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Lubbock Christian University Defeats Wayland Baptist 17-16 in Shootout

From Chris Due, lcuchaps.com

LUBBOCK, Texas (April 18, 2011) – No.19 Lubbock Christian University rallied from a 10-0 deficit and never led until Wayland Baptist University walked Brent Leslie with the bases loaded on a 3-2 pitch in the bottom of the ninth to walk in the winning run to give LCU a 17-16 victory in a crazy Monday evening Sooner Athletic Conference contest at Hays Field.

The Chaps trailed 16-13 heading into the bottom of the eighth inning and they scored their final four runs over the final two innings without a hit produced.  In the eighth, two errors, two walks, and a hit batter led to two runs scoring, and LCU tied the game at 16-16 with a two-out balk called against pitcher Aldo Mendez. The Chaps had a chance to take the lead, but Ryan Meade’s ground ball to Mendez converted into a 1-6-2 double play, as shortstop Eddie Allen threw home preventing Ryan Burnaman from scoring from second base instead of attempting to get Meade at first base.  Wayland Baptist had an opportunity to regain the lead in the top of the ninth inning, as lead off singles and a wild pitch from Burnaman led to runners in scoring position and no outs.  Burnaman responded by striking out three consecutive batters, including a called third strike on Gabe Sandersius, which relied on a throw from the backstop by catcher Nate Peterson to just beat Sandersius at first base to send the game into the bottom half of the inning tied.  Mike Marshall led off with a walk for LCU, but Mendez responded by striking out Richard Bohlken and Dominic Piazza.  Chandler Griffin was hit by a pitch with two outs and the bases were loaded when David Cruz walked on four straight pitches to set-up Leslie’s at-bat.

The winds were blowing out early in the game and the Pioneers took advantage of it with four home runs in first two innings.  Allen hit the first pitch of the game from Marshall off the scoreboard in left centerfield for a quick 1-0 lead.  Kevin Hennessey hit his 18th homer of the season two batters later for a two-run home run and a 3-0 advantage.  The Pioneers produced seven runs off eight hits in the second inning, with Miguel Pagan and Nick Noll each hitting three-run home runs.  Marshall, who had 18 strikeouts last week against Wayland Baptist, was only able to go 1.2 innings, as he allowed 10 runs off 12 hits.  LCU was able to cut into the 10-0 deficit in the bottom of the second inning with their first two hits of the game resulting in home runs.  The first was a two-run home run by Karl Seiter in the second inning.  Meade crushed a three-run homer in the third inning before Chandler Griffin scored a run with a single to cut the deficit to 10-6.  WBU answered back with two runs in the fourth inning to extend the lead to 12-6.  The Chaps scored the next five consecutive runs with Meade hitting an RBI-single in the fourth inning and sixth inning.  LCU had a four-run sixth inning and cut the deficit to 12-11.  The Pioneers answered back again with a three-run seventh inning, highlighted by a double from Hennessey to lead 15-11.  Meade scored a pair of runs in the seventh inning with a two-run double to complete a seven RBI performance.

Wayland lost despite lighting the Chaps up for 24 hits. Allen (4-for-6), Hennessey (4-for-5) and Chris Lee (4-for-5) each had four-hit performances for the Pioneers.  Noll and Pagan each had four runs-batted-in.  The Pioneers, who had won a game 18-17 against Northwestern Oklahoma State less than 24 hours before the game, used six pitchers against the Chaps.  Mendez was credited with the loss (1-1), allowing the winning run to score and walking five batters in 1.1 innings pitched.  The Pioneers walked nine batters in the game and hit an additional five batters.

Meade led the Chaps with a 4-for-6 performance at the plate with seven RBI.  The Chaps used four pitchers and received a valuable relief appearance by Shane Ingram, who allowed four earned runs off seven hits with four strikeouts over 5.1 innings.  Burnaman claimed the win (3-0), pitching the final 1.1 innings and striking out four batters.

The win improves LCU to 36-9 overall on the season and 16-7 in the SAC.  They extend their win streak to eight games with the win.  The Pioneers fall to 22-25 overall and 8-15 in the SAC.  They are currently in eighth place in the SAC, trying to secure a spot as one of the top eight teams in the conference to advance to the SAC Tournament.  The Chaps will remain home Thursday and will open a SAC series with a 3 p.m. doubleheader against Oklahoma Baptist University.

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