GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas – After the game, senior Michael Schimpf received his diploma as a graduate of Centenary College. But before the ceremony, Schimpf made sure he made it a day to remember, even before he received his degree.
Schimpf hit a two run blast to left to begin the scoring in the first inning, and he added the go-ahead RBI double in the bottom of the fifth as the Gents (33-7) knocked off Trinity (26-15) 5-3 in the finals of the winner's bracket on day two at the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference Tournament at AirHogs Stadium in Grand Prairie, Texas.
Freshman Zane Wilkinson reached on an error to begin the bottom of the first and was sacrificed to second. Down in the count, Schimpf jumped on the 1-2 pitch and cleared the wall in left for his fourth home run of the season.
After Trinity tied the game in the game at three in the top of the fifth, Centenary answered with what proved to be the winning run in the bottom of the fifth. It was different verse, same as the first as Wilkinson reached and was sacrificed to second. Schimpf followed with another extra-base hit, but this one was to right field and stayed in the park but scored Wilkinson.
Meanwhile, after sophomore starter Matthew Devillier allowed the tying runs with one out in the fifth, junior Cole Lavergne took the mound for the second-straight game. In only six pitches, Lavergne got a strikeout and a foul out to end the Tigers threat.
Lavergne (4-0) threw the final 4.2 innings for the victory, allowing just three hits while striking out three on 48 pitches (38 strikes). In the ninth, Trinity's leadoff batter singled to bring the tying run to the plate, but the next batter lined back to Lavergne, who threw to first to complete the double play.
On the season, Lavergne has appeared on the mound 17 times and has either a win or save in 12 of the appearances on the rubber.
Schimpf led the Gents with three hits in four at-bats with three RBI's and a run scored. Wilkinson went 2-for-4 with three runs scored. Senior Aaron Quintanilla made the most of his four plate appearances, hitting his fifth home run of the season in his only official at-bat and three sacrifice bunts that led to Wilkinson eventually scoring.
Trinity scored one in the fourth and two in the fifth to tie the game at three. Michael Davis hit a solo shot in the fourth, while three hits and a sacrifice knotted the game. In the fifth, Mason Meredith doubled and was sacrificed to third. Scott Walters followed with an RBI, ground-rule double, and scored on Jake Martin's single.
Kevin Flores (7-3) took the loss in relief for the Tigers, allowing four hits and two runs in three innings of work.
Centenary returns to action Sunday at noon against the winner of Trinity and Southwestern.