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Centre sweeps Friday slate, books date with Rhodes in SAA Semifinal

Centre sweeps Friday slate, books date with Rhodes in SAA Semifinal

MEMPHIS, Tenn. - The Centre baseball team defeated both Sewanee and Oglethorpe on Friday afternoon, setting up a date with Rhodes in the Southern Athletic Association regional finale. 

GAME ONE: Centre 5, Sewanee 2

Chris Esselman (Louisville, Ky.) took the mound for the Colonels in the first game and had an excellent outing, limiting the Sewanee offense to four hits and a run while striking out three Tiger batters.  

The Colonels got on the board early, scoring three runs in the bottom of the first inning. Junior Mason Falbo (Mississauga, Ontario) got the scoring started by recording a RBI single with men on second and third. Drew Schacht (Lexington, Ky.) and Parker Selin (Lexington, Ky.) also tallied runs in the half inning, both unearned. 

Schacht extended the Centre lead to 4-0 in the following inning, putting down a sacrifice bunt and scoring Zach McKinney (Elizabethtown, Ky.). 

Sewanee answered with an unearned run in the top of the fourth. 

Freshman Jordan Gunter (Louisville, Ky.) added an RBI off of a sacrifice fly in the fifth, extending the Colonel lead to 5-1. 

The next half inning the Tigers struck again, tagging Esselman or a run off of a Bryce Benedict RBI single. 

Neither team could muster any offense in the final three innings of play. 

Schacht shut the door on the Tigers in the top of ninth, recording the final two outs with men on second and third.  

The Colonels were led at the plate by Falbo who went 2-for-3.  

GAME TWO: Centre 8, Oglethorpe 6

In the second game, Nick Hoffman (Louisville, Ky.) and Oglethorpe's Matt Davis threw two scoreless frames before the Stormy Petrels threatened to take the lead in the third. 

Oglethorpe jumped on Centre in the bottom of the third inning, taking a 3-0 lead. Patrick Burnette added a RBI single in the frame while Adrian Celata laced a two run home run. 

The Colonels responded with a fury in the top of the fifth, knocking in six runs on nine hits. Casey Klein (Louisville, Ky.), Will Kirk (Morgantown, N.C.), Schacht, Selin, Esselman, and Gunter all tallied RBIs in the frame. 

With a commanding 6-3 lead in the top of the sixth, Schacht smacked a RBI double down the left field line. Esselman added an insurance run in the next inning, recording his second RBI of the contest. 

Oglethorpe tagged Schacht for three runs in the bottom of the seventh, cutting the Centre lead to 8-6. 

Klein cextended the Colonel lea to 9-6 after driving in Kirk in the eighth. 

The Stormy Petrels were unable to close the gap in the bottom of the ninth. 

Schacht had a solid nightcap, going 2-for-5 with two RBIs and a run at the dish while tossing 6.1 innings in relief. He struck out five and allowed two earned runs. 

The Colonels will take on the Rhodes Lynx tomorrow at 12:00 p.m. ET, needing two wins to advance to the SAA Championship series.