LUBBOCK, Texas (April 20, 2013) – Jack Mabe hurled his first complete game shutout of the season to help No.6 Lubbock Christian University win 3-0 and then Christian Vazquez went 4-for-4 registering the 20th three-doubles performance in program history to lead the Chaparrals to a 9-4 win and LCU swept a four-game Sooner Athletic Conference against No.15 Rogers State University Saturday afternoon at Hays Field.
Mabe faced five batters over the minimum in the opener and held the Hillcats scoreless in seven innings of work. He struck out three batters and claimed his first complete game shutout of the season (fourth complete game of the season). It was only RSU's second time being shutout this season. All six of RSU's hits were singles.
The Chaps led in the opener in the first inning after consecutive singles from Brennyn Smith and Brandon Wilson led to a Joel Lutz RBI. Wigberto Nevarez, in his first at-bat since an 11-game absence, hit a single to centerfield to give LCU a 2-0 lead. They added an insurance run in the fifth inning with Nevarez hit by a pitch with the bases loaded for a 3-0 advantage.
Brandon Bargas held the Chaps to two earned runs off seven hits in a complete game six inning outing. The RSU starting pitcher fell to 7-4, while Mabe improved to 6-2. Tyler Wheeler led RSU at the plate going 3-for-3 with half of the Hillcats six hits. Smith and Wilson each went 2-for-3 and Nevarez led the Chaps with a pair of runs-batted-in.
The two teams would spread out their scoring in the series finale. The Chaps struck first and in similar fashion to the prior game, as Lutz scored the first run on a ground out in the first inning. RSU answered in the second inning with Cody Campbell hitting a two-run home run over the right-centerfield fence for a 2-1 lead. LCU led off the fourth inning with an infield single on a bunt by Tanner Rainey, who scored on a Vazquez double to left-centerfield to tie the game at 2-2. With two outs in the inning, RBI-singles by Lutz, Brent Leslie and Brett Kauten capped the four-run inning and LCU led 5-2. The two teams traded a run in the fourth and fifth innings, with LCU's run in the fifth produced by a solo home run from Marshall Williams for a 7-4 lead. RSU had a chance to rally in the top of the sixth inning loading the bases with no outs, but relief pitcher Monty McCasland came in and claimed a strikeout, forced a fielder's choice put-out at home and a ground out to keep the Hillcats off the scoreboard in the inning. LCU put the game out of reach in the bottom of the sixth inning with Vazquez claiming his third double of the game and Smith following with his fifth triple of the season to help the Chaps extend their lead to 9-4
Vazquez, who produced his fourth four-hit contest of the season, produced his second game consisting of three double to mark the 20th time in program history a Chaps member has hit a trio of doubles in one game. Smith (2-for-4) and Lutz (1-for-3) each led LCU with a pair of runs driven in. Jarret Porter went five innings for the win (7-3) for LCU and allowed four runs (three earned) off seven hits. McCasland claimed his first career save with a pair of hitless innings. Jesse Baird suffered his first loss (2-1), allowing seven runs off 11 hits over five innings.
The series sweep was LCU's second SAC sweep of the season and their first at home. Their last series sweep was their opening conference series on Mar. 7 and 8 at Mid-America Christian. Improving to 16-4 all-time over Rogers State, LCU claimed the first series win by the designated home team in the seasonal series for the first time since LCU claimed the series in 2009. The Chaps improve overall on the season to 36-13 and riding a five-game win streak. They are in second place of the SAC with a 16-8 conference mark. The Hillcats, who were a miserable 1-for-19 in the series with runners in scoring position, drop to 30-17 overall and 14-10 in the SAC.
The Chaps have four games remaining on the regular season, with a four-game SAC series against rival Wayland Baptist University. The series begins Tuesday in Plainview, Texas with a 6 p.m. first pitch.