LUBBOCK, Texas (April 23, 2019) – Lubbock Christian University used a pair of three-run innings and a dominant outing from their starting pitcher to take down West Texas A&M on Tuesday in their final non-conference game of the season.
The Chaps finished their 2019 non-conference slate 19-8 and are now 31-11 overall this year. LCU split the season series with West Texas A&M, but they are now 10-4 against the Buffs in the last 10 years.
WT’s first batter of the game reached base against LCU starting pitcher Chandler Casey, but it did not signal a trend for the game, and he was quickly doubled off first to end the inning with Casey facing the minimum. The Chaps also got a runner on base in the first inning, as Hill Alexander singled with two outs, but he did not score either, and neither team brought a run across through the first four innings.
LCU finally broke through in the bottom of the fifth inning with a two-out rally. Keaton Greenwalt got things going for the Chaps, singling to and advancing to second on an error by the right fielder. He then scored on a double from Braden Hayward for the game’s first run. Alexander then reached on a strikeout/wild pitch, allowing the inning to continue. Pratt made the mistake count, doubling on a 3-2 pitch to score both baserunners and give LCU a 3-0 lead.
The Chaps added to the lead in the sixth inning, again scoring three runs with two outs. The baserunners reached with one out, as Chase Whetsel walked and James Hardberger singled to left field. One out later, Keaton Greenwalt came back up and promptly crushed an opposite-field triple to score them both. Another base hit from Hayward scored Greenwalt for the sixth and final run of the game.
The lead was more than enough to work with for Casey, as he got ahead of hitters all night with first-pitch strikes to 24 of 33 batters. The Lubbock native was one strikeout away from matching his career-high, finishing with 11 on the day. It was his sixth complete game of the season, matching Ryan Johnson for the team lead, and his second shutout. Casey now has a 2.42 earned run average in 74.1 innings pitched with 81 strikeouts.
Pitching with the 6-0 lead in the final three innings, Casey did not allow a hit, striking out four, including a swinging strikeout of Tag Baxter to end the game in the ninth.
Lubbock Christian will host the Heartland Conference’s second place team, Rogers State, this weekend, taking on the Hillcats in a three-game series. First pitch for game one is at 3 p.m. on Friday.
Courtesy: LCU Athletics