gem to help Lubbock Christian force if necessary game
Chaps also use three home runs in 5-1 win over Point Loma Nazarene
LEWISTON, Idaho – Rene Garcia
tossed a seven-hitter and was backed up by three home runs to help
Lubbock Christian University (Texas) defeat Point Loma Nazarene
University (Calif.) 5-1 on Thursday to force the if-necessary game
for the championship of the 53rd annual Avista NAIA World
Series at Harris Field.
The championship game is
scheduled for 7:05 p.m. on Friday and it will be the third meeting
of the Series between the two teams. Point Loma won the first
meeting 2-1 on Tuesday.
Point Loma (45-12) could have
ended the Series with a win Thursday in the 10-team
double-elimination tournament, but instead Garcia and the LCU bats
stole the show in front of 3,815 fans.
Garcia, a junior right-hander,
went the distance for the Chaps (51-8) and struck out five with one
walk. The only run Garcia (11-1) allowed came in the bottom of the
ninth inning and it was unearned.
The Chaps again used the long
ball to account for all but one run in the game. Two came in the
third inning when LCU jumped out to a 3-0 lead. Armando Dominguez
hit a solo home run to start the third, which was his fourth home
run of the tournament and 15th of the season. After a
two-out single by Tanner Rindels, Will Stramp went deep to
left-center field to make it 3-0. It was Stramp’s 26th
home run of the season and second of the tournament.
LCU added a run in the fourth
when Tyler Johnson drew a walk and was replaced by courtesy runner
Brett Kazmierski. After a strikeout, Rob Learned doubled to deep
right-center field, which scored Kazmierski from first for a 4-0
The Chaps added their final run
in the eighth when Ross Blondin led off the inning with a solo home
run. It was his25th home run of the season and second of the
Garcia lost his shutout bid in
the ninth. After getting the first two batters out, he gave up a
single to Wes Kartch, who moved to second on a passed ball. Tyler
Kuehl followed with a single to center to score Kartch, but Alex
Cameron lined out to second to end the game.
Jaime Armendariz and Learned had
two hits apiece for Lubbock Christian, which collected nine hits in
the game. Kartch and Kuehl had two hits apiece for Point Loma, which
was held to just one run in a game for the fifth time this season.
Point Loma started Andrew Bovich
(13-1) gave up seven hits in seven innings and struck out nine.
Kenny Houser pitched the final two innings and allowed two hits with
Lubbock Christian is seeking the
program’s second title after winning the championship in 1983.
Entering the Series, Point Loma had never finished higher than third
and the school’s entire athletic program has never won an NAIA
national championship in any sport.