NAIA National Championship Recap for May 28

Rene Garcia
Rene Garcia

Results from Day 6 of the NAIA Baseball National Championship in Lewiston, ID:

Lubbock Christian 5, Point Loma Nazarene 1

The Chaparrals hit three home runs to score four of their runs, and force one more game to decide the championship.

They got a complete game from RHP Rene Garcia, and Garcia came one out short of recording a shutout.

SS Armando Dominguez opened the scoring with a solo home run in the top of the third. Three batters later, LF Will Stramp hit his 26th home run of the season with one aboard to send in the winning run. They added a run to take a 4-0 lead in the fourth on an RBI double by 1B Rob Learned. They didn’t score again until 3B Ross Blondin hit his 25th home run of the year in the eighth.

Garcia wasn’t doing anything spectacular, just keeping the Sea Lions off the base paths. He struck out five, and walked one. Up until the ninth inning, the Sea Lions got a baserunner as far as third only once, with two outs in the fifth inning, but a fly out ended the inning. The Chaparrals got a double play in the seventh. They got a break on a suspect call at first base to start the bottom of the eighth, and the Sea Lions went three up, three down. The bottom of the ninth started with two outs, but 3B Wes Kartch hit a single, moved to second on a wild pitch, and scored on a hit by SS Tyler Kuehl to end the shutout. The next batter lined out to second base to end the game.

Andrew Bovich, who came into this game with a 13-0 record, got his first loss of the season, despite recording nine strikeouts, allowing seven hits, and walking three in seven innings of work.

Learned went 2-4 for the Chaparrals. Kartch and Kuehl were both 2-4 for the Sea Lions.

Schedule for Friday, May 29:

7:05 PM PDT: Lubbock Christian vs. Point Loma Nazarene – championship game

All games are webcast by KOZE Radio (audio and free) and watchnaia.com (video and $6.95/game, or $23.95 for the series). Live stats are available for all games at Dakstats.