LEWISTON, ID – Mike Marshall may have completed one of the best pitching performances in the history of Lubbock Christian University Tuesday night at the 2011 Avista NAIA World Series. Marshall, pitching with a broken foot and only expected to last a few innings, ended up throwing a three-hit complete game shutout and led the Chaparrals to a 3-0 victory over Louisiana State University – Shreveport in the winner's bracket final at Harris Field.
Marshall (9-0) had not played in a game since receiving a line drive off his right foot on May 12 in the NAIA National Championship Opening Round tournament against Kansas Wesleyan, which fractured his fifth metatarsal. The junior from Chico, Calif. and son of former Los Angeles Dodgers positional player (Mike) pitched his longest outing of the season with nine scoreless innings and 138 pitches thrown. He struck out eight batters to place him over the 100-strikeout plateau with a team-leading 101 strikeouts. Marshall held the NAIA's second best offensive in hitting and slugging to three hits. He did not allow a hit against the final 19 batters he faced. His toughest jam came in the top of the first inning, as the Pilots had the bases loaded with one out once Marshall walked Kevin Smith and hit Chase Wentz following a double by Andrew Brouillette. LCU slipped out of the jam with Marshall forcing a pair of pop-ups to complete the inning.
Another impressive statistical line for Marshall is the fact that he is one of the few players in history to pitch in the NAIA World Series after pitching in the NCAA World Series. Marshall was with Stanford in 2008 as a freshman. Ironically, Marshall had 1.1 scoreless innings pitched in the NCAA World Series (relief outings against Florida State and Georgia) and has combined for 10.1 scoreless innings in combined World Series appearances. Although there is no official documentation, it is believed that Marshall may be the first player to compete in the NAIA World Series following a NCAA World Series appearance since Matt Wagner pitched for both Cal St. Fullerton (1994 NCAA World Series) and Lewis-Clark State (1995 NAIA World Series).
Marshall upstaged a great pitching performance by Pilots starting pitcher Jared Mortensen (9-2), who pitched seven innings. He allowed three runs off seven hits, while striking out eight batters. Mortensen had control issues in the first inning, allowing a pair of walks and a single to the first three batters faced. He threw a pair of wild pitches in the inning, including one with the bases loaded to allow LCU's Ryan Burnaman to score from third base for a 1-0 lead. LCU added to the lead with a sacrifice fly by Karl Seiter for a 2-0 lead. Mortensen rebounded by not allowing a hit over a span of 17 batters. The Chaps were held to two hits over the first five innings, with Nate Peterson producing both LCU hits.
Seiter led off the eighth inning with a double to right-centerfield and Richard Bohlken followed with a single off a bunt towards third base. LCU eventually loaded the bases and produced a run with Bohlken scoring on a wild pitch from Mortensen.
Peterson was the game's lone multi-hit performer. He went 3-for-4 for the Chaps, who improved to 49-12 on the season and claimed their seventh consecutive victory. LSU-S fell to 47-14 and their nine-game win streak came to an end.
Four teams remain after Tuesday's play and under tournament rules, the tournament committee determines Wednesday's schedule. LCU will face Lee University (Tenn.) at 9 p.m. (CDT) and LSU-S will face Concordia (Calif.). If LCU wins Wednesday, they will move into the championship game against the LSU-S – Concordia winner, and LCU's opponent would have to defeat the Chaps twice. Wednesday's game can be heard online at www.lcuchaps.com or locally in Lubbock on KJAK 92.7 FM, and can be viewed online at www.watchNAIA.com.