Piedmont, Centenary open with wins

Cameron Guin had Centenary's only extra-base hit,
a triple in the eighth inning to give the Gents a 4-0
lead in their season opener.
Louisiana College athletics photo

Piedmont opened the 2019 season with a bang earning an 11-3 win over Berry Tuesday at Loudermilk Field. David Craft earned the win on the mound in relief, pitching a stellar four innings of work allowing just two hits to the 14 batters he faced. On Monday Centenary knocked off Louisiana College 6-2 in the opener for the two in-state rivals.

Piedmont 11, Berry 3

Sam Carpenter got the start for the Lions and gave up one run on two hits through the first three innings, but finished his outing after a pair of singles to start the fifth. Carter Ballstadt was the other Lion to see action on the mound Tuesday as he made his first appearance as a Lion pitching the ninth in a 1-2-3 inning with two strikeouts. 

Berry led 1-0 in the second but Evan Meade tripled in the bottom of the inning to put Piedmont up 2-1 with his stand-up triple driving in Tyler Burdette and Noah Heatherly. The scoring onslaught continued in the third inning with four runs on two hits as the Lions chased the Vikings' starter after just two innings. 

Berry scored a run in both the fourth and fifth innings to cut it to a 6-3 game, but again the Lions were able to answer with a big inning in the bottom of the fifth. Brady Ballstadt drilled one to centerfield, over the Vikings' CF's reach, and rounded third heading for home securing an inside the park homerun scoring Zachary Swindell making it 8-3. 

The Lions would add three more in the sixth inning including a Tyler Burdette RBI double. The Killer B's each had two hits each (Ballstadt, Burden, Burdette) as they accounted for six hits, six RBI's, and six runs scored in the 3-5 spot in the order.

Centenary 6, Louisiana College 2

The Gents were able to plate a run in the bottom of the fifth, but a big eighth inning blew the game open and the Wildcats were only able to scratch two runs across in the top of the ninth as Centenary (1-0) knocked off Pelican State-rival Louisiana College (0-1) 6-2 Monday night, February 4.

For the game, Centenary scored 5-of-6 runs with two outs – including scoring the first run of the season after no Diamond Gents were on base with two outs and no one on base in the fifth.

With the Gents up 1-0 heading into the bottom of the eighth, sophomore Tyler Erickson singled and was sacrificed to second. After sophomore Peyton Cormane singled to put Gents on the corners, freshman Jake Ryan singled through the right side to put the Gents up 2-0. Centenary then successfully executed a double steal, but a fielder's choice produced the second out of the inning.

Then the Diamond Gents went to work.

Senior Cameron Guin cleared the bases with a triple to deep right center to up the lead to 4-0. Guin scored on sophomore Chris Haggard's single. After Haggard advanced to second on a balk, sophomore Preston Ludwick added his third hit of the game to plate the final Gents run of the ball game.

Guin finished the game with two hits, two RBIs, and a run scored. Ludwick added three hits and an RBI while Erickson went 2-for-4 with two runs scored.

Meanwhile, the Gents used nine pitchers in the win, allowing only two runs, three hits, and six walks while striking out seven. Senior Kyle Barron threw a scoreless fifth inning for the win in his first collegiate appearance.

The Gents scored the first run of the season with two outs in the fifth. With the bases empty, Erickson singled and advanced to second on an errant pickoff throw. Centenary made Louisiana College pay after a freshman Shane Salzman RBI single.

However, the defense helped keep Louisiana College in check. In the second after the leadoff man reached, Centenary turned a 5-4-3 double play. Sophomore Austin Warner then got the strikeout to end the inning.

In the top of the sixth after a leadoff walk, Guin caught a ball in left center, threw the ball to first, and just beat the runner to complete the double play. Louisiana College drew a pair of two-out walks, but a liner to Cormane at short ended the threat.

Louisiana College scored a pair in the ninth thanks to an RBI double by Cullen Guerriero and a sacrifice fly by Hunter Bower.

Phillip Vidrine took the loss for Louisiana College, allowing six hits and one unearned run in four innings of work.