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Baseball - Thu, Jun. 6, 2013

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) has announced the 2013 NAIA Baseball All-America teams, selected by the NAIA-Baseball Coaches Association (NAIA-BCA) All-America Selection Committee. No.11 Lubbock Christian University was honored with four players receiving All-America honors. Christian Vazquez received First Team honors, Wigberto Nevarez and Brennyn Smith received Second Team honors and Joel Lutz claimed Honorable Mention accolades.

Vazquez completed his junior season with the Chaparrals and was one of two players to play in all 61 games this season. The Humacao, Puerto Rico native hit .402 this season for the Chaps with a team-leading 97 hits (second in the NAIA). He ranked fourth in total bases (137), fifth in runs scored (63), doubles (23), hits per game (1.6) and sixth in total at-bats (241). The shortstop was also solid defensively, ranking 10th in assists (175) and with just nine errors on the season.

Nevarez appeared in 48 games with the Chaps this season. The Bayamon, Puerto Rico native hit .346 on the season with 12 homers. He ranked sixth in home runs per game (0.3), seventh in home runs (12) and 10th in slugging (.673). The junior played catcher and designated hit this season for LCU. He became the first Chaps member to hit four home runs in a game, completing the task on Mar. 28 at St. Gregory's. Nevarez was the only player in the NAIA this season to complete the task, and also the only player with 16 total bases in a game (same game).

Smith joined the Chaps for his final two seasons from Sul Ross State University. He appeared at second base for LCU and hit .368 with 84 hits. A native of Montgomery, Texas, Smith ranked 10th in the NAIA with his 84 hits and 12th in total bases (129). The senior also added 17 doubles, five triples and six home runs.

Lutz produced an amazing streak during the season by reaching base safely in the first 40 games. The junior third baseman, who calls Medicine Hat, Alberta home, appeared in 60 games and hit .333 with a team-best 63 RBI. He ranked second on the team and in the NAIA in home runs with 15 and also ranked sixth in homers per game (.3), seventh in RBI (63) and ninth in total bases (134).

The four All-America honorees gives LCU 85 NAIA All-Americans, with 22 coming under the coaching reign of Nathan Blackwood. The last time LCU received four All-America honors was in 2000, as Britt Harper, Shane Riddle, Gabe Flores and Stan Whittle were recognized with honors. LCU finished their final NAIA season 44-17 and with a No.11 national ranking. The Chaps, one of the NAIA's premier baseball programs, leave the NAIA with an all-time record of 1,902-912 (67.6%) since 1971. They made nine NAIA World Series appearances, winning national titles in 1983 and 2009. Next season, LCU moves into the NCAA Div. II's Heartland Conference.