Christian defeats Point Loma 11-8 for Series title
Stramp and Blondin drive in three runs each to help Chaps win first
title since 1983
LEWISTON, Idaho – Tournament MVP
Will Stramp and Ross Blondin drove in three runs apiece to help
Lubbock Christian University capture its second National Association
of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) national baseball title with an
11-8 win over Point Loma Nazarene (Calif.) in the championship game
of the 53rd annual Avista NAIA World Series at Harris
Field on Friday night.
The wild contest featured 13
runs and 19 hits through the first three innings, quite a contrast
to the club’s two previous meetings in the Series. On Tuesday, Point
Loma claimed a 2-1 victory, while on Thursday, Lubbock Christian
captured a 5-1 win to force an extra game in the 10-team
The first title for the Chaps
(45-13) came in 1983 when they defeated Lewis-Clark State 11-9.
Point Loma Nazarene (52-8) was seeking its first NAIA national title
in any sport.
Friday’s contest featured 30
hits as six players for LCU and four for Point Loma had two or more
hits in the game. Lubbock Christian also had four players with two
or more RBI.
The Chaps appeared to be on
their way to a big win on Friday when they scored five runs in the
bottom of the first inning as Point Loma starter Chris Honer lasted
only one-third of an inning. He gave up four hits and two walks,
along with all five runs.
Blondin started the scoring in
the inning with a two-run double, while a ground out made it 3-0.
Rob Learned added an RBI single, while Jaime Armedariz was hit by a
pitch with the bases loaded in his second at bat of the inning to
make it 5-0.
It only took Point Loma two
innings to tie it. Kaohi Downing was hit by a pitch with the bases
loaded to force a run in during the second inning, while a two-run
home run by Travis McCleary and an RBI double by Tyler Kuehl led to
a four-run third inning to knot the score.
Lubbock Christian regained the
lead for good in the bottom of the third with three runs on two
hits. Stramp provided the big blow as the senior outfielder smacked
a three-run home run to left field for an 8-5 lead. Stramp homered
in three consecutive games and finished with tournament-bests of 10
RBI and nine runs scored, along with tying for the most home runs.
Point Loma answered with two
runs in the top of the fourth to make it 8-7. After Kurt Steinhauer
walked, McCleary picked up his third RBI of the game with a double.
Steven Winnick later singled in McCleary.
LCU, however, answered with two
runs in the bottom of the inning for a 10-7 lead. Dan Neumann
started the rally with a triple and scored on a double by Learned,
who later scored on a sacrifice fly.
After taking nearly two hours to
complete the first four innings, both teams finally found the
pitching they needed and only two runs were scored over the final
Point Loma struck first with a
run in the sixth to make it 10-8. After an error, Kuehl hit a
Lubbock Christian’s final run
came in the eighth when Tanner Rindels was hit by a pitch and later
scored on a single by Blondin.
Stramp finished 2-for-5 with
three RBI and two runs scored, while Blondin went 2-for-4 with three
RBI. Neumann and Learned went 3-for-4 and Learned finished with two
RBI as did Armendariz.
McCleary went 2-for-5 with two
runs scored to go with his three RBI, while Winnick went 3-for-4
with two runs scored. Kuehn went 2-for-5 with two RBI and a run
Charlie Aceto, the second of
four LCU pitchers, picked up the win to improve to 7-0, but it was
Shane Karnbach and Jakob Cunningham that help Point Loma to one hit
over the final four innings. Cunningham pitched a perfect ninth to
pick up his seventh save.
Brandon Dixon, the second of
four Point Loma starters, took the loss to fall to 10-4. He allowed
eight hits and five runs in 3.2 innings.
A crowd of 4,005 attended the