Lubbock, Texas (April 18, 2008) - The No.1 ranked Lubbock Christian University Chaparrals claimed their first Sooner Athletic Conference Regular Season Title and sixth SAC Conference Title by virtue of earning their 41st and 42nd wins of the season with a 26-2 and 11-8 win over the University of Science & Arts of Oklahoma Drovers in a Friday doubleheader at Hays Field. The Chaps victories extend LCU's win streak to 35 games, as Rob Learned and Armando Dominguez highlighted the day with seven runs-batted-in each complimenting Will Stramp's three home runs and six RBI.
The SAC Regular Season title is the first for the Chaps since the conference split the naming of the SAC Conference Champion moniker in 2007 to claiming a regular season and conference tournament title. The Chaps claimed four prior SAC Championship titles and now add their fifth, which doubles as their first regular season title.
LCU collected eight runs in the first inning of the opening game, as they coasted past USAO early in the contest. The Chaps proceeded to score five runs in second inning for a 13-1 advantage, and then scored eight more times in the third inning. They closed out their portion of the game with five more runs in the fourth for a 26-1 lead, while the Drovers score one more time in the top of the fifth. LCU finished with 18 hits in the game. Stramp played a big part with three home runs and six runs-batted-in, going four-for-four from the plate in the Chaps' offensively powered game that led to a season-high 26 runs. Eleven LCU players recorded hits and ten different players brought in runs. Jaime Amerndariz, Tyler Johnson, Jared Bogany, Dominguez, Chase Robertson, and Karlton Banks each hit doubles. Learned also hit a homer to go along with Stramp's three.
Gary Poynter (11-1) took the win on the mound striking out two, allowing no earned runs and three hits in four innings pitched. Brian Hunnicutt (2-5) allowed nine earned runs and 10 hits in the loss.
The second contest was more competitive with USAO taking a 4-1 lead in the top of the second inning. After LCU's Learned doubled for the 1-0 score in the first inning, the Drovers came back to tie the contest, as Louie Romero struck out swinging, but a runner reached home. USAO's Joe Burnell then hit a three-run home run to take the 4-1 advantage. LCU cut the lead to 4-2 with a Robertson single for an RBI in the bottom of the second inning. The top of the third featured a Cody Hines solo homer for a 5-2 USAO lead, but the Chaps were able to regain control with Johnson and Dominguez each hitting two-run home runs to give LCU the 6-5 swing. The fight was not over as USAO's Ryan Birney brought in three scores with a hit over the outfield wall for a 8-5 lead. LCU would finish off the Drovers in the fourth inning with Learned recording a two-run home run, and Bogany and Dominguez both doubling for a run. LCU scored one more run in the fifth with Buck Britton hitting a homerun for the eventual 11-8 final. The Chaps scored their first ten runs with two-outs.
Chris Holguin (9-0) won the game for LCU with nine strikeouts, allowing seven earned runs, eight hits in five innings pitched. Richard Navarette earned his second save on the year with three strikeouts in the seventh the close the books. Rickey Duke pitched in 4.1 innings with three strikeouts, and allowing four earned runs and seven hits.
The two squads will complete the series at 1:00 p.m. Saturday at Hays Field for a single nine-inning match-up. The game will be broadcasted live thanks to Partners Financial Group online at LCUchaps.com and TSRNsports.com.