LUBBOCK, Texas (February 7, 2020) – The Lubbock Christian baseball team took an early lead against St. Mary’s but could not drive in runners late as the Rattlers came back to win 7-5.
The Chaps scored three early runs in the bottom of the first inning, taking a 3-0 lead thanks to three walks and an error by the St. Mary’s shortstop. George Mendazona, Luis Navarro and Larry Leitha all came to the plate. LCU tacked on a run in the second inning and another in the third, all off Rattler starting pitcher Zach De La Garza. The drew six walks and scored five runs while he was in the game.
St. Mary’s had gotten two runs in the top of the third, thanks to RBI singles from Derrek Mueller and Jake Mares, but they really seemed to take control of the game in the fourth inning when relief pitcher Jacob Koehler came into the game. Koehler would go on to pitch through the eighth inning, holding the Chaps scoreless while striking out 13 batters.
The Rattlers tied the game up in the fifth inning. Mueller started the inning off with a single and scored later on a single from Andrew Perez, chasing Chap starter Ty Stephenson from the game. Logan McCrummen came in and had the inherited runner score, and gave up a run of his own to knot the score at 5-5.
Khoeler kept the Chaps at bay during his five innings on the mound, but that’s not so say that LCU did not have its chances. The Chaps nearly re-took the lead immediately in the bottom of the fifth inning, loading the bases with two outs, but Navarro struck out to end the threat. Lubbock Christian put runners in scoring position in the seventh, eighth and ninth, when they again loaded the bases but could not score.
Both the Chaps and the Rattlers had exactly 13 opportunities to bat with runners in scoring position. St. Mary’s hit had six hits in their chances (.462 batting average), while Lubbock Christian had just two (.154 batting average). LCU hit even worse with runners on base, with only three hits in 23 at-bats for a .130 batting average.
St. Mary’s finally took the lead in the top of the ninth inning. The go-ahead run was unearned, as Derek Mueller reached base and advanced to second on a throwing error. He advanced to third on a balk and scored on a bunt single. The Rattlers added an insurance run on a safety squeeze later in the inning.
LCU’s rally got a runner all the way to third in the ninth and had the bases loaded again but Navarro flied out to right field to end the game.
Lubbock Christian will be back on the diamond at Hays Field looking to bounce back against St. Mary’s at 1 p.m. on Saturday.
Courtesy: Lubbock Christian Athletics