REDLANDS, Calif. – After the Gents lost game one and clawed their way to 3-2 lead in the nightcap of a doubleheader, senior and Shreveport-native Michael Schimpf blasted a three-run home run to help expand the advantage en route to hitting for the cycle.
Schimpf later added an RBI triple in the game as Centenary (2-1) achieved a doubleheader split with Redlands (1-1) with a 9-4 win in the second game of a doubleheader in Redlands, California. The Bulldogs took game one on Saturday, February 4, 9-2.
“I thought the second game, we got a solid outing from Matt, and that allowed our offense to be patient and finally break through,” explained head coach Mike Diaz. “We played really good defense and got key relief from Hunter and Cole. All-in-all, it was a good rebound from the first game.”
After being retired for the only time in the game in the second inning, Schimpf started his jaunt with a double in the fourth. With Centenary clawing back from a 2-0 deficit to take a 3-2 lead, Schimpf launched a pitch over the wall to score thee and to put the Maroon and White up 6-2.
After the Bulldogs cut the lead in half in the bottom of the fifth, Schimpf helped push the lead back to three with an RBI triple in the seventh. He achieved the cycle in the eighth on a bunt single.
Schimpf finished the game 4-for-5 with four RBI’s and two runs scored.
With Centenary trailing 2-0 entering the fifth of the second game, junior Cole Lavergne doubled and advanced to third when sophomore Andrew Russell singled. Freshman Zane Wilkinson put the Gents on the board with a sacrifice bunt that scored Lavergne.
Freshman Cody Crowder doubled to tie the game, advanced to third on senior Aaron Quintanilla’s single, and scored on a passed ball to give Centenary its first lead of the day. Schimpf capped the inning with the three-run home run.
After a pair of doubles that drove in a run and a hit by pitch with the bases loaded in the bottom of the fifth by Redlands cut the deficit to two, sophomore Hunter Amedee pitched out of the jam. Amedee took the win for the Gents, allowing three hits and struck out three in three innings of relief.
Lavergne picked up the save by pitching the final 1.1 innings, recording a strikeout when the Bulldogs had the bases loaded in the eighth.
Crowder finished the game 3-for-5 with a run and RBI, while Zapata and Russell both scored a pair of runs.
Joey Warner led the Bulldogs with three hits in five at-bats and two runs scored. Michael Collins took the loss, allowing nine hits and six runs (five earned) in five innings of work.
In game one, a critical error opened the door to allow Redlands to score seven runs in the second inning. With two outs and the bases loaded, Mitch Samson drove in a pair with a single. An error reloaded the bases, and Christopher Scalisi singled up the middle to score a pair. Singles by Jordan Babbitt and Christian Conci scored single runs, while a wild pitch put the home team up 8-0.
RBI singles by Schimpf and Quintanilla scored the lone runs for Centenary in the game. Junior Jackie Allen took the loss in his first start of the year, allowing eight hits and eight runs (three earned) in 1.2 innings of work. Felix Minjarez claimed the win for the Bulldogs, allowing four hits while striking out eight in 5.2 innings of work.
“It’s still early and we’re still trying to figure out what we have and how to utilize it,” said Diaz. “Their first pitcher and no doubt will be one of the best arms we see all year. Not much to say other than we have to be better in all facets of the game.”
Centenary closes out its California trip tomorrow at nationally-ranked Occidental in Los Angeles.