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

Colonels topple third-ranked Presidents, split day two in Florida

Colonels topple third-ranked Presidents, split day two in Florida

AUBURNDALE, Fla. – Continuing action at the RussMatt Invitational, Centre baseball fell in Monday's opener to Benedictine (Ill.) before responding with a victory against No. 3 Washington & Jefferson.

GAME ONE: Benedictine 8, Centre 1

The Eagles of Benedictine were led out of the gate by starter Alexander Schram, who tossed seven scoreless innings while allowing just six singles.

Benedictine's bats took little time to warm up despite the early first pitch, as the Eagles took a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning.

They would plate a pair of runs in the fourth, fifth and seventh innings, as well, and led 8-0 before the Colonels found a way on the scoreboard.

Centre finally tagged reliever Cameron Paladines for a run in the bottom of the eighth, as Seth Hagan (Goshen, Ky.) drove in Wesley Jorette (Lawrenceburg, Ky.).

It proved too late, however, as the Eagles marched toward an 8-1 final tally.

GAME TWO: Centre 12, #3 Washington & Jefferson 8

Monday's second game saw Centre meeting 2017 national runner-up Washington & Jefferson, ranked third in Division III by the NCBWA and D3baseball.com.

Trailing 5-1 in the bottom of the fourth, the Colonels got clutch two-run doubles from both Parker Selin (Lexington, Ky.) and Will Kirk (Morgantown, N.C.) to regain the lead.

With the score tied at 6-6 in the bottom of the fifth, senior Casey Klein (Louisville, Ky.) smacked a triple to right center field, scoring Hagan. Klein then scored on Cameron Duggins' (Knoxville, Tenn.) double.

Chris Esselman (Louisville, Ky.) delivered Centre's third extra-base hit in a row, a double to right field that drove in Duggins. He would cap the big inning by scoring on a balk.

The Presidents' Spencer Howell hit a two-run homer in the top of the ninth to snap Centre's string of six unanswered runs, but it mattered little as Hogan Brownley (Louisville, Ky.) was able to close the door.

The rookie southpaw was solid in an extended relief role, earning the winning decision after tossing 5.1 innings and allowing three runs. Clasmate Jake Holloway (Franklin, Tenn.) got the start and threw 3.2 innings, surrendering five runs (although four were unearned).

Kirk led the Colonels with three RBIs from the leadoff spot, and Klein, Duggins, Esselman and Selin each followed with two. Klein's 3-for-5 effort at the dish paced the Colonels, and Hagan led the way with three runs scored.

The win was Centre's second against nationally-ranked opposition, as the Colonels defeated then-No. 10 LaGrange in the season opener.

Centre is off Tuesday before facing Juniata at 10 a.m. ET Wednesday.