This past weekend as the top seed in the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference Tournament, the Gents beat Southwestern 6-4 on Friday before knocking off Trinity 5-3 on Saturday in the winner’s bracket final. In the championship, Centenary fell to Trinity 10-9 in the first game before knocking off the Tigers 13-3 in seven innings for the Championship.
Zapata, who was recognized as SCAC Player of the Year on Friday, had a Championship Sunday to remember, going 4-for-9 with two home runs, a double, three runs scored and seven RBI’s. His only hit in game one was a home run to left with a runner on to score the first runs of the game. The Gents rallied from an 8-2 deficit to take a 9-8 lead, but fell in a heartbreaker by a run to force the if-necessary contest.
In the final tournament game with the bases loaded in the top of the first, Zapata jumped all over the first pitch he saw and hit the batter’s eye in centerfield for his first collegiate grand slam and the second for the Gents this season.
Zapata added an RBI double in the fourth, finishing the game a triple short of the cycle and 3-for-4 with five RBI’s and two runs scored in the final game of the tournament.
While his first home run on Sunday broke the 27-year old record single-season record for RBI’s (Todd Wilson, 64, 1990), his grand slam broke the 23-year old record for career RBI’s (Brian Steier, 1992-94, 139). Zapata now has 71 RBI’s for the season (sixth in SCAC single-season record book) and 141 for his career.
Zapata tied the Gents single-season RBI record in Friday’s 6-4 win against Southwestern, and finished the tournament 8-for-16 and eight RBI’s, three runs, three doubles, and two home runs.
Centenary baseball will make its first NCAA Tournament appearance Thursday, May 18, at a site and time to be announced (most likely in Tyler, Texas). Location and playing time details will be released by the NCAA on May 15.