Will Stramp tied a school single game record for hits and Rob Learned went four-for-five with six runs-batted-in, as #1 Lubbock Christian University opened the Sooner Athletic Conference Tournament with a 17-4 win over St. Gregory's University Tuesday afternoon at Wayland Baptist University's Wilder Field.
Stramp became the fifteenth player in LCU history to produce five hits in a single game. He had four singles and a two-run home run for his 20th home run of the season. Learned also had a big outing and he continued where he left off from an earlier meeting this season against St. Gregory's. He was three-for-three this season against Cavaliers starting pitcher Nick Jones, and he went three-for-three against him again. His first hit was a two-run double to give LCU a 2-0 lead in the first inning.
The Cavaliers cut the deficit to 2-1 in the bottom half of the first inning with a bases-loaded single by Jeremy Springer. The Cavaliers second baseman hit a solo home run in the bottom of the third inning in his next at bat to cut LCU's lead to 4-2 after the Chaps had scored a pair in the top half of the inning by a Buck Britton sacrifice fly and a Jaime Armendariz double. Springer's home run was the first earned run given up by Gary Poynter in the third inning this season. Stramp's homer came in the fourth inning and gave the Chaps a 6-2 lead.
The Cavaliers picked up an unearned run in the bottom of the fourth and had the tying run at the plate trailing 6-3, but the Chaps would hold off the Cavs and surge for 11 runs over the final three innings. Learned scored two runs with a single in the three-run sixth inning, Chase Robertson extended his hitting streak to 19 with a solo home run in the seventh inning and the Chaps put the game away with seven runs in the eighth inning. The eighth inning was highlighted by back-to-back home runs from Britton and Armendariz, with an additional two-run homer hit later in the inning by Learned.
Gary Poynter earned his NAIA leading 13th win of the season (13-1) for the Chaps and held the Cavs to two earned runs on five hits in six innings of work. LCU tied a season high in hits with 21 and improved their overall record to 46-2. The Chaps, now 30-18 all-time in SAC Tournament play, will now face the winner of the contest between Oklahoma Baptist and Rogers State. The LCU contest is scheduled for a 4 p.m. start on Wednesday at Wilder Field. The game will be broadcasted live on KVOP 1090 AM and simulcasted on www.LCUchaps.com presented by Partners Financial Group.