SHAWNEE, Okla. (May, 3 2013) – Friday was a day of ups and downs for No.5 Lubbock Christian University, but at the end of the day, it's the Chaparrals advancing from Pool B of the Sooner Athletic Conference Tournament. LCU opened the day with a 4-1 loss to Wayland Baptist University, but defeated No.15 Oklahoma Baptist University 3-1 to win Pool B and advance to Saturday's tournament title game, where they will face Oklahoma City University.
In the opener, LCU threatened to score first in the top of the second inning. WBU ace pitcher Tom Bailey, who started on the mound for the Pioneers, gave up a leadoff double to Joel Lutz down the left field line to start the inning off. LCU was unable to convert and left two runners on base. LCU would continue to strike throughout the afternoon, but was never able to overcome the WBU defense.
WBU opened the scoring in the second inning with one run and then scored the other three runs before the Chaps were able to put one run on the board in the eighth inning. Josh Chinni reached first base on a walk before advancing to second on sacrifice bunt. Steve Polito singled to right field and Chinni scored the first run of the game putting the Pioneers up 1-0. Johnny Hendrix kept the Pioneers going in the fifth inning as he hit his fifth home run of the season giving his team a 2-0 advantage. Hendrix and Chinni would put runs on the board again in the seventh inning off three hits and an error by the Chaps. The Chaps would try to make a run at WBU in the eighth inning collecting three hits, but could only put one run on the board and left two runners on base.
LCU pitcher Jarrett Porter started for the Chaps and gets the loss moving his record to 8-4 on the season. Logan Burch came in to relief Porter after 6.1 innings. Burch would not last long, giving up two hits and one run before Sam Fry finished the game on the mound. Tom Bailey faced 30 batters and threw 116 pitches before reliever Jose Urena replaced him getting the save. Bailey moved to 5-7 on the season.
The second game, against OBU, was scoreless until the fourth inning. Brennyn Smith led off the inning with a single and Wigberto Nevarez followed with a double. The two scored off a double hit by Tanner Rainey to deep right centerfield with two outs. Rainey would score on a single by Christian Vazquez for a 3-0 lead. Matt Page hit a solo home run in the sixth inning to cut the Chaps lead to 3-1.
Derek Loera pitched a complete game for LCU, including getting out of the ninth inning forcing the Bison to leave the bases loaded to end the game. In nine innings, Loera allowed one run on eight hits and struck out six batters. He improved to 9-4. Julian Merryweather suffered his first loss of the season (10-1) and allowed three runs off eight hits and struck out 12 batters over seven innings.
Joel Lutz was 3-for-4 in the win for the Chaps. Rainey finished 1-for-3 with two RBI. Page had OBU's lone run produced.
The Chaps moved to 41-15 on the season and they advance to the SAC Tournament championship game for a second consecutive season. They will play Pool A champion No.1 Oklahoma City Saturday at 1 p.m. at Jim Wade Stadium on the OCU campus.