Centenary wins conference title; Netterville breaks Tech record; NSU, LSU take series

NCAA BOUND:  Centenary knocked off ranked foes on its way to earning a Division III NCAA Tournament berth Sunday by claiming the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference Tournament championship.


CLEBURNE, Texas — After losing in extra innings to No. 1 seed Trinity in the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference Baseball Tournament, No. 3 seed Centenary could have run out of steam when the if-necessary game came around Sunday evening.

But the Gents had the juice. Centenary scored the final six runs in a 10-5 win that sends them to the NCAA Division III Tournament.

John Beaudoin supplied his first two RBI in the first inning with a bases-loaded single, and he put the Gents ahead for good in the fifth inning with another two-RBI single as Centenary led 6-5.

The bullpen made it stand up as reliever Zach Clark got the win with 3 2-3 scoreless innings with Hank Bennett picking up his second save of the season with three scoreless innings.

Austyn Benoit contributed three RBI in the championship-clinching win with Brady Robinson going 3-6.

The Gents (27-16) needed the extra game Sunday after Trinity (32-10) prevailed 6-4 in the early game.

Trinity’s Michael Montrezza hit a two-run home run in the 10th inning to force the if-necessary contest.

Centenary ducked and dodged ranked teams all weekend, topping No. 12 Trinity 12-8 on Saturday to hand them two of their 10 losses on the season in the same weekend.

Tyler Welch and Robinson combined for six hits and four RBI against top-seeded Trinity.

Centenary began its conference tournament journey by skating past No. 2 seed Texas Lutheran in a 2-1 win behind Tyler Herrera’s gem, allowing one earned run in 8 1-3 innings Friday. Herrera (7=0) was named the SCAC Pitcher and Freshman of the Year.

The Gents learn their NCAA Tournament opponent and location May 16.

LOUISIANA TECH: Former Byrd High product Steele Netterville broke Louisiana Tech’s doubles record Saturday as the Bulldogs hammered Florida Atlantic 11-6, but the Owls rebounded to capture the Conference USA series with a 5-2 victory Sunday.

Louisiana Tech (33-17, 15-9 CUSA) scored just two runs in each of their losses at J.C. Love Field at Pat Patterson Park in Ruston.

Netterville has 58 career doubles with 12 this season.

NORTHWESTERN STATE: The Demons took the first two games from McNeese and were part of a five-way tie atop the Southland Conference heading into Sunday’s finale, but couldn’t stay there as the Cowboys rallied from four runs down Sunday to score a 10-4 decision.

McNeese’s bullpen tossed eight shutout innings. NSU (23-24, 11-10 SLC) outslugged McNeese in the opener, 16-12, as Jeffery Elkins smacked a pair of three-run home runs, including one inside the park.

In Saturday’s 5-4 NSU win, four different Demons produced go-ahead RBIs capped by Larson Fontenot’s sacrifice fly in the 10th inning against the Cowboys (27-21, 12-9).

LSU: The Tigers (32-15, 14-10 SEC) left no doubt in the rubber game of their series with Alabama as No. 20 LSU rolled back the Tide 12-3 in the Sunday finale at Tuscaloosa.

Scoring three runs in four different innings, LSU spread out its 15 hits led by four RBI from Tyler McManus.

Before Alabama took the middle game 8-3, LSU’s Dylan Crews drove in the go-ahead run of a 6-5 win as the Tigers bullpen blanked the Tide over the final four innings.

GRAMBLING: The Tigers clubbed their way to a series win against Prairie View A&M as Grambling took the finale 13-10. Home runs from Cameron Buford and Keylon Mack fueled the offense as each had three RBI.

The Tigers (21-26, 16-8 SWAC) snuck past the Panthers in a 3-2 win Friday before PVAMU returned the favor in a 9-7 win.

LSUS: After winning the Red River Athletic Conference convincingly with a 31-2 league record, the Pilots were surprised in two conference tournament games and made an early exit.

LSUS dropped a 12-7 decision to Houston-Victoria before a 7-6 loss to University of the Southwest eliminated the Pilots. Southwest scored four ninth-inning runs to keep the Pilots away from the conference tournament trophy.

LSUS (47-5) will continue its season by hosting in the NAIA Opening Round starting May 16.

BPCC: The Cavaliers’ season ended with a pair of losses in the NJCAA Region XIV Tournament. On Friday, BPCC couldn’t cash in on an outstanding outing from Zachary St. Pierre in a 2-0 loss to Wharton County.

The Cavs (35-18) then didn’t keep pace with San Jacinto-North in a 15-4 loss in which SJN erased an early 2-0 BPCC lead with all 15 runs in the third and fourth innings, forcing a run-rule.

ULM: The Warhawks (15-30-1, 6-17-1 Sun Belt) dropped a pair of one-run games as part of a sweep at the hands of 15th-ranked Texas State. ULM lost two 5-4 decisions and dropped to 1-4 in one-run games in Sun Belt play this season, including a 5-4 loss in which the Bobcats rallied for three ninth-inning runs.

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