitworth at noon, concluding the day with Pacific at 7:30 p.m.