LUBBOCK, Texas - The only thing close in No.1 Lubbock Christian University's Saturday meeting at No. 21 University of Science & Arts of Oklahoma, to wrap up a Sooner Athletic Conference series at Bill Smith Ballpark, was the program records the Chaparrals nearly set. The Chaps were a home run shy of tying a school single game record for homers, as they used seven home runs to defeat USAO 20-1 in a game shortened to seven innings by the "mercy rule." The win not only provided the Chaps a three-game conference road sweep, but it places the Chaps in sole possession of first place in the SAC because No.2 Oklahoma City University lost at home to Oklahoma Baptist University 7-5.
It is the second time LCU has crushed seven home runs in a game this season and it was one shy of the program mark of eight set back in 1998 in a contest against Oklahoma Christian. Will Stramp and Rob Learned each had four hits in the game and missed out on the chance for a fifth hit, which would have not only tied their career high at the university, but would have tied the program's single game mark. Stramp's multi-hit performance not only extended his hit streak to nine games but he has eight consecutive games in which he has at least two hits.
The Chaps wasted no time getting the offense going in the game that ended up seeing the Chaps obtain 23 hits. Starting USAO pitcher Ricky Duke allowed hits to the first six Chaps batters, including a two-run home run from Tanner Rindels, who was the game's second batter. The Chaps ended up with four runs in the inning. Stramp parked a solo shot in the second inning across Grand Avenue beyond the left field fence for his 11th homer of the season and 5-0 lead. Five of the home runs came in the middle innings. The Chaps hit three homers in the fourth inning and Ross Blondin and Learned connected with back-to-back shots in the fifth inning. Blondin had a pair of home runs, with his first coming in the fourth inning before Tyler Johnson hit a two-run shot and Armando Dominguez hit an opposite field solo shot to right field.
Even without the longball, the Chaps were able to score runs. In the sixth inning, Johnson closed out a 3-for-3 performances with a two-run double, and Vince Bejar followed with a pinch hit two-run single. LCU scored in every inning except the seventh inning.
All the home runs overshadowed the pitching performance by Jakob Cunningham and Charlie Aceto. Cunningham limited the Drovers to just one run and six hits in five innings of work to improve to 5-1 on the season. Aceto pitched two hitless innings in relief and struck out four batters. Duke took the loss and was blistered for ten runs on 12 hits in 3.1 innings of work. As a team, the Drovers pitchers only registered one strikeout in the game.
The Chaps improve to 33-4 overall with the win and swept the road series by out-scoring the Drovers 39-4 in the three games and out-hitting them 42-13. LCU used just four pitchers in the series. They now return home to host Mid-America Christian for a conference series on Friday with a doubleheader beginning at 3 p.m. at Hays Field.