Contributed by: Centenary Athletic Communications
SHREVEPORT, La. – The Diamond Gents rallied from deficits in both contests Sunday afternoon, April 14, but the Bulldogs won the first game 8-5 before putting a rally together themselves in the series finale as Centenary (16-20-1, 8-7 Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference) lost the second game of the doubleheader to #6 Texas Lutheran (24-8, 9-3 SCAC) 8-7 on Senior Day at Shehee Stadium.
In game one trailing 5-0 after the top of the first, Centenary scored one in the first and three in the third to pull within one. After Chris Haggard led off the first with a single and stole second, he scored on Preston Ludwick’s RBI double. In the third, Andrew Russell led off with a single and scored on Haggard’s triple. An RBI groundout by Brandon Griffin cut the deficit to two. Ludwick followed with a single, moved to second on a balk, and scored on Cody Crowder’s two-out hit.
After Texas Lutheran scored in the top of the sixth, the Gents took the lead in the bottom of the frame. Crowder led off the sixth with a solo home run to right center. Cameron Guin drew a one-out walk and advanced to second on a groundout. Russell singled to left center to drive in Guin for the tying run. Russell then stole second to put the go-ahead run in scoring position. Brandon Griffin then grounded to shortstop, but he legged it out for an infield hit and Russell hustled home and slid ahead of the tag to put Centenary up 7-6.
Crowder led the Diamond Gents with three hits, two RBIs, and a run scored. Both Haggard and Russell added a pair of hits and two runs scored.
The Bulldogs rallied with a pair in the eighth. With two on base and no outs, a sacrifice bunt moved both runners into scoring position. Austin Colon and Thomas Varner both added RBI singles to give the visitors the lead. However, Will Kappler entered the game and forced a fielder’s choice and out at home for the second out. Another fielder’s choice produced an out at second base to end the threat.
Connor Cudd (5-4) took the loss in relief for Centenary, allowing eight hits and three runs in 6.2 innings of work.
Texas Lutheran retired the side in order in the eighth and ninth innings to finish off the win.
Colon and Cullen Motsinger both led Texas Lutheran with three hits and a run scored. Colon drove in a pair while Motsinger added a single RBI. Joe Burch (1-0) allowed two hits in 1.1 innings pitched for the victory while Drew Waller added his third save of the season.
In game one, Centenary rallied from a 5-3 deficit to tie the game, but the Bulldogs scored single runs in the fourth, sixth, and seventh for the three-run win. With no score in the bottom of the first with a Gent on first with one out, Ludwick singled with the runner going to score the first run of the game. Guin and Griffin followed with singles to score another run and put runners on the corners. Tyler Welch singled up the middle to plate the third run.
After Texas Lutheran took the lead with five in the second, the Gents added single tallies in the bottom of the second and third. After a double play left a runner at second, Ludwick added an RBI single to cut the deficit to one. Centenary tied the game in the third when Griffin doubled, was sacrificed to third, and scored on Bryce Kozeny’s sacrifice fly.
Ludwick paced Centenary with four hits, two RBIs, and a run scored.
Joshua Gatewood (0-2) took the loss by allowing a run in the fourth. With one out, Blake Strzelczy singled and stole second before Joe Jimenez walked. Colon singled to load the bases before a fielder’s choice to third scored what proved to be the winning run. Cole Irby added a two-out, RBI single in the sixth before Cameron Wilson contributed an RBI double in the seventh for the final three-run margin.
Varner paced the Bulldogs with three hits and an RBI and run scored. Nathan Malinovsky (5-3) threw 152 pitches for the complete-game win, allowing 11 hits and five runs while striking out five.
Centenary takes two weeks off before finishing the regular season April 26-27 at Southwestern.