Strong pitching helps LCU baseball avoid sweep

KLBK Sports

LUBBOCK, Texas (February 9, 2020) – This is a press release from Lubbock Christian athletics.

Using six pitchers in one game is not always a good sign, but it was the right move for the Lubbock Christian baseball team on Sunday as they limited the St. Mary’s offense to just five hits and beat them 2-1, avoiding being swept.

It was the first home win of the season for Lubbock Christian, who moves back to .500 on the season and in LSC play at 3-3. It was also the first loss of the season for St. Mary’s, who is now 5-1 on the year.

Armando Valle started the game on the mound for the Chaps and set the tone for the game with the first batter, striking out Derek Mueller looking. Valle did give up a hit in the first and the runner advanced to second, but the threat ended when the runner was doubled off second after a lineout to right field.

LCU’s first hit of the day came in the second inning as Jaxon Shirley singled up the middle, but they did not score until the bottom of the third. St. Mary’s starting pitcher Dylan Bells got two quick outs before the rally started. Luis Navarro hit a bloop double that was lost in the sun by the Rattler left fielder. Larry Leitha then single to score Navarro and advanced to second on the throw to the plate. Leitha scored on another single from Skyler Nelson, but the Chaps were unable to plate any more runs in the inning.

The two runs held up though, thanks several clutch pitching performances from the Chap staff. Valle continued to work into the sixth inning, allowing just three hits while walking four but also striking out nine Rattler batters. The nine strikeouts are the most by an LCU pitcher this season.

In the sixth inning, Valle took the mound again but walked the first two batters he faced and was relieved by Steven Dennis. A sacrifice bunt gave LCU its first out of the inning, but also moved the two runners up a base. Dennis got a pop-up to first to keep them where they were and nearly ended the inning with no damage done, but a Chap error allowed a run to score.

Dennis then walked a batter, loading the bases with two outs, and was removed for Jerrod Fowler to face StMU catcher Scott Short. Short worked the count full before Fowler got a ground ball to third base, ending the threat.

In the eighth, it was Brennen Fowler who came in on the mound. He got two outs, but allowed a single and a walk to put another runner in scoring position. Christian Garcia came in to face Keaton Milford and the Chaps won out again, this time with a groundout to second.

Koi Carrillo was the final LCU pitcher to come into the game, pitching both the eighth and ninth innings. The sophomore righty put two runners on with two outs in the eighth, but got out of the jam with a pickoff of Scott Short.
The ninth inning was tense again, as Mueller made it all the way to third with two outs, setting up a duel between Carrillo and Rattler right fielder Andrew Perez. Carillo came through once again, striking Perez out swinging for the Chap win.

30/29 | At the end of the series, each team left nearly exactly the same number of runners on base with the Chaps stranding 30 and the Rattlers 29
.308 | LCU was successful in getting their leadoff batter on in eight of their 26 chances during the series for a .308 on-base percentage
10-11 | After not stealing any bases in their season-opening series against St. Edward’s, the Chaps were 10-11 swiping bags against the Rattlers
26 | Lubbock Christian had just three extra base hits, all of which were doubles, for 26 total bases during the series
6 | Both AJ Perez and Luis Navarro have reached base in all six games so far this season

The Chaps will travel down south next weekend, taking on Texas A&M-Kingsville in a four-game road series. It will be only the second time ever LCU has taken on TAMUK and the first time since 2003.

This was a press release from Lubbock Christian athletics.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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