LUBBOCK, Texas (May 15, 2009) - The No.1 Lubbock Christian University Chaparrals earned their eighth trip to the Avista NAIA World Series Friday afternoon with a 15-6 win over No. 18 Wayland Baptist University in the championship game of the NAIA National Championship Opening Round Field 1 Tournament presented by City Bank. Lubbock Christian, making their first trip to Lewiston, Idaho since 2006, also received the top seed of the Avista NAIA World Series and will play their first game Saturday, May 23rd at 5 p.m. (CST) against the winner of Campbellsville (Ky.) vs. Lee (Tenn.).
LCU led throughout in the game that lasted three hours and 45-minutes. Ross Blondin came up a home run shy of his second cycle of the tournament, going 4-for-6 with four runs and three runs-batted-in. He was one of four Chaps with at least three RBI. Tyler Johnson (2-for-5) and Bo Merrell (2-for-5) each produced four RBI and Will Stramp (3-for-5) had three RBI. Johnson collected three of his with a three-run homer in the fourth inning, which broke the game open. Keith Martin, who was 3-for-4 with 6 RBI, hit a three-run shot for the Pioneers in the top half of the fourth inning. It cut LCU's lead to 6-4, until Johnson's homer offset the runs and gave LCU the 9-4 advantage.
The Chaps scored six runs in the seventh inning, as the Pioneers hit rock bottom with their pitchers. The Pioneers pitched seven pitchers, including Alex Quinones, who made his first appearance of the season. Christopher McNeil (4-3) made the start for WBU, but he only last two innings after giving up five runs on five hits. Meanwhile, the Chaps balanced the game with healthy arms that had not pitched in the tournament. Tanner Vickers, who received the win to improve to 8-4, pitched the opening 3 2/3 innings and allowed three runs on three hits before handing the ball over to Charlie Aceto. Aceto went 3 2/3 innings in relief before Shane Karnbach pitched hitless ball the final 1 2/3 innings.
The loss ended the season for WBU. They finish the season 43-15, marking the closest they have been from advancing to Lewiston, Idaho. LCU had their record improve to 47-7.