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Credit: John Vestal (Sports Fanatic Photography)
Baseball - Sun, Feb. 9, 2014

LAS VEGAS, N.M. (February 9, 2014) - Lubbock Christian University exploded for 18 runs highlighted by a trio of three-run homers en route to an 18-8 win in the opener, but scoring would slow to a halt in the second game, as LCU stranded the tying run at third base to lose the second game 3-2 in a doubleheader split at New Mexico Highlands University Sunday.

In the opener, Wigberto Nevarez, Brandon Wilson and Joel Lutz each produced three-run home runs for the Chaps. Nevarez and Wilson's home runs each came with two outs. The three homers were a part of a four home run performance by the Chaps, who were without a home run in their prior three games on the season. Also producing a home run for the Chaps was Jesse Pintado, who nailed the game's first homer with a solo shot in the second inning. Pintado ended up 4-for-5 in the game and was a triple shy of hitting for the cycle.

LCU had the bats going, scoring runs in each of the game's first seven innings. They scored the game's first 16 runs for a 16-0 lead. Their most explosive inning was a six-run, six-hit top of the sixth inning, as LCU sent 11 batters to the plate. Along with their four home runs, the Chaps also produced four doubles for a total of eight extra-base hits. LCU had 20 hits in the game, with 11 different players producing hits and six having multiple hits. Josh Powe came off the bench and went 2-for-2 with an RBI. Five Chaps had multi-RBI performances, led by 4-RBI games by Lutz and Wilson (tied career high).

The Chaps led 16-0, but the Cowboys made a late rally scoring eight of the next 10 runs. LCU pitcher Brig Gerlich pitched 5.1 innings scoreless innings until running into trouble in the sixth inning with a pair of hits leading to a sacrifice fly for NMHU's first run of the game. Gerlich would go seven innings and allow two runs off seven hits. Andrew Whisnand and Ethan Murphy pitched the final two innings and combined to allow six runs. Morgan McCasland went 2-for-3 with a pair of runs driven in for the Cowboys in the losing effort.

NMHU used the momentum in the second game of the doubleheader. Mike Sordia hit a double and the Cowboys used a pair of stolen bases to lead to a three-run second inning for a 3-0 lead. That lead would hold, as starting pitcher Daniel Clark held LCU to six hits and no runs in five innings of work. The Chaps didn't go quietly though. In the top of the seventh inning, Ethan Kohnle hit an infield single to score a run and Tanner Rainey put another run across on a sacrifice bunt. Kohnle represented the tying run at third base with two outs, but Hunter McFall's line drive to centerfield was caught to end the game.

Pintado went 2-for-3 and was LCU's only multi hit producer. Tim Carlson suffered the loss on the mound for the Chaps. He allowed three runs off seven hits in five innings of work. LCU was 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position.

LCU is 3-2 after the split, while the day served as the season opener for the Cowboys. It was the first meeting between the two squads since 2002. The rubber match of the series is scheduled for 2 p.m. (Central) Monday.