EIGHT CONFERENCE TITLES (1973, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1980, 1982, 1984, 1987)

Colonels edged by 18th-ranked Golden Eagles, 4-3

Colonels edged by 18th-ranked Golden Eagles, 4-3

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Centre baseball nearly knocked off 18th-ranked Spalding Wednesday evening in an in-state, nonconference meeting at Derby City Field, falling 4-3.

The Colonels (12-16) hung tough with the host Golden Eagles (18-3), who have won eight in a row while continuing to climb up the national polls.  

Centre scored in the opening inning for the first time in eight games, as Mason Falbo (Mississauga, Ontario) drove in Drew Schacht (Lexington, Ky.).

Rookie starter Jake Holloway (Franklin, Tenn.) came out strong on the hill, recording three strikeouts in the bottom of the first. 

He wouldn't allow a hit until the fourth, and finished his outing surrendering just three hits in five complete innings. Holloway also struck out six batters and walked only one.

Schacht scored again in the top of the fifth on a sacrifice fly from Casey Klein (Louisville, Ky.) after stealing second and third, bringing Centre's lead to 2-0.

Spalding, which entered with the 13th-best scoring offense in Division III, broke the shutout in the bottom of the sixth, as Quenton Brownlee drew a bases-loaded walk with one out. Reliever Aaron Scilley (Maysville, Ky.) came in and retired two batters to end the inning with the bases full.

The Golden Eagles took their first lead of the evening in the seventh, getting consecutive RBI base hits from Joe Hatcher and Eric Meyer to make it 3-2. 

They would add to the lead in the eighth, plating a run on Garrett Wilson's RBI single to center.

Trailing 4-2, Centre got a run back with two outs and runners on first and second. Klein reached on an error by the first baseman, allowing Will Kirk (Morgantown, N.C.) to score and make it 4-3, but Spalding's Lane Staples was able to record the third out and earn a save.

Schacht was a sharp 4-for-4 at the plate with a double and two runs scored to lead the Colonels.

Centre hits the road this weekend for an important conference tilt against Birmingham Southern. The three-game series begins Saturday at 2 p.m. ET.