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Centennial advances to region baseball tournament with district title

Centennial used a five-run second inning against Ravenwood May 11 to take the District 11-AAA championship 5-0.

Second baseman Deon Sanders led off Centennial’s second inning with a double followed by pitcher Cole Evans with a single. Catcher Billy Lowe’s sacrifice fly scored Sanders and five consecutive batters reached base after that to give the Cougars a 5-0 lead.

That is all Centennial would need behind Evans’ pitching performance. Head coach Rod Baughman enjoyed the early lead and its change of scenery.

“This whole district tournament it seemed like we had been playing behind,” Baughman said. “We beat Hillsboro pretty, 10-0, but then after that I think we were behind every single game and came back and won.”

“We didn’t do a whole lot after that, but defensively and pitching at this time of the year, getting two-out hits is just as important as playing defense. And to get pitching like we did it was pretty phenomenal.”

Evans went six innings giving up four hits, one walk with three strikeouts. He only faced more than the minimum three batters per inning twice before he was pulled from the game in the sixth. Defensively, the Cougars had no errors, two double plays and caught a man stealing.

“I don’t think he had his best stuff today, but he kept them off balance,” Baughman said of Evans. “He threw strikes and I don’t know if he even walked anybody. The bottom line is he pitched his tail off and did a fantastic job. I’m really proud of him.”

Centennial’s championship doesn’t come without respect for the Ravenwood program led by coach Teddy Craig. The Cougars came from the losers’ bracket and forced a second game in the championship series as they defeated Ravenwood in extra innings last Thursday.

“Hats off to Ravenwood and Coach Craig because, I tell you what, he runs a class act program,” Baughman said. “Not only that, he’s a really good guy. It’s tough that one of us has to go home. Ravenwood got hot during the tournament, you know, I feel bad for Teddy and Ravenwood because they deserve it just as much as we do. But, I’m glad it’s us.”

“I’m proud of our kids. I’m really proud of the way they hung in. We had to win two to win the championship and we did it. That’s what this is all about. They fought, they never gave up, they played hard and they are a good group of guys. I’m very proud of them.”

The district tournament championship gives Centennial a home game in the first round of the region tournament. The Cougars’ only loss at home this season came to Ravenwood in the first series of the year. Centennial hosts McGavock in the Region 6 AAA tournament opening round Monday night.

Posted on: 5/13/2013


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