LUBBOCK, Texas (February 9, 2017) – Lubbock Christian University’s Jaime Bustamante hit a walk-off solo home run in the bottom of the ninth inning to give LCU a 2-1 win over Adams State University in LCU’s home opener at Hays Field Thursday.
Bustamante home run, the third of the second-year Chap’s career, not only created excitement at Hays Field, but it allowed LCU to exhale. The Chaps scored their opening run in the first inning, after Bustamante led off the first inning with a single and stole second base to set up an eventual run, but then had to hold that lead for seven innings. They eventually lost the lead in the eighth inning, with a walk, balk and error allowing ASU’s Nick Hill to score. The Grizzlies had the lead run at third base with one out, but Chaps pitcher Nick Hooper was able to strikeout two batters and the runner was left stranded at third base.
Hooper surrendered a lead-off single to Dustin Kachel in the ninth inning, but Hooper again struck out batters for the final two outs of the inning to leave the Grizzlies with another runner stranded in scoring position.
Bustamante led off the bottom of the ninth inning and he ended the game hitting a pitch over the left centerfield fence off ASU reliever Ryan Ferguson, who fell to 0-2 on the season.
Brandon Rix (2-for-4) and Bustamante (2-for-3) co-led LCU with two hits each. Michael Downs led ASU with three hits (3-for-4). Ricky Contreras started on the hill and pitched six scoreless innings, allowing five hits and striking out four batters (one walk allowed). He remained without a decision on the season, as Hooper collected his first win (1-0). Daniel Brennan allowed one run off six hits in six innings of work in his start for ASU.
LCU improved to 5-0 on the season and they are 1-0 at Hays Field, which is where they will remain Saturday for a doubleheader against the Grizzlies (2-3) beginning with a 2 p.m. first pitch.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
0-for-9 | ASU was 0-for-9 with runners in scoring position, which is a stat both teams struggled with, as LCU was 2-for 15 in the category. In addition, ASU was 2-for-18 with runners on bas and LCU was 3-for-18.
5-for-9 | LCU was 5-for-9 on getting the lead-off batter aboard, but they went 0-for-7 in two-out at-bats leading to 11 runners left stranded
1 | Reagan Lucia made his fifth appearance on the mound for LCU. Lucia, who has appeared in every game this season, pitched another scoreless inning and maintains a 0.00 ERA on the young season.
5 | With hits in the game, Rix and Bustamante have at least one hit in all five games this season for LCU.
23 | The two teams combined to strand 23 base runners, with ASU stranding 12 and LCU stranding 11.