TYLER, Texas – Three wins in a season against a ranked opponent are impressive enough, but it is no easy task to hold said team to just six runs in 27 innings.
The Gents outscored the Patriots 25-6 in three meetings in 2016 as #18 Centenary (25-9) knocked off #20 UT Tyler (20-13) 8-3 in the last regular season midweek game of the season for the Maroon and White on Tuesday night, April 19.
Down 3-1 after four innings, the Gents scored one in the sixth and six in the seventh to take an 8-3 lead. Centenary only managed two hits, but four walks – everyone of which scored – proved to be the Patriots undoing in the seventh. Sophomore Nicholas Delaneuville and freshman Cameron Guin both led off the inning with free bases. Junior Brooks Williams took second on an error, that allowed Guin to scamper to third and Delauneville to score the tying run. Junior Michael Schimpf singled to clear the bases and moved to second on the throw home.
Two more walks to freshman Colten Maples and Chris Zapata loaded the bases, and a one-out single off the pitcher's leg by sophomore Cole Lavergne allowed two more runs to score. A groundout and a wild pitch plated the sixth run of the inning and gave the visitors an 8-3 lead.
Lavergne, who led the Gents offense with a 2-for-5 effort with two RBI's and a run scored, was a busy man at first with 13 putouts on the night.
UT Tyler threatened to answer the Gents runs in the bottom of the inning, but freshman Matthew Devillier came in and slammed the door. With two on and no outs in the seventh, he allowed a walk to load the bases. However, two strikeouts around an infield fly kept the home team off the board.
Devillier picked up his Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference-leading sixth save of the season by throwing a scoreless eighth and ninth. He finished the night with six strikeouts. Freshman Hunter Amedee (2-0) picked up the win in three innings of relief, allowing five hits and three runs with two strikeouts.
After Centenary took a 1-0 lead in the top of the fourth after a pair of two-out doubles by Lavergne and sophomore Ian Graham, UT Tyler answered with three in the bottom of the frame. A lead-off single by Sam Lane and a fielder's choice that produced no outs off the bat of Josh Burns put the go-ahead runners on base. Both moved up on a wild pitch. Amedee induced a groundout to first that held the runners, but another groundout tied the game. Braxton Hollenshed gave the home team the lead with a two-out double, and a single by Graham Welch pushed the deficit to 3-1.
UT Tyler outhit the Gents 10-7, but most hits were put together by just four players for the Patriots. Welch went 3-for-5 but managed only an RBI. Chad Hayes (2-2) took the loss for the home team, entering in the seventh and allowing two walks, an error and three runs (two earned).
Closing out the game, Devillier now sits second all by himself in the single-season save category in the Gents record book.
Centenary returns to action Saturday, April 23, with a doubleheader against Dallas beginning at noon. The Gents clinch an SCAC tournament berth with a win in the three-game series with the Crusaders or a series loss for Southwestern against SCAC-leading Texas Lutheran.