SHREVEPORT, La. – The Diamond Gents rallied from a two-run deficit to take the lead, but the Leopards put their own rally together in the eighth, scoring four runs after two men were out as Centenary (3-5) fell to La Verne (6-1) 7-5 Sunday morning, February 17.
Down 3-1 heading to the bottom of the fourth, Centenary struck for three runs to retake the lead. Sophomore Chris Haggard walked, stole second, and moved to third on a groundout. Freshman Coleton Hinkle cut the deficit in half with an RBI single. He advanced to second on another groundout and scored the tying run on freshman Brandon Griffin's single. Senior Andrew Russell's single put men on the corners before a throwing error put Centenary back in the lead.
Centenary scored the first run of the game in the second when Hinkle and junior Bryce Kozeny hit back-to-back double. The Gents extended the lead to 5-3 in the seventh when Russell led off the inning with a double, was sacrificed to third, and scored on sophomore Tyler Erickson's groundout.
Hinkle and Russell both led Centenary with a 2-for-4 outing from the plate with two runs and two RBIs for Hinkle and a run scored for Russell.
However, LaVerne scored four in the eighth to retake the lead. With two outs and no one on base, a hit by pitch and back-to-back singles by Ryan Galan and Tanner Siffert brought the Leopards within one. Consecutive walks tied the game before Brandon Shiota drove in a pair with a single.
The top three hitters for La Verne all had two hits, including Galan and Siffert going 2-for-5 with two runs scored.
Freshman Josh McLean (0-1) took the loss for Centenary while Steven Canedo (1-0) picked up the win in relief for La Verne. Alec Telles recorded his third save of the season.
Centenary returns to action Tuesday night at I-20 rival LeTourneau. First pitch in Longview, Texas, is scheduled for 6 p.m.