FROM CBD NEWS SOURCE
SHREVEPORT-The Centenary baseball team and first-year head coach Mike Diaz announced its 2011 schedule on Monday. The Gents are scheduled to play 44 games, 19 at home and 25 on the road.
“Our schedule has a good balance of mid major and regional caliber teams. I think it will provide our staff with the opportunities needed to evaluate our team so that we can make adjustments, and it will challenge and prepare our team for conference play,” said Diaz.
Centenary will open the season on Saturday, February 19 at home with a double-header against in-state rival, Louisiana College beginning at Noon at Shehee Stadium. The Gents will also face Grambling on the road on March 12-13 for its only other Louisiana-based competition this season.
“It is always good to play in-state teams. It gives recruits an opportunity to see how we fare against teams in the area and at the same time it is helpful not to travel a great distance, as our conference schedule is always tough in that regard,” said Diaz.
The Gents will then wrap up its non-conference home schedule with a single game against Stephen F. Austin on March 4, slated to begin at 6 pm.
Centenary’s 2011 schedule is limited to 44 games due to the reclassification from DI to DIII this upcoming year. Of the 44 games, four games will be played at Hawai’i, which serve as exemption games for the Gents.
Along with facing the Warriors of Hawai’i on March 18-21, Centenary will battle the likes of Big 12 Texas A&M in a single game in College Station on March 8 and UT-Pan American on April 1-2 for a three game set to wrap up non-conference play.
In Summit League action this season, Centenary will open at defending league-champion Oral Roberts on April 8-10. The Gents will host South Dakota State, IPFW, Southern Utah and Oakland at home this season, while traveling to ORU, North Dakota State, and Western Illinois.
“Our team’s outlook on league play will be the same it is every year. We go out and play hard, concentrate on the process, and hopefully in the end we did enough to win. I know that every team in our conference has improved and we are looking forward to competing this spring,” said Diaz.
Centenary welcomes back six returning letterwinners, including second-team All Summit league recipient right-hander Seth Lugo from a year ago. Also back are seniors Justin Kraft and Derek Dalzell, along with junior Jeff Schaffert and sophomores Matt Creamer and Cole Thompson.
Diaz and staff of Jason Stephens and Austin Jones welcome 23 new faces to the squad and two returning redshirt players from last year in Zachary Christ and Dan Lazarou.