GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas -- Centenary College needed two games to earn their first Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference tournament title, falling to Trinity in Sunday's opener before earning a dominating win in the second game of the afternoon. Official Website l Postgame Interview w/ Head Coach Mike Diaz, Kaleb Kirk and Chris Zapata
Trinity came out strong in the first game, earning a 10-9 win over the Gents after taking an 8-2 lead early in the game, but the Gents struck early and often in the final game of the tournament to earn the 2017 SCAC Baseball Championship.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- In the first game of the day, Trinity held a 4-2 lead after the fourth inning before stretching it to an 8-2 advantage in the fifth. Centenary struck back quickly, scoring five runs in the sixth inning to cut it to a one-run differential.
- The Gents scored two more runs in the bottom of the eight to take the lead, but the Trinity Tigers couldn't be stopped, scoring twice in the final frame to earn a 10-9 win and force a second game.
- Gents' pitcher Kaleb Kirk started the game one just one day of rest and pitched 5.2 innings to earn his second win of the weekend. Matthew Devillier came in to close the game out for his second appearance of the tournament.
- Centenary wasted no time getting on the board in the second game, getting the first three batters on base before Chris Zapata hit a bomb to centerfield to record a grand slam.
- The Gents extended their lead to 11 runs by the fourth inning and never relented, scoring one run in each of the final two innings.
- Trinity scored one run in each of the final three innings, but it wasn't enough to stop the Gents from ending the game after seven innings.
CENTENARY COLLEGE STATISTICAL STANDOUTS
- Kaleb Kirk: 1 Win, 5.2 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 4 K
- Chris Zapata: 3-4, 2 R, 5 RBI
- Cole Lavergne: 3-4, 1 R, 2 RBI
- Michael Schimpf: 1-3, 2 R, 1 RBI
- Cameron Guin: 3-4, 1 R, 1 RBI
- Aaron Quintanilla: 1-3, 2 R, 1 RBI, 1 BB
TRINITY UNIVERSITY STATISTICAL STANDOUTS
- George Haaland: 1-3, 1 R, 1 RBI
- Scott Walters: 1-4, 1 R
- Jake Martin: 2-3, 1 RBI
- Mason Meredith: 1-3, 1 R
- This is the first SCAC tournament title for Centenary College in any sport, and earns them their first ever NCAA Division III tournament berth.
- This is the first NCAA tournament berth in any division for Centenary since 2005 when the school's softball team earned a bid.
- This was the first year that the SCAC tournament was played at a neutral site since the event was held at USA Stadium in Millington, Tenn. in 2012.
- Kirk joins nine other players with two wins in the SCAC championship, which is the most in the tournament's history.
2017 ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM
- Chris Zapata, Centenary College (Catcher)
- Michael Davis, Trinity University (First Base)
- Andrew Russell, Centenary College (Second Base)
- Ian Graham, Centenary College (Third Base)
- Aaron Quintanilla, Centenary College (Short Stop)
- Ben Little, Southwestern University (Outfielder)
- Michael Schimpf, Centenary College (Outfielder)
- Jake Martin, Trinity University (Outfielder)
- Scott Walters, Trinity University (Designated Hitter)
- Chris Tate (Relief Pitcher)
- Kaleb Kirk (Starting Pitcher)
As the league's automatic qualifier, Centenary heads to a Regional Tournament, to be held at a predetermined site. Each regional champion books a ticket to Appleton, Wisc. for the championship round.