SHREVEPORT, La. – After a no hitter into the seventh of game one by senior Kaleb Kirk, junior Matthew Devillier was inspired for the nightcap.
Devillier (5-3) allowed only two walks and struck out a career high 12 ‘Roos for the first Centenary no hitter in the NCAA Division III era in the second game as Centenary (21-13, 12-2 Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference) swept a doubleheader from Austin College (13-14, 6-8 SCAC) 10-2 in game one and 7-0 in game two Friday night, April 20.
Devillier ended the game in style when he struck out the side in the ninth. He went 3-0 on the final hitter of the game, but two strikes looking and then a swing and a miss ended the contest. He finished the game with 115 pitches, 73 of them for strikes.
Offensively, Centenary scored a single run in the fourth and six in the sixth. Freshman Payton Cormane reached to lead off the sixth when he was hit by a pitch. Sophomore Cody Crowder followed with his second triple of the season. Senior Chris Zapata followed with a hit to the gap and hustled to second for an RBI double. After junior Cameron Guin drew a walk after 10 pitches, the base runners stole second and third. Senior Ian Graham followed with an RBI single.
With a runner at first with no outs, Graham swiped second and moved to third on a sacrifice bunt. After another hit batter put runners on the corners, an RBI sacrifice bunt put the Gents up 6-0. Junior Andrew Russell capped the inning with an RBI single to center field.
Crowder led the Diamond Gents offensively with a 2-for-3 outing with two runs scored and an RBI.
While NCAA Division III claims 15 either combined or solo no hitters in 2018, Devillier became only the fourth pitcher to go nine innings without a hit – and only the third to accomplish this feat while pitching a shutout.
Ryan Culp (4-4) took the loss for Austin College, allowing six hits and seven runs in six innings of work.
In game one, Kirk (7-2) took a no-hitter into the seventh in the Gents eight-run win. He went 8.2 innings, allowing five hits and two runs (one earned) with five strikeouts.
After single tallies in the first and third, Centenary exploded for five runs in the fourth. Graham doubled to leadoff the inning and then was sacrificed to third. With one out, freshman Preston Ludwick doubled and later scored on classmate Chris Haggard’s single. After senior Cole Lavergne hit an infield single, both runners moved up a base on a double steal. Russell’s sacrifice fly pushed Lavergne to third and scored Haggard to put the Gents up 5-0.
Cormane followed with a shot to third that went through the wickets of the Austin College fielder. Lavergne scored and Cormane hustled to third. Crowder’s single scored Cormane to put the exclamation point on the inning.
Centenary scored two in the fifth after a pair of walks around a Haggard double loaded the bases. Russell legged out a fielder’s choice to score a run, but head’s up base running by Haggard allowed a second run to score.
Graham added an RBI single in the eighth for the final Gents run.
Every batter in the Gents starting lineup registered a hit in game one. Cormane finished 1-for-2 with three walks and three runs scored, reaching base safely in all five plate appearances.
Austin College broke up the no hitter when Austin Dudley hit a one-out single to centerfield in the seventh. With two outs, James Arguello and Justin Alphonse singled to score the ‘Roos first run of the night.
A throwing error in the ninth allowed the visitors to score their second run of the game.
Chase Almaguer (4-2) took the loss for Austin College, allowing nine hits and nine runs (six earned) with five walks in five innings of work.
Centenary and Austin College play the series finale Saturday morning. First pitch is scheduled for 11 a.m.