IRVING, Texas - The Diamond Gents pitched out of a bases loaded jam in the bottom of the seventh and scored three insurance runs in the eighth as Centenary (11-7, 3-0 Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference) beat Dallas (7-12, 0-3 SCAC) 8-4 to complete the sweep Sunday afternoon, March 18.
Centenary has now swept its conference-opening series each of the last three seasons with 2017 and 2018 being on the road.
With the Gents holding a slim 5-4 edge Saturday afternoon, the series finale was halted with Dallas having two on, two out, and a full count on batter Seth Hanson. Senior Cole Lavergne, who came into the game with a 1-0 count on the batter, walked Hanson; however, Michael Ilardi struck out on three-straight pitches to end the threat.
Centenary padded its lead with three in the eighth. Senior Ian Graham reached on a hit-by-pitch and was sacrificed to second. After Lavergne reached on an infield single, freshman Preston Ludwick doubled to left center to score a pair. After a groundout, freshman Tyler Erickson scored Ludwick on a pinch hit double.
Dallas led off the bottom of the ninth with a single, but an unassisted double play on a lineout to first base and a strikeout ended the ballgame.
Senior Chris Zapata and Graham both added a pair of hits and a run scored. Graham also tallied an RBI.
Freshman Cole Godkin (2-0) picked up the win out of the bullpen, allowing two runs and four hits with three strikeouts in 3.1 innings pitched. Lavergne picked up his fourth save of the season, allowing two hits with a walk and three strikeouts in the final 2.1 innings.
Tied at one after the first inning, the Gents scored a pair in the second to take the lead. A hit batter and an error put a pair on with no outs. Two sacrifice bunts scored the go-ahead run before Lavergne scored on a wild pitch. Centenary went up 5-2 in the fourth. After a pair of one-out walks, senior Nicholas Delaneuville cleared the bases with a double.
Down 5-2, Dallas scored one in the fifth and one in the seventh to pull within a run. In the fifth, Jordan Stickler singled, moved to second on a sacrifice, and scored on Nathan Patton's single.
In the seventh, Patton hit a one-out single to put the tying runs on the corners. A groundout made the score 5-4 before Mark Peterson was hit by a pitch. Lavergne then came to the mound before lightning forced a suspension with Hanson at the plate.
Josh Abalos led Dallas from the plate, going 3-for-4 with a run scored. Zachary Taylor (0-1) took the loss, allowing three runs (one earned) and four hits in two innings of work.
Centenary returns to action Monday night, March 19, at in-state rival Louisiana College. First pitch is set for 7 p.m. with the game being broadcast live on Cox Sports.