LUBBOCK, TX (April 22, 2022) – After giving up a four-place lead in the first, Lubbock Christian University responded with 17 unanswered runs, ultimately beating UT Permian Basin 18-6 in run-rule fashion Friday night at Hays Field.
With the wind blowing at over 30 miles per hour all afternoon and evening, it seemed like a good night for the long ball. The Falcons (12-30, 11-30) took advantage of three home runs in the evening, but the Chaps (30-13, 28-13) scored their 18 runs without the benefit of a home run.
Two of UTPB’s three homers came in the first inning, as the Falcons took a 4-0 lead. Michael Clapperton walked to start the game and Garret Thornton quickly homered to give his team the advantage. Devin Ferrari doubled from the top of the wall and scored on Gabriel Morin’s home run to take a 4-0 lead.
The Chaps quickly salvaged the first inning, as Edward Acosta tripled to start and scored on a sacrifice fly of George Mendazona. However, they only took the lead in the third, when they scored four points.
Mendazona started with a walk, finishing third on a brace of Luis Navarre. A run came home on wild pitch and Navarro scored on a groundout. With two withdrawals, Jarred Gibson double. He scored on the next play, in a crazy streak of Carson Ogilvie. Shortstop Chap threw a ball into center field, running hard with good speed and easily dropping in second, scoring Gibson in the process. Taking advantage of the UTPB outfielder’s nonchalant play, Ogilvie rushed to third, slipping in just before the pitch for a triple. Except the throw bounced past the bag and he got up and sprinted home, giving his team the advantage.
Lubbock Christian Starter Armando Valle settled in after the tough first, and he ran the closing end in the top of the fourth. Valle ended up pitching 6.0 innings with five runs allowed, striking out a season-high 11 batters.
His job was made easier late in the fourth, when his offense extended the lead with another five points. Two of them came on a single from Larry Leitaand three more came when Ogilvie had a loaded bases single that induced a throwing error from Falcon third basemen.
The biggest inning, however, was the fifth, when LCU scored another seven runs. Thirteen Chaps came to home plate in the inning as they took advantage of free passes. Acosta also played a key role in the set, hitting both a triple and a double in the frame. The junior finished the game 4 for 5 with nine goals in total.
UTPB scored a final run against Valle in the sixth on a Clapperton single, but the Chaps got it back when Mason Donohoe doubled to score Leitha. Donohoe’s outburst nearly left the court by inches.
Logan Ellis came on in the seventh and gave up a one-out home run and a single, but forced a double play to end the game.
IN THE NUMBERS
30 | Lubbock Christian has now won at least 30 games in 16 of 19 seasons with Nathan Blackwood as head coach
.714 | The Falcons did a good job getting their first batter, seeing them hit in five of seven frames, but they also hit just .278 with runners on base.
36 | LCU’s double play to end the match was their 36and of the season, which is the second highest in the Lone Star Conference
.370 | The Chaps had seven hits in 10 appearances against the left-handed reliever used by the UTPB, bringing their season batting average against left-handers to .370 (96-259)
The Chaps will have a shot at winning the series on Saturday if they can sweep the doubleheader, which begins at 2 p.m. at Hays Field.