SHREVEPORT, La. - The Diamond Gents rallied from a 9-3 deficit to tie the game at 10, but the Bulldogs pushed across a run in the top of the 10th and held on for the win as Centenary (16-18-1, 8-5 Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference) fell 11-10 in 10 innings to #6 Texas Lutheran (22-8, 7-3 SCAC) Friday night, April 12.
Down 9-3 in the bottom of the fourth, sophomore Chris Haggard hit his second home run of the season down the left field line to cut the deficit to four. A key two-out hit in the bottom of the fifth cut the deficit to one. With two out and a man on, freshman Brandon Griffin singled up the middle. Freshman pinch hitter Cameron James singled up the middle to load the bases. Freshman Shane Salzman then hit a ball down the leftfield line that just stayed fair and emptied the bases to bring the Gents within one.
Texas Lutheran added a run in the top of the sixth and threatened to blow open the game. However, with the bases loaded and one out, freshman Joshua Gatewood forced the Bulldogs into a groundball double play for the third time in the game. The Gents got the run back in the bottom of the frame when junior Cody Crowder doubled and scored on senior Cameron Guin's double.
In the seventh, Haggard singled through the right side to drive in the tying run.
Every hitter in the Gents starting lineup recorded a hit, led by Haggard's 3-for-4 effort with three RBIs and a run scored.
Texas Lutheran put the go-ahead runner at third with one out in the eighth, but sophomores Connor Lee and Connor Cudd recorded strikeouts to end the threat. In the bottom of the ninth with two outs, Haggard walked, stole second, and took third on a throwing error, but a strikeout ended the threat.
The Bulldogs scored the winning run off Cudd (5-3) in the top of the 10th. Joe Jimenez was hit by a pitch to begin the ninth and advanced to second on an error. With two runners on, a sacrifice bunt moved a pair of runners into scoring position. Cole Irby followed with a double to left; however, the runners had to hold to make sure the ball was not caught. Jimenez scored, but the trail runner was thrown out at the plate.
Matthew Hickey (4-0) pitched around a two-out walk for the win. Hickey threw the final three innings for the Bulldogs, allowing just three walks and no hits and runs.
Trailing 3-2, the Bulldogs scored seven unearned runs in the fourth after having no one on base with two outs. Chad Curtis singled and advanced to third when Trey Albaugh hit an infield single and advanced to second on a throwing error. After a walk, another Centenary error tied the game and kept the bases loaded. Thomas Varner cleared the bases with a double to right field. An RBI single by Tyler Cauley and two throwing errors on stolen bases with a runner at third scored two more runs to put the Bulldogs up 9-3.
Varner led Texas Lutheran with three hits and three RBIs with a run scored.
Centenary will celebrate senior day following a doubleheader against Texas Lutheran on Saturday, April 13. First pitch is scheduled for 4 p.m.