CLEBURNE, Texas - On elimination day at the 2018 Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference, the Diamond Gents knocked out the Tigers and Pirates as Centenary (26-15) defeated fourth-ranked Trinity (33-9) 4-0 in game one before eliminating Southwestern (18-24) with a 6-3 game triumph in game two Saturday afternoon, May 5.
After five innings of scoreless baseball against the Tigers in game one, Centenary struck for four in the top of the sixth. Freshman Peyton Cormane led off the inning with a single before sophomore Cody Crowder reached after an error on a sacrifice bunt attempt. After a walk to senior Chris Zapata loaded the bases, junior Cameron Guin plated the first run of the game with a single through the right side. Senior Ian Graham drove in a pair with a double to right field. After two Gents were retired, an error by Trinity scored Guin to put Centenary up 4-0.
Meanwhile, junior Matthew Devillier (6-3) threw his third complete game shutout of the season, allowing five hits while striking out four.
Trinity threatened with runners on the corners with no outs in the fifth, but the Gents got out of the jam. Senior Cole Lavergne grabbed a grounder to first that advanced another runner into scoring position but failed to plate a run. With one out, a grounder to third was not fielded cleanly, and the Tigers runner took off for home on the bobble. Graham threw to Zapata at home, who applied the tag for the second out. A flyout to center field kept the Tigers off the scoreboard.
In the final four innings, only one Trinity player advanced into scoring position. The Tigers top four in the lineup went a combined 1-for-15 in the game.
In game two, Centenary twice responded to Southwestern scoring to rally for the 6-3 win. The Pirates drew first blood with a pair in the top of the fourth, but Centenary tied in up in the bottom of the frame. With two outs and no one on base, Graham and freshman Preston Ludwick drew walks around a Guin hit-by-pitch. On an 0-2 count, freshman Chris Haggard singled through the right side to tie the game.
Centenary took the lead for good with a pair in the bottom of the sixth. Zapata walked and advanced to third on Graham's ground-rule double. After an out, Ludwick's sacrifice fly tied the contest at three. Haggard singled to right field to score Graham and put Centenary up 4-3.
The Gents scored a pair of insurance runs in the bottom of the eighth. With one out, Guin walked and scored on Ludwick's RBI double. Haggard followed with a double to push the advantage to three.
Ludwick went 2-for-2 with two RBIs and a run scored, while Haggard went 3-for-4 with four RBIs.
Lavergne (6-4) threw the final 3.1 innings, allowing only one hit with four strikeouts.
Southwestern scored two in the fourth to take a 2-0 lead for the second-straight day. With one out in the fourth, Cole Kelly walked. After a flyout, Ethan Hallmark singled through the left side before Riley Wayland singled through the right side. A Gents error scored the second Pirates run of the inning.
A Daniel Montgomery Jr. two-out single in the sixth gave Southwestern a brief 3-2 lead.
Trey Schwarz (1-1) took the loss in relief for Southwestern, allowing two runs on one hit in 1.1 innings pitched.
Centenary plays in the SCAC Tournament Championship for the third time in the four seasons when it takes on third-seeded Texas Lutheran. First pitch against the 13th-ranked Bulldogs is set for noon.